We continue to enjoy working with clients with a range of difficulties, both physical and cognitive. Additionally we have been working with a number of organisations providing a variety of services. This includes training of support workers with specific clients and training re specific conditions to staff of a local charity. We are also writing regular features for a national general interest magazine for the over 50's and have contributed articles to a specialist Occupational Therapy magazine.

In this blog we thought we would like to share a brief case study with you of one of our recent success stories. We hope you will find the Occupational Therapy interventions we provided of interest.

Marc is a 30 years old man, who was referred to IRS following a brain haemorrhage. On assessment he presented with a left sides weakness, affecting both his upper and lower limbs. He had no functional use of his left arm and hand and was experiencing spasm and tightness in the arm. This affected his posture, balance, gait and therefore his confidence when walking and carrying out activities around his home and in the community.
Cognitively Marc had slowed auditory information processing and some minor difficulty with memory recall.

Marc identified his goals as wishing to return to driving and to work. He also enjoys cooking meals for his friends and family and socialising at the local pub.

Following our assessment, we initially focused on Marc's cognitive difficulties as he found these very frustrating. We taught Marc strategies to use, helping to enhance his information processing skills and his memory recall. He successfully applied these to his everyday tasks initially and later at his place of work and when driving.

We also felt that Marc would benefit from lycra splinting of his left hand and upper limb. We therefore referred him for a lycra splint and accompanied him to the assessments and fittings. Additionally we provided a comprehensive treatment programme to enable him to gain the maximum benefits from the splints. As a result Marc’s posture, balance, gait and mobility improved. He now confidently mobilises in the community and at work.

We arrange a driving assessment for Marc, following this we supported him in accessing the adaptations recommended and Marc is now driving his adapted car to work and to socialise with his friends.

Marc works in an office environment and has a very supportive employer. We carried out a work station assessment and identified equipment and adaptations to work practices to enable him to return to work. Together with the Disability Employment Advisor and his employers we were able to set up a successful phased return to work.

Cooking with Marc was an interesting experience as he is a bit of a master chef. He often creates his own recipes and dishes. Marc already owned a number of pieces of electrical equipment, which helped him to do things independently, e.g. a food processor, streamer and microwave. We were able to assess for and recommend small pieces of equipment which enabled him to overcome the difficulties he was having with kitchen tasks due to the functional loss of his left upper limb. These included a battery operated one handed tin and jar openers available at www.lakeland.co.uk, a multi purposed chopping board, as well as equipment to stabilised items during meal preparation such as a spill not and a belly clamp available at www.homecraft-rolyan.com. He also found a kitchen trolley invaluable to transport items.

On discharge Marc had achieved all of the goals he had set when we started our interventions. He is able to drive his car, has returned to work and enjoys cooking for his friends and family, plus socialising at his local pub. Marc also continues to wear his lycra splint on a daily basis and still reports to find this of benefit to his balance, posture and gait. Marc is also currently exploring going on holiday with some of his friends.

If you have any questions about the interventions we provided for Marc or want to find out more about some of the equipment we used, please feel free to give us a ring on 07966 369647.

Declan McNichol

Bill Young

Angela Gordon

Birgit Rathje-Vale

Helen Smart