OT Web Gems- Nationwide Statistics and AD edition

Welcome to another edition of OT Web Gems, AKA "Cheryl has too many tabs open of cool articles, so let's update." Some of these are pretty hefty reading, but it can be worth it depending on your field. Several related to Alzheimer's Disease as well.

Food Environment Map- it's easy to talk about making the right nutritional choices, but understanding the reasons why these aren't followed through is very important. For clients living within a "food desert" where there is little access to fresh produce, groceries, or low-cost healthy foods, this can be especially difficult. Map allows you to break down multiple statistics on a county level. Could be very useful if you are considering implementing a program for childhood wellness.

CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report- this lengthy report is broken down into several important subsections, such as access to health insurance, air quality, housing, and preventable hospitalizations. Another tool that could be very useful if you're looking for materials to justify OT services for an area.

Alzheimer's Association "Baby Boomer" report- Lastly, some statistics regarding the past decade or so regarding demographics of AD in association with research money and other costs. Some scary stats on their main page, the full report requires you to sign up with email, I haven't read the original report. Again, this would be helpful if you're looking for support in a program designed to assist those with AD or their caregivers.

Financial Skills Decline in those w/ AD- another Alzheimer's Reading Room post regarding the quick financial decline in those with even mild AD. This is an important ADL to test- it may be helpful diagnostically. Moreso if done within an established testing protocol such as EFPT or KELS. (Sidenote- I looked up the AMPS tasks and they do not have a money-management task. However this is also widely called for in my workplace when trying to assess cognitive decline. If you're AMPS certified, there are a lot of good resources on their website to make things faster or form a research project)

Tips to Prevent Wandering- A Geriatric Care Manager wrote some nice tips on strategies to decrease wandering in those with AD. I thought of some other environmental and behavioral modifications that we use as OTs. If you frequently work with adults with dementia in the home setting, I highly recommend Occupational Therapy and Dementia Care: the Home Environmental Skill-Building Program, which I found to be a very helpful text and has many useful home modification ideas. (Link is to amazon.com since AOTA site is down this weekend but I believe there is a reduced price on AOTA.com for members.)

Lifehacker Top 10 brain-training tricks- on a more upbeat note, here is a quick list of brain-training activities. Nothing here is groundbreaking, should be familiar to most but might be a good jumping off place for cognitive rehab.

Concussion/mTBI Detector- such a cool idea. Tests a blood sample for biomarkers indicative of brain injury. This could be revolutionary in the diagnostics (and thus treatment of) mTBI, which is a very big deal for OTs in cognitive rehab.

Procedural Change- make sure you get your feedback to your RA member on the proposed changes to the organization. There is a video, written documents, and a message board on OT Connections to review.
General Elections- review candidates and cast your vote- closes at 11:59 pm EST on Sunday, February 27
Philly Convention Center- if you're planning on attending the AOTA conference (which you totally should!) then there are some good resources at the convention center website. Maybe I'll be able to not wander around empty halls looking for the group unlike last year (I have such poor spatial skills, lol).