30 Days of MD: Occupational Therapy’s All About Teamwork

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by BNS Staff |

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Photo courtesy of Moira Matthews

Day 11 of 30

This is Moira Matthews’ story:

My name is Moira Matthews. I am a certified occupational therapy assistant working in Wilmington, North Carolina, with Genesis Rehab Services, providing mobile outpatient services called Vitality to You.

I am a lover of art, music, sports, education, cooking, gardening, and the outdoors. I also came to know and love occupational therapy, where I get to find ways to make these activities and much more accessible for some truly inspiring people. Each person and situation is different, and the best situations require creative thinking to overcome barriers to independence.

As a therapist, working with people with muscular dystrophy brings unique challenges but allows me the opportunity to collaborate with clients and create solutions to adapt their environments and routines. This is the aspect of OT that I love the most.

I do plenty of exercises with my other patients but the world of MD is very different because it focuses almost exclusively on finding out what my patient values in life and how to make it work despite their limitations. This includes the use of adaptive equipment, energy conservation techniques, and environmental modifications.

Recently, I worked with a client to assess many aspects of their home, work, and social life, finding ways to improve their independence and conserve energy. After discussing techniques to grade activities and adapt tasks, we found solutions to improve access to her kitty litter box, to maximize safety and efficiency in hair washing and grooming, and to improve safety when using the restroom at a new job.

Occupational therapy is about making the little things in life less of a struggle so that people can focus on their social life, their work, and their health. I feel honored to be given the opportunity to work with people in this community.

Muscular Dystrophy News’ 30 Days of MD campaign will publish one story per day for MD Awareness Month in September. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #30DaysofMD, or read the full series.