Occupational and Physical Therapists: What Do they Do and Which is Which?

Baby boomers with elder parents rejoice! I am pulling elder parent duty this week, with lots of time on my hands (here and there anyway), and can answer some simple questions that will come up the first time you ever find yourself in a similar position.

*  *  *

After a big medical event, the occupational therapists and physical therapists — the PTs and the OTs — work with the patient in discrete chunks of time throughout the day. There are others Ts around (speech therapists, for instance), but the PTs and the OTs are the main Ts that’ll be coming through.

If you’re like most people, you’ll be confused about what the OTs and PTs do and which is which.

There’s a simple shorthand. Now, please use caution, Will Robinson, when using this simple shorthand, because, in my experience, most OTs and PTs are not in love with this simple shorthand, but it surely is a good place for you to start understanding what they do. The simple shorthand is that OTs are arms and PTs are legs, so OTs are more about fine motor skills and PTs are more about gross motor skills. Or if you really want to raise a ruckus and maybe get on the bad side of the PTs coming through, you can use this one: OTs are fine and PTs are gross.

Another way to think of it is that occupational therapists help patients get better at the things that occupy their time, such as brushing their teeth, combing their hair, etc., while physical therapists help them get better at doing anything remotely like what you would do in gym class (aka physical education), such as walking.

Either way, when they’re not around and you’re keeping an elder parent company, I’ve found that it’s a good idea to push your parent to do things on their own which they might not initially want to do. They want a drink of water from a cup on the tray in front of them? You can pick it up and put it to their mouth, but maybe you should think like an OT and ask them if they can pick it up and put it to their mouth? Gentle requests like that can get your parent into the mode of trying to push against the physical envelope in which they find themselves unhappily confined, and that in turn can help them start to feel a bit of empowerment and accomplishment. At least in my experience, even when they fail — and make no mistake about it: taking a sip out of a cup can be a very big deal after a medical trauma — they find something valuable in the effort.

PTs and OTs are experts at this part of the healing process and, in my experience, they as a group tend to be very lovely people — gentle, loving and caring, but ultimately forceful and wise about how to get patients to find profound healing powers dwelling deep down inside their traumatized bodies.

So yay for OTs ad PTs and thanks for doing everything you do.

Leave a Comment   |   Comments (0)   |  
Categories:
Tags:

You Should Own Your Own Email Address, Not Rent It

We all prefer being in control, don’t we? After all, it surely beats not being in control, doesn’t it (certain Shades of Grey personality types excepted . . . )?

Why is it, then, that so many of us cede control of our email existences by choosing to rent rather than own our email addresses? That’s a major relinquishing of control, isn’t it?

Here, as in most everything in life, there are smart ways and not-so-smart ways to do things, with, in this context, that spectrum defined, at the not-so-smart end, as “merely renting” your main email address and, at the yes-very-smart end, as “outright ownership” of your main email address.

We’ll take that spectrum up below, beginning with a merely-renting approach that is so very not-so-smart as to fall all the way into the category of being just plain ol’ dumb, and then moving on through various levels of renting that look more and more like ownership, until we arrive at the promised land of outright, unconstrained, all-encompassing ownership. So please do read on to see how smart or not-so-smart you’ve set up your email existence, and what you might want to do to improve it, OK? And thank you for your interest.

 *  *  *

The Plain Ol’ Dumb Way to Set Up Your Email Existence: Using the Email Address You Have with Your Employer as Your Only Email Address.

The worst way to set up your email existence is to use the email address you have through your employer as your be-all and end-all — as your everything-all — email address.

Two big problems (at least two . . . ) arise when your everything-all email address is owned by your employer.

…more ►

Leave a Comment   |   Comments (0)   |  
Categories:
Tags:

First Week of January Test (2015 Edition)

The other day, in the wee early hours of the Monday of All Mondays, subscribers to my email list received, just like clockwork (just like calendarwork?), their FWoJT email (their First Week of January Test email).

This year the Monday of All Mondays — I speak here, of course, of the first Monday of the New Year, when many of us first go back into our normal day-to-day routine following the holidays — fell (and for many it did indeed fall) on January 5th, but it can fall on pretty much any day in the first week or so of January.

On that Monday of All Mondays, many folks first saw their FWoJT email as they awoke to lift their heads from their pillows to grab their phones to scan their email notifications (that’s the very first thing many of us do now upon waking, yes?) and were reminded that, as happens every year on that very day, Friedman was advising them to just go there —  to just go ahead and, for a brief moment, ask themselves how it felt to be back in their day-to-day routines after the holidays.

Moans and groans (and worse) went up across the land, along with, from the lucky few who have reached their Exquisite Balance, a few wahoos and giddyup-doggies and sweet-[deity or non-deity of their choosing]-a’mighty-I-am-happy-at-lasts.

I hope you found yourself among the lucky few!

* * *

If you haven’t the foggiest what I’m talking about, please take yourself back to that moment — role-play yourself back into the mind you inhabited at that very moment — and please read on, as The First Week of January Test email awaits you below!
…more ►

Leave a Comment   |   Comments (0)   |  
Categories:
Tags:

If You’re Self-Employed and Have Zero Employees, You Should Set Up an Individual 401k Plan Before the End of the Year

Many financial planners and tax folks are loathe to utter blanket statements, preferring to gravitate instead towards multi-asterisk’ed, highly footnoted, two-handed, somewhat-non-statement statements. And rightly so: whenever financial planning and taxation come together, you end up in an arena that is way too complicated and way too pernsickety to not lose something in the translation from highly customized and technical to general purpose and lay.

Nonetheless, here goes:

If you are self-employed and have zero employees, then
you should set up an individual 401k plan before year’s end.

These retirement plans — which are also called “solo 401k plans” or “self-employed 401k plans” and recently, in an apparent attempt to give them that Jobsian glow, sometimes even called “i401k plans” — are the bees’ knees for folks who work for themselves and have zero employees, so setting one of these up is just about always a good idea in that situation.

…more ►

Leave a Comment   |   Comments (0)   |  
Categories:
Tags:

Beautifully Designed 401k Plans: Rare as Hen’s Teeth

As a financial planner, I’ve seen many a 401k plan in my day, and I’m here to tell you that the vast majority of them are not pretty, while some are even downright ugly. Admittedly, that’s a mighty broad brush full of awfully harsh words, and I’d surely prefer to be la-la-la’ing about instead, all chipper, sprightly espousing what-a-wonderful-world bromides, but I feel irresistibly impelled to instead write of the truth I’ve seen. And that truth is that the typical 401k plan — in which a decent part of the wealth of most Normal Folks resides — falls quite a bit short of being beautifully designed.

Please allow me to explain.

…more ►

Leave a Comment   |   Comments (0)   |  
Categories:
Tags:
<<   Older Posts