By Gabrielle Burns, OTR/L, Rocky Mount, Virginia
Last week Brittany Edwards, OTR/L (Roanoke, Virginia) addressed the role of Occupational Therapists (OT) in the context of helping people get dressed. However, OTs have an important job to facilitate individuals’ safety and independence not only with getting dressed but with all activities of daily living (ADL) such as eating and grooming in addition to instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), such as cooking or taking care of pets. The third component of occupational therapy is participation in occupational roles or engagements such as attending school or church.
ADLs, IADLs, and occupational roles are all functional activities that give our lives meaning. They support positive social, emotional, mental, and physical health. During times of occupational deprivation, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to continue engaging in functional activities to maintain your health and well-being.
Today Gabrielle Burns, OTR/L (Rocky Mount, Virginia) is going to focus on grooming, an essential ADL that is both important and engaging. Grooming is an activity that both children and adults must continue to practice in order to maintain health and well-being for themselves — and for their pets (IADL)!
The Golden Rules for Grooming Your Pets.
Take it away, Gabrielle …
One of my favorite IADLs is caring for my dog, Beatrice. She is a golden doodle rescue who loves to play fetch, roll in leaves, snuggle, eat, dig, and swim in any body of water she can find, including puddles. Today I am going to show you how I groom her, which helps me maintain my positive mental and emotional well-being, as well as helps her maintain a healthy coat and skin (she suffers from itchy scratches as a result of allergies).
Additionally, Beatrice is a golden doodle which means she has hair not fur, and it is bountiful like a golden retriever’s coat, yet curly like that of a poodle, which makes establishing a regular routine for grooming that much more important.
We always start by getting extra dirty, either by going for a swim in a river, digging a mud puddle, or going on a long hike.
Following our excursion, it’s time for a bath! My husband typically helps, which is a fun way for us to spend quality time together, as well as complete the task more quickly. Due to Beatrice’s thick coat, we shampoo twice, making sure to massage it through the hair, and deep condition for approximately 5 minutes.
Next, it’s Beatrice’s favorite part, towel time! Beatrice loves to be snuggled with towels.
Then, it’s time to dry her hair. Because Beatrice has hair, it needs to be dried to prevent matting and prolonged wetness. We use my hair drier on cool, as we simultaneously brush, blow, and towel dry (she cooperates most of the time!).
Once dry, it’s time to finish brushing and combing her thick hair. Beatrice has two coats so first, we brush her outer coat and then we comb her undercoat to remove any remaining mats, knots, or dirt that we may have missed. And …
… Ta da! A freshly groomed Beatrice is a happy pup ready to play, snuggle, eat, dig, and swim all over again!
Who else enjoys taking care of their pets as a way to promote health and well-being? CORA would like to invite you to share photos of you grooming your animals. Share your pictures on social media using #OTMonthCORA and we’ll re-post some of our favorite ones.
More information, Resources and LOVE for OTs all month long!
Use #OTMonthCORA in your social media posts to join the celebration with us and show our OTs appreciation for their dedication and commitment to serving children and adults across the lifespan all month long.
If you want to learn more or are ready to enlist the help of a skilled occupational therapist, call one of our 200+ physical therapy clinics throughout Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Missouri and Illinois or book a virtual appointment today at our CORA clinic nearest you.