Occupational therapy

In occupational therapy, the focus was on the fingers and hands, as this is where the first effects of ALS became noticeable. This took place once a week.

So far I have carried out occupational therapy in two stages:

1st stage (2012 bis 2018)

In this stage I documented the loss of strength in the fingers and hands. We were able to carry out individual measurements regularly using specific measuring devices (e.g. Jamar, Pinch, or Box and Block Test).

In order to train and maintain finger skills, there were various exercises that can also be done at home:

  • Pick up coins
  • Close/open buttons
  • Unscrew nuts
  • Inserting Pegs into Holes (Perdue Peg Board)
  • Etc.

There are many opportunities to practice in everyday life and it makes sense to integrate these opportunities into everyday activities.

Adjusting, trying out and discussing aids is also part of the scope of occupational therapy. I tried the following tools:

  • Close the Jeans with Velcro
  • Headmaster collar
  • Splint for extending the fingers for computer mouse operation
  • Discussion of strategies for putting on a T-shirt and socks independently
  • Thickened handles for the cutlery
  • Ergorest for typing with the computer keyboard

In between there were also simple strength exercises for the hand and fingers.

2nd stage (2018 to present)

After my strength and motor skills had deteriorated to such an extent, that I could hardly carry out the exercises in a meaningful way, we made the switch.

Since then, the focus has been on maintaining mobility of the fingers and hands. Initially, occupational therapy was carried out while sitting. After I successfully completed the standing attempt at the Rehab Basel, I also introduced this at home in the outpatient occupational therapy at the KSA (Cantonal Hospital Aarau). This means I can now train my stance for 20 minutes at the same time as hand therapy. In addition, the stance is also good for controlling spasticity, verticalizing myself and ventilating the lungs.