Erika Desantis submitted 2020-05-05

In the case study I have chosen to work with, I decided to pull from a movie I examined and worked with in depth this past semester. In the movie, “You’re Not You”, a middle aged woman is diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and her physical health quickly begins to deteriorate. In a situation such as this one, there is no known cure. ALS is an incurable disease that attacks the nervous system, causing muscle weakness and overall physical health decline. In this scenario, it is important to keep the client’s meaningful occupations in mind when creating an intervention plan. When an individual suffers from a disease or disorder, their life may be turned upside down. Meaningful occupations are what motivation someone to continue fighting. Suffering from a disease such as ALS can cause an individual to lose their sense of identity. To create my intervention plan for a patient suffering from ALS, I would start by creating a trustworthy relationship with my client. I would create a safe environment, one that my client feels secure in and feels she can thrive in. We would have a conversation, not an interview. We would identify the meaningful occupations in their life, discussing their client factors and performance patterns. Understanding a client’s client factors; values, beliefs, and spirituality and performance skills routines, roles, and rituals will aid in a personalized and effective intervention plan. For a client suffering from a terminal disease occupational justice and quality of life are two major focuses. As an occupational therapist, is it our job to maximize a client’s capacity to participate in important and meaningful life activities while continuing to also promote overall health and wellbeing. My intervention plan would also consist of involving family and friends to the chosen activities. Reminding patients that they have a support team is also essential to quality of life and success in intervention. For a patient, sharing meaningful occupations and activities with important people allows for a continued positive mental state. My intervention plan would not be tailored to attempting to cure the incurable, but give my patient back their quality of life and occupational justice.

For this essay, it may not be the “life saving” situation you were expecting, but in my field of work, this would be considered life saving. Working with terminally ill patients is one of the most challenging aspects of any healthcare profession, but it is our job to overcome those obstacles and help our patients overcome them as well.