Making a meal of it – a real life example of meal preparation and an OT’s intervention
There are nutritional, social, financial, and mental benefits to being able to prepare yourself or your family a home cooked meal.
A meal doesn’t have to be perfect, but safety in the kitchen is paramount and after a neurological injury or condition some of the skills required to plan, sequence, chop and prepare, set up and cook can be impaired.
Occupational Therapists address common meal preparation problems including providing education on planning, pacing, environmental set-up, one handed techniques and the use of adaptive equipment. They will develop and implement an appropriate plan to support a person to perform one of the most necessary daily activities we know.
Our OT Hannah Mraz recently conducted a Thermomix trial for one of her clients. This is her story…..
Ms A has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a degenerative neurological disorder. She has a young family and, since ceasing work due to her condition, she hopes to continue to support her family and look after her children as much as possible.
Ms A has weakness in her legs which makes it difficult to stand for periods of time. She has weakness in her arms and hands and she cannot hold knives or carry pots safely. She sliced her finger last year causing injury trying to chop vegetables and has not been cooking since.
Ms A had a demonstration with a representative from ThermoMix and her Occupational Therapist with the aim of trialling the features and assessing if this device would make an impact on her function. With a ThermoMix Ms A can now do most of the meal preparation independently. Her formal support hours for meal preparation have reduced from 1 hour a day to 10 minutes a day.
Ms A was able to use the touch screen and did not need to manage any fiddly buttons, she used the scales built into the device so she did not need to carry the ingredients around her kitchen and she used the self-clean function so she didn’t have to take apart and hand wash multiple appliances. Ms A’s chosen weekly recipes can generate a grocery list which can be sent to a smart device or directly to Woolworth online. Vegetables only need to be chopped in half, which can be completed by the support worker at any time during the day, and are then chopped, diced or steamed by the device. We all enjoyed taste-testing her soup, chicken and sorbet!
The ThermoMix has allowed Ms A to return to meal preparation for her family. It has provided her with a valuable role, a meaningful activity to keep her body and mind active and she continues to develop functional skills.
This has been life changing for Ms A and has made a significant impact on her day to day functioning. We look forward to seeing Ms A’s food creations!