I wonder this because a family member had a total hip replacement and is receiving occupational therapy in a short term rehabilitation facility. In OT they are teaching her how to pick up objects that have fallen on the floor. That seems like a reasonable point of intervention to me: it is important that people avoid placing undue stress on a new hip joint and I am sure that the OT does not want her to bend excessively.
Why, though, does my family member have to pick up cones?
I know a little about cones, more from my experience with geometry than from my experience as an occupational therapist. A cone is a three dimensional geometric shape. It is the locus of all line segments between a base and a point outside the plane. I know that the base of a cone can be any shape as long as it connects to an apex at any point outside the plane of the base. As far as I know there is nothing in her home that is cone-shaped. I don’t know if they have ice cream cones right now – I guess that would be an exception. However, the dog would probably eat it long before someone got to it with a long handled reacher. Anyway, I think it is fair to say that nothing that is cone-shaped regularly finds its way onto the floor.
When I think about the things that people do have to bend to pick up, I think that clothes get dropped on the floor all the time. A magazine or the television remote control probably gets dropped. Tupperware and Tupperware lids always seem to fall out of my cupboards onto the floor, but I don’t think that any of those are cones.
So why do occupational therapists have such a fascination with cones? I suppose I should be thankful for small favors that my family member is not stacking cones. We are still waiting for the OT to start teaching her how to get dressed and use the bathroom. How long should I wait before I ask?