Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Academia Revisited

Yippee!  With about an hour's work under my belt in completing an application form, I have effectively 'won'  over three months take home salary, £7,335 to be exact. As an antidote to feeling like I was stuck in a rut as far as my work life went,  I applied for funding  to do a Masters degree in Advanced Occupational Therapy. These days, outside help to do this is as rare as rocking horse droppings. But  Fandabidozi, as those Krankies would say, I got it!  The course that I'm applying for starts in April so it means that I have something really worthwhile to get my teeth into during my extended period of sick leave which starts next week.  That's aside from making sure that a poorly knee gets totally and utterly better of course.

The award was on the back of coming up with a project to benefit the elderly that will form the research  part of the course.  I've been playing with an idea that I've wanted to explore further for some time now.  Until this came up I didn't quite know how I was going to do that.

In the main, medication isn't really effective in reducing agitation, aggression and distress in people with advanced dementia without causing more problems than it solves. What does the trick is getting the physical and social environment just right for the particular individual involved.  I want to see if it's possible to assess how a person with dementia is under or over stimulated by sensory input from the world around them and explore ways in which balance might be restored.   My hunch is that if you can achieve this there could be a significant increase in  overall well-being for this group of people who no longer have the wherewithal to take control themselves.  I would love it if I could come up with something truly groundbreaking that has the potential to make a real difference.  Not a bad dream eh?

So, this means  my  move out of  NHS employment  in 2015 will now be delayed for at least a year.  But hey! Sometimes in any area of our lives, unexpected opportunities come up that are just too good to miss. What seem like the best laid plans of mice or men (squeak!) then have to be brushed aside.   This is one of those cases where it would be churlish not to change tack for at least a while.

4 comments:

  1. Congratulations, that's fantastic! As you say, sometimes an opportunity comes up that changes plans but you just have to grab them when they appear.

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  2. How organised you are to have things to do during your recuperation so well done.
    I am going to have a prolonged time off at some point too due to having a heart valve replaced but am not certain that I will be able to do much for a while eg not even filling the kettle so dont think I could be as organised as you. Am trying to keep as fit as I can beforehand so hopefully recovery will be quicker. Guess I will have to make sure I have plenty of books and catch up tv to keep me sane!!
    Hope your op goes well.

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  3. Wonderful news!When I read about your research, it brought to mind the dementia strategy in Denmark, which I heard about on the radio:

    http://www.cbc.ca/thesundayedition/shows/2012/11/14/redefining-dementia-in-denmark/

    (audio recording)

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  4. To get a grant is wonderful, well done you! I am pleased about your area of study too.

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