Tuesday, 8 December 2015

A Happy Accident

For the first time in ages I'm enjoying work.  It's probably because I'm just doing my own job with working remote technology instead of covering two caseloads over a unfeasibly large area with a distinctly flaky laptop that was in serious danger of being hurled out of a window.  And I wondered why I was knackered and stressed!

It turns out that when I've got the energy I focus on occupational therapy voluntarily in my own time for fun. What a geek!  I'm reading in the evenings to enhance my understanding about how sensory treatment can be used instead of, or alongside drugs to alleviate distress and promote the well-being for people with dementia. Jolly fascinating it is too.  A colleague is getting great results. It's early days but I'm dead excited. I'm also heavily involved in piloting a research project to help my profession develop its evidence base.  Most people thinks that making  links between what people do and their well-being is good common sense but there's not enough proof of that in the academic journals. This potentially huge study hopes to help rectify that.

So, I'm off to support the Prof running the second of three workshops today.  The first was brilliant and offered lots of food for thought as well as a catch up with some lovely people that I hadn't seen for ages.  Somewhere during the proceeding I must have got excited and unintentionally took a photo on my phone of the contents of my bag.  I rather pleased with its textural stripiness!

5 comments:

  1. You should perhaps try reading "Being Mortal" by Atul Gawande. It talks about the importance of maintaining as much of the normal activity in people's lives as possible, even at end of life, to promote their mental and physical wellbeing. I found it absolutely fascinating, if a little sad as I couldn't help thinking about my mothers recent death. She had developed vascular dementia which worsened at an alarming rate. Her care was hugely varied :(

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    1. Sounds like one to add to the reading list. Thanks

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  2. My Mum has advanced vascular dementia and while she is on a drug for agitation already, in the last few months I've got her various things to help. The best of all is a CD player and wartime CDs. While she can't say much she sings snatches of these old songs, sometimes just mouthing the words. They calm her, too. I have the bonus of them bringing back lovely memories of her singing those songs to me and I feel closer to her as a result. I got a essential oil diffuser that has a light which changes colour, which she takes note of. As she loves baby boys, I got her a realistic baby boy doll and when she named him, I knew her mind was in her late teens because of the baby she was looking after then. Another time he was my oldest brother. Then I got some sensory lighting, fibre optic strands that change colour and can be handled. We watch the colours change and she holds the bunch of strands. Before that I got a tree shaped lamp that has colour changing balls on it. I changed her curtains to a design she would like and she does comment on them, as she does the flowers I take her. Next on the list is a wind up, singing bird in a cage, and a chick to hold in the hand which vibrates and chirps. I'm visiting today while the Gold Framework Standard inspector is there; they already have a "commend". What makes me sad is that I didn't know about the value of these things before, an also the fact that not everyone can afford these things, thankfully Mum and we could.

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    1. Sorry, meant to add: I hope your efforts to quantify and prove the results of sensory treatment will help relatives and friends of dementia sufferers to improve qhe manager of my mum's home was so impressed with the aromatherapy diffuser/lamp that she is getting one for the residents in general.

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    2. Thanks for sharing this. I am very touched that you have. I have just spent the day with other OTs again who are really excited about the potential that can come about by extending our knowledge in this area. I'll keep you posted. x

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