I'm all too aware that I haven't blogged about the course by the Sensory Integration Network that I went on a couple of weeks ago. It's not an oversight on my part. Most of the time my posts are of 'the quick and dirty' variety, knocked up whilst I sup my first cup of tea. Hell, on a good day I can even manage to complete two and schedule one ahead for later so I can have a nifty lie-in on another day. What I learned on my course about sensory integration and older adults was so important that I want to write in a way that does it justice. Maybe over a few posts. It'll take a little time, a resource that seems to be in short supply at the moment. So you'll have to wait.
As a precursor to what I'm want to share please take a few moments to watch this video or read the article contained in this link. They're both from an old episode of the BBC's 'Horizon'. They make apparent the extent of the suffering that can come around when healthy working aged adults spend just a short time in a sensory deprived environment. Now I work with elderly people with dementia whose diet of sensory stimulants suffers not just from living in underwhelming environments but as a consequence of the physiological processes of ageing. A recent piece of work by Pinto found that 94% of older adults in a sample suffered at least one sensory deficit. And that's after adequately corrected sight and hearing loss were ignored for the purpose of this study!
A penny has dropped. Many of the people that I work with must suffer sensory deprivation day in day out at a level which is bewildering at the least but maybe more often and not frightening. Torturous in fact! No wonder they behave oddly, lash out and put themselves in situations of danger. The course was billed as 'life changing learning'. It certainly was. I feel that I would be negligent of me not to incorporate the teaching from the day into practice.