Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds

Dr Zoe Wyrko is a Consultant physician at University Hospital Birmingham and is the Director of Workforce for the BGS. In this blog she discusses the recent Channel 4 programme in which she appeared, Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds. She tweets @geri_baby

I’ve always had a soft spot for care homes. As a child I would occasionally go into work with my Mum and meet some of the old ladies she talked about. When I was older I started work in the same nursing home as a kitchen girl on Saturdays, and then later progressed to health care assistant. I remain proud of my training record from that time, showing I am competent to deliver personal care, clean dentures and cut nails.

This is why I was excited when an approach came from CPL productions, who were looking for geriatricians to be involved with a television programme they wanted to make about introducing children to a care home environment. Continue reading

Selfie with a centenarian!

Esther Clift is a Consultant Practitioner Trainee in Frailty, and Vice Chair of the BGS nurses and AHP Council. She is undertaking a Doctorate in Clinical Practice at Southampton University on the uptake of exercise by older people. She was inspired by an interview with Dr Frankland on the Today Programme, and went to ask him about his own use of exercise.

‘I just think he should have told me, I’m not stupid!’ – Dr AW Frankland reflects on his introduction to Strength and Balance exercises.

Dr AW Frankland was born the year the Titanic sank, and started medical school in Oxford when Stanley Baldwin was Prime Minister. He was supervised by Sir Alexander Fleming at St Marys and is described as the ‘grandfather of allergy research’. His daily hour long supervisions with Fleming never included discussing patients – ‘he was a pure scientist, who wanted to talk about science.’ Continue reading

Multi-Professional Healthcare… It’s In The Name!

Cliff Kilgore is a Consultant Nurse for Intermediate Care and Older People within Dorset Healthcare NHS Trust and he is also a Visiting Fellow to Bournemouth University. He is Chair of the BGS Nurses and Allied Healthcare Professionals Council. He also is a member of the BGS Clinical Quality Steering Group. He tweets @kilgore_cliff

As the BGS celebrates 70 years of improving health care for older people, I thought it would be helpful to consider one of the reasons it has been so successful…

There are many of course that have had influence on older people’s wellbeing. I don’t claim that the BGS is the only organisation that is striving to bring excellence to older peoples’ health care, but I do feel that by its nature, the BGS does capture something of the real life working of a multi-professional team, which is the spine of caring for any older person. I have always been a strong advocate for ‘real world’ practice, whether considering research or organisational structure. Real world practice is how many front-line clinicians describe what happens when they see patients. Continue reading

Urgent Care: The Value of Occupational Therapy

otKarin Orman is Professional Practice Manager at the College of Occupational Therapists

The College of Occupational Therapists published a report on the value of occupational therapy across urgent care at the start of Occupational Therapy Week in November. The report argues that urgent care is a term that encompasses a wide range of services and settings from primary care to care homes. Traditionally occupational therapists have been commissioned to work in secondary services but increasingly the profession is developing roles within primary care and with non-statutory providers such as housing associations offering timely, short term interventions that reduce or delay the need for more complex support and packages of care.

Continue reading

What I do is who I am – the importance of activity in care homes

Lorraine Bridges is the Senior Communications Manager at the College of Occupational Therapists. She tweets at @L_BridgesLivingWellThroughAcitivityinCareHomesToolkit

Occupational therapists help people to carry out essential occupations – the activities that make up our daily lives – from washing and dressing, the weekly shop, visiting friends and all the things we enjoy in life.  For older people occupations are vital for health, social inclusion, and mental wellbeing, but become more difficult due to increasing frailty. Geriatricians will be all too familiar with the serious risks of immobility.

The College of Occupational Therapists, like the British Geriatrics Society, firmly believes in equal access to health and social care and developed the Living Well Through Activity in Care Homes Toolkit to ensure that people living in care homes have the same access to occupational therapy as those living in their own home.  The resource is part of the College’s wider aim to champion dignity, choice, respect and control for older people, recognising occupational therapists’ unique skills in enabling occupation and understanding how dementia, co-morbidities, and other factors such as poor vision, impact on activity participation. Continue reading

Care homes for older people and access to outdoor mobility and spaces

Amanda King is an Occupational Therapist currently working in Nottingham, UK and tweeting at @Alk768.  She has used a recent Masters in Research Methods to investigate rehabilitation in the context of outdoor mobility for care home residents. Here she describes her research journey to date.shutterstock_958782

I am an NHS Occupational Therapist working in a multi-disciplinary service which provides physical rehabilitation to promote the functional recovery, well-being and independence of older people living in the community. One of the reasons I chose to work with older people, once qualified, was due to spending time in care homes as an undergraduate student. I developed a project, Care Homes Activities Team (CHAT), which involved persuading twenty six occupational therapy students to volunteer to design and deliver a range of activities to the residents of six different care homes, over a period of three months. This experience allowed us to develop our activity provision skills and promote occupational therapy in care homes. It also provided valuable additional resources to the care homes whose staff and residents were very appreciative of the time and energy given by the students.   Continue reading