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