This blog began as a journal of a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travel Award visit to the USA to study how Lifestyle Redesign could be used in Occupational Therapy to improve the hospital/home interface for older people. It has continued to record developments and inspiration gained from that experience since returning from Los Angeles early in 2012.

3 Reasons to follow this blog...

Be Inspired-
WCMT travel awards are open to all British citizens

Be Involved- learn about Lifestyle Redesign programs and contribute to the discussion about the potential of this approach.

Be Information Technology savvy- just learning how blogs work is a new skill for many of us!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

What the study visit is about...

As an Occupational Therapist (OT) working with older people in hospital, I am aware of the challenge of the ageing population.
Lifestyle Redesign, an innovative approach developed in the USA, has produced convincing evidence that occupational therapy can provide sustained, cost effective improvements in the health and wellbeing of older people. I had read about it and heard Professor Clark speak at the the College of Occupational Therapists conference last year. I applied for a WCMT award (see first post) to allow me to travel to the US to study the approach in detail and was very fortunate to be successful
I have been in contact with the research team at University of Southern California (USC); this has helped guide my preparatory reading. I will formulate specific queries that will allow me to achieve the aims of my project. We will discuss and agree a programme that will give me the opportunity for a range of experiences. I expect these to include ‘hands on’ within the projects, discussion with Prof. Clark, the research team, the Occupational Therapists delivering the programme and the clients themselves.

I envisage that main beneficiaries of my experience will be:

• Older people who receive effective services that put them in control of their own lives.
• Occupational therapy staff who gain greater job satisfaction from using their unique skills more effectively.
• My employer through more effective, sustainable results and so better value for money from the OT service.
• Occupational Therapists working with older people nationally through sharing of my learning via the Specialist Section for Older People.
• Myself through renewed commitment and enthusiasm and a greater understanding of the potential that I and my profession have to improve the lives of older people.



  1. Hi Ebby

    What a fantastic thing to do - I am envious!
    I learnt about lifestyle redesign through a postgrad occupational science paper I did here in New Zealand. I think it is a wonderful intervention and would love to see it implemented here. I work in a day hospital for older people with mental health problems and as part of my role I run a Wellness Group. I recently reviewed this trying to incorporate ideas/principles from lifestyle redesign, but this is very limited as the group only runs for 6 weeks, rather than 9 months like lifestyle redesign!

    Thank you for sharing your learning in this way - I look forward to hearing more!

    Laura, Christchurch, New Zealand

  2. Hi Laura,
    Thanks very much for your comment, it's the first I have received. Now I feel I'm not alone in cyberspace!
    I'd be really interested to hear how you managed to overcome (or not) the problems of having your clients for only a short time when trying to use some of the Lifestyle Redesign principles. I expect that this will be an issue I will need to try to address.

  3. Really interested to hear how you got on with this. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
    Would love to hear about the benefits (and challenges) you face with implementing the ideas on your return.

  4. Hi Kirsty, Thanks for your interest, I will be posting regularly on this blog to keep a record of my experiences. I am expecting there to be many benefits, but just as many challenges! As part of my committment to the WCMT I have to prepare a report once I return, this will be available via the WCMT website.