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.

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Thursday, 26 January 2012

Reviewing the aims of the study visit

I am now almost at the end of week 3 of my 8 week visit so wanted to check that I am on track with the aims.

  • To learn about the Lifestyle Redesign model first hand and in depth. 
I am certainly having every opportunity to learn through attending the first 8 weeks of the 2nd Year Masters Level Lifestyle Redesign class and completing the coursework and reading for it. Also through my attendance at the research and intervener meetings for the Pressure Ulcer Prevention Study (PUPS), participating in the first 8 weeks of the weight  management group and all the other meetings and discussions I am able to have with research and clinical staff, students in both the Lifestyle Redesign and  Communication Skills classes and clients themselves.
  • To study and develop my understanding of how the model can be applied in the context of the interface between hospital and home.
I have now visited the Keck Hospital to meet the OTs and have also spent a day with one of the OTs in clinical practice there (blog post to follow!). I intend to expand on this by spending some time if possible with OTs in some other areas of clinical practice in the main hospital and in a Primary Care setting. I will also be able to make links based on the principles that I am learning more about in all the experiences I am engaged in.
  • To explore the relevance of this model to my own area of work. Key issues are the translation from an urban, culturally diverse setting to a rural and less diverse region.
The issue of  translating from urban to rural in my mind had been largely to do with transport difficulties, not wanting therapists to be spending long periods driving, lack of public transport etc. In fact wider LA covers a huge area, is one of the most difficult and time consuming cities to get around by car and public transport is not well developed, so there is less difference than I expected. 
The cultural issues are different, but Lifestyle Redesign is showing itself to be very adaptable and applicable to a wide range of client groups, so again I think this will not be too much of an issue.
  • To make links with current policy documents such as Shifting the Balance of Care and Reshaping Services for Older People (Scottish Government) that make clear the need for a new approach to services for older people.
I hope to more clearly reflect this in the latter part of my time here, but the link is becoming clearer the more I learn. I would be very interested to hear people's views on this based on what they are reading on this blog.
  • To identify how occupational therapy services in my own area of work could deliver the most beneficial and cost effective interventions.
As for the previous aim, I am beginning to speculate on various possibilities for using this approach and hoping to have a meeting soon with an OT working in the Gerontoolgy Dept at the University.
  • To prepare a discussion document for the development of occupational therapy services for older people in my region based on the learning from my visit.
To be completed soon after my return to the UK.
  • To develop my own practice with individual patients based on my learning.
I have no doubt that all that I am learning will have a positive impact on my practice.

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