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!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Poster Presentation- World Congress on Active Ageing

I have just heard that my submission to present about my study visit to USC at the World Congress on Active Ageing in Glasgow has been accepted! I will be presenting a poster on Wed 15th August. Follow this link to the conference website. What a great opportunity to meet lots of interesting people, hear some great presentations and let people know about what I have learned. I'm delighted!
And the sun is shining....

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Reflecting and spreading the word

This is my third week back at work following my study visit to Los Angeles. I am busy preparing my report about my experiences and what I have learned. I aim to complete my report by the end of March. It will be available via the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) website and I will include it as a link from this blog- you won't miss it!

I also submitted a press release and this has been distributed by WCMT to various national, local and professional publications, so waiting to see if any of them contact me- keeping lipstick to hand at all times!

It is only a couple of weeks until 1st April and the start of the Blogging from A-Z Challenge- see the link at the right hand side of the page. I am trying to get some of my posts at least partly prepared and doing this is a great way of reflecting on what I learned.

Back at work I am reminded of just how busy the working day of an OT clinician is, especially working in a setting where there are hospital discharges to be arranged. It is a real challenge to work out how some of the concepts I have been covering in this blog can be put to good use for the benefit of older people. I find myself viewing situations differently, for example I am much more aware of the 'narrative' aspect of working with individuals, and find myself envisioning how a programme based on Lifestyle Redesign could improve outcomes for many of the patients I work with. The next challenge is how to transform this into reality.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Using Lent to achieve self-efficacy

In my first week back at work and home in the UK, I am finding myself reflecting on my experiences learning about Lifestyle Redesign,sometimes in unexpected ways. This post is a bit of a personal reflection on one of these.

For the last few years I have given up something for Lent- chocolate or alcohol for example- not as a penance in any way, but as a little exercise in being more mindful about my everyday routines (and in the case of alcohol, just to make sure I can!). It is interesting to see how little changes impact on daily life and how you have to plan and arrange things slightly differently. I have wanted to try giving up wheat before, but always decided to opt for something easier, I just love toast and pasta too much. However, I have always stuck to my resolve on the things I did give up.


This year though, I have finally done it and given up wheat for Lent- and so far so good. I felt able to do it this year because of my experience of being in LA, I roomed with someone who ate no white carbs at all- and decided to try to embrace that while I was there, at least at home. Also, I found there was such an emphasis on nutrition and healthy eating in many of the Lifestyle Redesign sessions I observed, not just the Weight Management Group, and I read the books by Kessler and Willett (see books tab at top of page) that I was primed with information and motivation and ready to make a change. In change theory terms I had moved beyond pre-contemplation and contemplation, through preparation and into action.

I was talking to someone at work about this and their response was "I can't give anything up for Lent, I haven't got any willpower", I was about to smugly reply that you just have to make your mind up to do it when I realised that actually, it is not as simple as that at all.

My previous experiences of giving things up successfully that were a bit of a challenge but not really very difficult, had shown me that I could be successful- building my sense of self-efficacy. I still would have found giving up wheat very difficult, but  found myself in a situation where there was a positive role model and an opportunity to try it out without committing for any length of time- an opportunity to take a calculated risk. I was armed with a lot of affirmative information. All these combined to give me enough of a sense of self-efficacy to believe I could make this change. A small personal experience of Lifestyle Redesign- and I'm feeling healthier as a result!