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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Be Inspired-
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Wednesday, 4 April 2012

D- is for Design

The Design of the original Well Elderly occupational therapy programme (more to follow tomorrow) means that the concepts can be useful to any occupational therapist in any area of practice:

‘It will refine your understanding of occupational storytelling, occupational story making and occupational self analysis and assist you in showing clients how to walk through this process’ (Mandel et al 1999- see books tab at top of page).

A great deal of conceptual preparation contributed to the design of the original trial. A pilot study looking at the adaptive strategies of older people living in the community was carried out (wait for J!). The process of ‘occupational self analysis’ was developed by Dr Clark working with a class with University of Southern California students (might do this for O!). A local pilot study was completed to identify the particular concerns of the population of older people who were to take part in the trial. The pilot study threw up some areas of concern that are commonly addressed in occupational therapy such as basic activities of daily living. Other areas were unexpected, such as adaptation to a multicultural environment.

Occupational therapists wishing to implement a similar programme would not need to go through this whole process, but it is strongly recommended that a detailed needs evaluation is carried out to make sure the intervention design is sensitive to client needs.

The ‘manual’ referenced above remains the starting point for anyone interested in learning about Lifestyle Redesign®. It gives further references and information so that practitioners can be fully informed when looking at designing their own programmes.

Following my study visit to USC, I am looking at how the concept can be redesigned with older people at the hospital/home interface in mind. I will not go into this in detail today but will continue to share my experiences and progress through this blog.

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