At Kent Occupational Therapy we are committed to providing an outstanding service to the people we work with.
We are State Registered Occupational Therapists with extensive experience working with older adults and, in particular, those with memory difficulties including dementia and Alzheimers disease.
We believe that everyone has potential, whatever their individual situation.
We continually work towards enabling those we work with to create positive change and to live fulfilling lives in the environment in which they live.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapists use activity to treat people. We are health care professionals who help people of all ages to carry out tasks they want or need to do.
"Activity is essential for human existence, health and well-being. It has the potential to restore, maintain and improve physical and mental health." (Benchmarking Good Practice in Care Homes. College of Occupational Therapist 2007)
Illness, ageing or disability can present challenges which make achieving everyday tasks more difficult. These activities can include any aspect of daily living from getting up in the morning to preparing a meal, or simply continuing with a favourite hobby.
Occupational Therapists may suggest techniques, strategies or aids and equipment to help improve or maintain health, well-being and independence.
How can we help you?
Occupational Therapy Process
- We will arrange to meet and have a chat with you. It is often helpful to have a family member or friend with you during the first meeting when we gather information about your situation. We will also discuss our costs and terms.
- Together we will decide how Occupational Therapy can help you, specifically planning to your requirements. The work that we do with you may be on a one to one basis or within a group. We can liaise with anyone involved in your care, and with your permission we will forward reports to your doctor.
- We will review the work that we are carrying out with you on a regular basis.
- When our work with you is complete we will offer a closing meeting which is an opportunity to discuss and to review.
Occupational Therapy Services Offered
Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Assessment
In this assessment we look together at your day to day functioning and level of independence in your own environment.
The following are areas that we may look at:
- Washing and/or dressing
- Eating and/or drinking
- Getting in and/or out of bed
- Getting on and/or off a chair or toilet
- Maintaining sitting position in a chair
- Moving around indoors and/or outdoors
- Memory, concentration and thinking
- Low mood or lacking in motivation
The impact of any social, medical, environmental, and risk factors will be taken into account during the assessment.
We will write a report and recommendations will be discussed with you. With your permission we will forward reports to your doctor.
Cognitive Stimulation Therapy Group (CST)
CST is an evidence-based group treatment for people with mild to moderate dementia. It involves stimulating, themed activities. It runs for 12 sessions. A large clinical trial showed that CST led to significant benefits in cognition(e.g memory and orientation) and quality of life for people with dementia. Cognitive benefits are comparable to those obtained by medication for dementia. CST is cost-effective.
The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE, 2007) now recommend that "People with mild / moderate dementia of all types should be given the opportunity to participate in a structured group cognitive stimulation program."
Reminiscence Group Programme
The Reminiscence Group programme has been designed and written by us and draws upon our experience of working with older adults.
As Occupational therapist we assess, treat and monitor through graded and purposeful activity. The group incorporates discussion, practical and multi-sensory activities into each session.
The programme covers experiences which are shared by those who attend the group and incorporates topical events and news, which ensures that the group is relevant and current, as well as reflective.
During the group process information about residents’ past experiences, pleasures, talents and skills is gathered. This unique information can be used to enrich and enhance relationships between both other residents and staff.
Reminiscence groups are well evidenced as being therapeutically valuable when working with older people.
Graded Activity Sessions
The benefit of engaging in meaningful activity positively affects a person's physical and mental wellbeing.
As Occupational Therapists we are trained to assess, monitor and treat through the use of activity as a therapeutic tool.
Activities are chosen to reflect a person's interests (current or past) and will be meaningful to that individual.
All activities can be either on a one to one basis or within a group.
Sometimes Occupational Therapists help a person record their life story or use reminiscence activities, both of which have been well evidenced as positive therapeutic tools when working with older people.
Environment Matters Report
In this report we will document practical advice on the safe and therapeutic use of both the internal and external environment.
General principles, and particular advice will be provided in the following areas:
This service will involve an on site assessment and discussion on how areas within the home are used. We then produce a report, "Environment Matters" which will include recommendations and advice.
Lifestyle Matters Group
Lifestyle Matters group promotes active and healthy ageing and is recommended in the NICE guidelines. "regular group sessions... to help to maintain or improve their health and well-being"
This group supports older people in examining their lifestyles and daily activities. It looks at the link between activity and well-being and aims to increase engagement in meaningful activity. By making small positive changes older people can acheive improved health, function and quality of life. The group focuses on older people who find it difficult to engage in activity due to a range of issues including; anxiety, low mood, low self esteem or reduced mobility.
The group is a 12 week programme and is tailored to cater for the needs/interests of those who attend it. There is a choice of topics and these may include the following: activity and health; keeping mentally/physically active; organising time; energy and activity; goal setting; sleep as an activity; and interests and pastimes. The group aims to equip older people with skills and strategies to enable them to independently engage in activity after the group which will result in a positive impact on their health and well being.
Caring for Carers (Transition and Adjustment)
When circumstances change, adjustments to one's life are made. Times of transition, such as a loved one going into full time care, or the loss of a partner can be a very worrying and distressing time. Adjustments have to be made and new life skills may need to be learnt.
Sometimes it is helpful to be able to talk through your feelings and concerns, and also get some practical advice and support. We can offer individual transition and adjustment work or group sessions for those who find themselves in a similar situation.
One of the key messages in the Department of Health National Dementia Strategy is the need for better education and training for carers. We can offer Activities In Care Training for those caring for older people in residential settings. Our training programme includes the following :
- Why meaningful activity is so important
- The importance of roles and independence
- How activities can be planned, delivered and evaluated
- Providing and adapting activities for people with dementia
Training progammes aim to offer practioners and carers opportunities to build on knowledge and skills to help overcome problems and to improve the health and well-being of those they are caring for.
The following comments have been given to us spontaneously at the end of group sessions by those who have attended.
The group is the highlight of my week! (Mrs K)
It is such a shame when the session ends. It goes too quickly (Mrs S)
So much work has gone into the group. It is so well researched (Mrs M)
You are tapping in to a vanishing world (Mr G)
I forgot the group was on, but when I was reminded by the staff, I have never got dressed so quickly- I didn't want to miss any of it! (Mrs N)
I have been feeling really low and coming to the group has really cheered me up this morning (Mrs N)
I enjoy looking forward to it (Mrs N)
I had a bad start today but attending the group has put me back on track again (Mrs R)
I love these mornings. I look forward to coming, I have fun, and learn something new and everyone is so nice. (Mrs J)
I always enjoy the sessions. It is good for me to aim for something. (Mr J)
I spend my whole week looking forward to the next week when I see you again in the group. (Mrs E)
I love the company of the group (Mrs K)
That was another good session this morning (Mr J)
The girls are so lovely, so kind and understanding. (Mrs M)
I normally stay in my room but this is something that I'll come down for (Mrs S)
I could talk in the group for hours. It is always very good (Mr J)
The group makes me think. It is surprising what I can remember. (Mr G)
I remember things that I thought I had forgotten. The Reminiscence group is the best way of keeping your mind going (Mr G)
When your independence is taken away from you, it is marvelous to be able to use your brain by coming to a group like this (Mrs S)