Wardipedia – 06. Animals

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Furry, fluffy, feathery, finny friends

Pets as therapy, companions, joy-bringers, motivators, exercisers, soothers…. Being with animals is one of the best, and simplest ways of improving hospital experience for everyone, and lots of wards are finding creative ways around the obstacles.

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Wardipedia – 27. Books

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The great escape “There is no friend as loyal as a book” – Ernest Hemingway Introduction Being on an acute ward is a great opportunity to catch up with reading, or embark on what could be a lifetime of reading pleasure. Although many patients, particularly soon after they have been admitted, are too distressed or disoriented […]

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Wardipedia – 28. Funny stuff

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The best therapy Introduction The good thing is that we don’t need to be Lenny Henry or Dawn French, to be able to improve our appreciation of humour. ‘Seeing funny’ can be learned. The key is to practice seeing funny, especially by noticing multiple layers of meaning. As well as noticing and enjoying humour and […]

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Wardipedia – 19. Gardening

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Green fingers, green socks Introduction Gardening offers a unique combination of physical, emotional, spiritual and sensory pleasures. Patients can spend a leisurely morning in the sun, pulling out a few weeds, or do a full day’s aerobic and horticultural workout in an allotment. And if there’s no sun or allotment, most wards now have access […]

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Wardipedia – 15. Sanctuaries

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Rooms that soothe not seclude Introduction Sensory rooms began as comforting and/or stimulating spaces for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities but, happily, are becoming increasingly popular for other patients needing a gentle, calming environment. And now that seclusion rooms are, fortunately, being phased out of most wards, sensory rooms are a much more […]

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Wardipedia – 68. Talking therapies

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Beyond CBT…. Introduction Talking therapies, psychologically minded staff, mentalising… all as essential as medication on inpatient wards. (And usually without the nasty side-effects often inflicted by medication.) A patient may be  continuing with their pre-hospital therapy or experiencing psychotherapeutic  relief, challenges and changes for the first time. Medication does wonders in knocking some symptoms on […]

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Wardipedia – 12. Mindfulness and silence

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  Introduction Restful, simple, clean, clear, full of possibilities. Devoid of anything nasty or painful because it’s pure space. Pure space, mindfulness, silence, meditation, yoga have become very trendy. And being an  inpatient is a great opportunity to learn and practice these extraordinarily effective ways of not just quieting the mind at that moment, but […]

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Wardipedia – 09. Engagement is the thing

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Time well spent Introduction More and more wards are moving away from the traditional, very passive (and generally disliked by patients!) practice of ‘observing’ patients as a primary way of trying to keep the ward safe. They feel that using the term and perfecting the practice of ‘engaging’ with patients is much more constructive, and […]

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Wardipedia – 08. Community meetings

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A meeting of minds Introduction Focus group, customer service forum, group therapy, democratic community meeting, therapeutic community meeting, trade/student union meeting. Meetings don’t come more complex than ward community meetings! The variety of names reflects both the multiple aims and also, perhaps, ambiguity about their purpose and value – eg therapeutic community meetings, ward  meetings, […]

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Wardipedia – 70. Comfort objects

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Touchy feely Introduction Cuddly toys, snuggly blankets, toys, photos, ornaments, clothing (eg fluffy dressing gowns), pillows…. Certain objects soothe, reassure and comfort us. They provide an emotional anchor to ‘feel good’ memories or associations, making us feel a little bit better in the here and now. Some of the classic features include soft, tactile, or […]

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