Developing effective communication in health and social care
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The service user that I plan to have a one-to-one interaction will in Majella. I am going to be a care worker working at a local day centre. Majella attends this particular day centre three times a week; I am planning on having a one-to-one interaction with this service user for reminiscence therapy. Majella has very little memory and therefore this type of therapy would be the most appropriate in order for her to try and reconstruct her memory of the past.
This, in return should help Majella to communicate more effectively with not only care workers, but also her family and other service users she may wish to communicate socially with. The fact that Majella has very little memory means this type of therapy would be most appropriate for her. It can be very useful and helpful. Reminiscence will provide a way for Majella to interact socially and conversationally based on her long term memory. This means her long term memory is acting as a facilitator. Reminiscence groups can be done easily and each topic is easy to plan and put into practise.
I can get videos of old fields and old loved film stars may revive memories for Majella, for example. When using reminiscing therapy with Majella I should remember that everyone reminisces and for elderly service users such as Majella, memories mean so much more. Reviving Majella’s memory and making her happy is a positive thing to do in therapy. Also, like all parts of our bodies, the brain needs to keep functioning to the optimum level it is capable of and reaching into Majella’s long term memory will make her feel happy and will provide a time of enjoyment for both Majella and I.
Majella having very little memory could lead to her feeling confused, vulnerable and less confident then other service users may be. However, memories from previous years will often remain in service users like Majella’s mind, and will be not only intact but also quite detailed; sometimes they just need to be recalled. By recalling these memories it can be quite therapeutic and enjoyable for Majella. Reminiscence therapy will allow the service user the opportunity to meet as a group or one-to-one interactions and share stories and exchange experiences they may have had.
This is helping the service user to be more sociable and will aid them to recall that they have had a full and happy life, and that they should not let their memory affect this. By actively being involved in reminiscence therapy this can enhance Majella’s self-esteem and help her to make a valuable connection between her past memories and her current lifestyle. This type of therapy also has the potential to help resolve and make sense of events that she may have encountered in her past experience. Such things can bring lots of emotions for Majella and I should be prepared for this.
Reminiscence refers to the recollection of memories from the past, that will be familiar to service users and beneficial towards other such as Majella. It involved exchanging memories with other young and elderly service users, or with care workers passing on information, wisdom and important skills. It is a form of therapy which has been known to be extremely useful when helped aid service users with memory problems; it provides way for the service user to communicate effectively about things they do remember.
Reminiscence therapies are used frequently within care settings, such as residential homes like the one Majella is attending. A variety of different mediums are able to assist the act of recalling and retaining information. One strategy that can help service users such as Majella to recall information is visual. This can be by looking at past photos such as her wedding day – this could trigger happy memories for Majella, as she will remember what she felt like that day and how pleased she was. I could also look at objects that have autobiographical meaning with Majella and we could discuss the story behind them.
This would give her a chance to tell me exactly what she can and cannot remember. We could also look at pictures of her friends and family and see if she can remember the time these pictures were taken and where. This may help her to recall the names of people that she would have otherwise forgotten. Even hair and make-up styles that were around when Majella was younger can help her recall information. She may remember having that hairstyle and then remember something she did when having that hairstyle that she may have forgotten before.
Music can also help service users like Majella recall information. I could put familiar tunes for the radio station and she may have a memory of something she was once doing when this song was played. Also, we could look at different CD’s off different genres and generations. The service user may remember liking one of the singers very much. These sorts of memories would have a positive effect on Majella because she will reminisce about her younger days. Smelling and tasting certain things can also help recall information.
This can be tasting different foods, perhaps ones she liked when she was younger or smelling the scents of candles. Many older service users like Majella have memories of happy events that are associated with smells. For example, the smell of the first perfume bottle the service user was ever given or bought. Finally touching different objects can help Majella to recall certain information. For example, she may touch something and not know what it is but remember touching something like that before. I can also encourage her to feel the texture of something as this could have the same affect.