Lanre Babalola is a freelance moving and handling practitioner who practises in both community and acute settings. At M&HP 2016 she will lead a new workshop that considers the importance of touch as one of our working tools. The session is based on the concept that people with cognitive impairment respond more to touch.
‘Our intentions as practitioners are not bad and we are getting better at understanding what’s going on with dementia,’ she says, ‘more and more people are asking me about handling dementia and as an issue it’s growing in importance as we all live longer.’
Dementia is an umbrella term which describes a serious deterioration in mental functions, such as memory, language, orientation and judgement. As a result of the increasing numbers of people suffering with this disorder, around 800,000 in the UK, experts say the condition is the health and social care challenge of the 21st century and because of the UK’s ageing population means the numbers affected are set to soar.
‘Typical responses are: she’s agitated or he doesn’t want to use the equipment. Anxiety is a common trait with dementia and the emotions exhibited are often caused by anxiety. We see challenging behaviour resulting from what patients perceive is happening to them,’ Lanre explains.
Recognising the many issues which face moving and handling practitioners this event works to provide sessions that provide practical advice and information on assessment and insights into the best hands-on handling solutions. Lanre is working hard to bring new strategies to the session which will be real-life scenario-based and interactive. ‘It’s important to see people as individuals with a past that may affect how they see the equipment and experience of being handled. We need to consider them holistically,’ she concludes.