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I am part of the therapy team at Beaumont College, Scope, in Lancaster. We offer education and support to young adults with complex physical disabilities and learning difficulties.
The college seeks to maximise the students’ potential through varied activities. I am establishing an acupressure service at the college with the aim of helping reduce pain, anxiety, spasm, aid relaxation and improve sleep. I will be using acupressure rather than acupuncture.
I would be grateful to hear from physiotherapists who have used acupuncture or acupressure with young adults who have cerebral palsy and other physical impairments or learning difficulties. It would be interesting to learn of any points that have being effective for particular conditions such as hip pain, muscle spasm and digestion discomfort. I look forward to your comments and thoughts. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Helen May, Beaumont College
Mind your language
Dementia is a complex physical condition and is the biggest health and social care issue we face locally, nationally and globally. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, 850,000 people in the UK have the diagnosis in the UK. But this figure does not take into account the millions of people in families and care support networks who are also affected.
People with dementia and their families and carers experience the direct effects of stigma. Stigma perpetuates myths and fears, and can prevent people and families from seeking a diagnosis and input due to feelings of hopelessness.
Delegates at the Annual Representative Conference in March called on the CSP to back a campaign to improve the language used in the field of dementia. The campaign is run by the UK-wide Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project (DEEP). See here for more information.
The language we use can stigmatise and disempower. For example, rather than ‘victim’ or ‘sufferer’, we should simply say ‘a person with dementia’. Terms such as ‘senile’, ‘doolally’, ‘lost’ are disrespectful and should be not be used.
Physiotherapists are in a position to challenge the use of stigmatising and negative stereotypes in a respectful manner.
We should promote the use of positive and enabling language, which will, in turn, help healthcare teams to change their thinking and start seeing potential rather than loss when considering an individual living with dementia.
- Nick Johnson, team lead, dementia care advisory team, Angelton Clinic, Glanrhyd Hospital, Bridgend
Jenny Nissler, a CSP professional adviser, responds: The CSP is currently consulting with Nick Johnson on behalf of the Welsh Board, which proposed the motion at the Annual Representative Conference. It is also consulting with representatives from the CSP professional networks for mental health and older people, about the potential endorsement of the DEEP campaign.
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