This is a reflective journal regarding my placement experience while I was working at Berala Park. Berala Park is twenty-four hours nursing care that offers high quality services and care to clients of all ages. Additionally, Berala Park offers leisure and recreational activities. Berala Park services are categorized into three groups, which include health, lifestyle and activities (Berala on the Park, 2012). My stay at Berala Park lasted for twenty days.
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This presented a good opportunity for me to practice what I had learnt in class. This presented a good platform to integrate the therapeutic recreational activities in the workplace environment. This journal is based on the different learning objectives that I came up with, which were in line with the learning materials provided. These objectives were critical in assisting me gain practical skills.
- Identify the recreational activities that clients enjoy the most and their medical importance.
- The manner in which to get clients into participating in various recreational activities.
- Identify how to handle clients.
- Identify some of the occupational hazards and how they can be handled.
Berala on the Park is dedicated towards ensuring the provision of exceptional and compassionate care services to the aging members of the society. The organization has established its name as an institution in which caring begins, and life continues. Berala on the Park’s main objective is to deliver a viable, healthy, and comfortable living environment for the aged in the society. Furthermore, Berala on the Park aspires to provide a good environment that embraces that promotes freedom, peace, and individuality. It is aimed at gaining fresh ideas and insights into aged care in an effort to ensure the provision of the best quality care services (Berala on the Park, 2012).
The institution boasts of highly qualified and experienced staff. This ensures that the clients’ needs are sufficiently met. The nurses are dedicated to their work, and this ensures that the clients’ stay at the facility is a nice experience. This brings confidence and satisfaction to clients and his or her family. The institution has excellent activities designed to suit the demands of the clients. The various activities are programmed to ensure that residents have fun and enjoy themselves while at the facility. The Divisional Therapist has come up with activities, which meets the requirement of the various demands. The therapeutic activities are designed to facilitate social interaction and guarantee a sense of belonging to the residents.
Identifying the recreational activities and their medical importance
There were various therapeutic recreational activities that were implemented at Berala Park for the aged clients. They included gentle exercises during the morning hours; participation in different gaming activities, as well as participation in musical entertainment (Svensson, 1992). Apart from the routine activities that included physical activities, there was a lot of communication from the supervisor towards the clients.
This was critical especially before the clients were allowed to engage in any task. The physical exercises involved gentle routine manoeuvres. The exercises were encouraged to promote blood circulation among the aged clients. They also played a critical role in loosening stiff joints of the elderly clients especially after being followed with therapeutic massage (Pressley, 1997). During the physical exercise sessions, the clients had an opportunity to bond with others. This was an enjoyable moment for the supervisor and me.
For other activities, it was important to consult with the clients before deciding on which game to play. The other activities included live entertainment, morning music, reminiscence or reflection sessions such as nostalgia mornings and memory boxes, aromatherapy and art are other therapeutic activities that the majority of resident finds very important (Capezuti, Siegler & Mezey, 2008). Most clients liked music and dancing sessions.
In fact, most of them had a passion for jazz music. In addition, others preferred watching some programs on the television such as cartoon network and reality shows. It was important to listen to clients and incorporate their preferences in their daily programs. However, they were encouraged to participate in all activities. Nonetheless, a balance was to be struck to avoid dwelling on a single activity. These activities were important for clients as they promoted their cognitive and physical well-being (McGee, 2006).
Getting clients to participate in the various recreational activities
This was the most challenging part during my stay at the institution. The aged clients have different preferences when it comes to the choice of various activities (Steinhauser, et al, 2000). However, it was important to encourage them to participate in the various activities provided by the institution. In this regard, it took our efforts to get the consent of the clients regarding the activities that were best suited for them. The supervisors and the therapists did not have to force clients into participating in the various activities. Therefore, it was their duty to convince the clients on the importance of the activities until they were able to win them. This was done in a gentle and encouraging way.
Handling of the clients
Great care was to be observed while handling the clients. This was especially when relocating them from one place to another (Lesemann & Martin, 1993). Some of the clients used wheelchairs and needed assistance during movement. The support staff came in handy in facilitating the movement of the clients. Assisting the clients was done in a careful manner to avoid hurting them. My supervisors were instrumental in teaching me how to handle the clients and this gave me a great experience. The aged clients who were not confined to the wheelchairs were encouraged to make an effort to move on their own with little assistance from the support staff (Atkins, 2008).
Occupational hazards and how they were handled
Given that the old aged have a weak immune system, it was important to observe high standards of sanitation. The weak immune system predisposes the aged to infections (McCall, 1999). The institution’s environment was disinfected during the cleaning sessions. In addition, the surfaces that were used for medical procedures were sterilized. These measures were to ensure a clean environment for clients and staff (Stellman, 1998). The people who had direct contact with the clients had to observe high standards of cleanliness to avoid any incidences of contamination that could seriously affect the elderly clients (Daniels, 2004). Furthermore, there was isolation of patients with communicable illnesses such as flu. They were provided with specialized treatment to hasten their recovery.
Berala on the Park was critical in helping me practice what I had learnt in class. During my stay at the institution, I was able to achieve my learning objectives. I was also able to get hands on experience, which was vital for my career. I had the opportunity to relate to various clients and assist them in their recovery process. My special interaction with a client by the name Betty was worth noting. It gave me the necessary experience related to my career. This has given me the confidence to work with any client.
Atkins, C. (2008). The Alzheimer’s answer book: professional answers to more than 250 questions about Alzheimer’s and dementia. Naperville, Ill.: Sourcebooks.
Berala on the Park. (2012). About us. Web.
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Capezuti, L., Siegler, E.L., & Mezey, M.D. (2008). The encyclopedia of elder care: the comprehensive resource on geriatric and social care. New York: Springer Pub.
Daniels, R. (2004). Nursing fundamentals: caring & clinical decision making. Australia: Delmar Learning.
Lesemann, F., & Martin, C. (1993). Home-based care, the elderly, the family, and the welfare state: an international comparison. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.
McCall, J. B. (1999). Grief education for caregivers of the elderly. New York: Haworth Pastoral Press.
McGee, S. (2006). Recreational Activities for the Elderly. Web.
Pressley, R. (1997). Therapeutic recreation in an elderly persons care setting. Web.
Steinhauser, K.E., et al. (2000). Factors considered important at the end of life by patients, family, physicians and other care providers. Journal of the American Medical Association, 284, 2476-2482.
Stellman, J. M. (1998). [The body, health care, management and policy, tools and approaches] (4. ed.). Geneva: Internat. Labour Office.
Svensson, P. (1992). Health policy development for disadvantaged groups. Oslo, Norway: Scandinavian University Press.