Le vide dans leurs yeux… puis une petite étincelle

The emptiness in their eyes… then a little spark – Lexpress

health. The psychiatry unit at CHSLD Frederick George Heriot is second to none. People with a high cognitive disability who have lost their orientation live there. Every day, the dedicated staff do their best to revive a small spark in their trapped heads.

The look of a haggard, a woman approaching and expressing the pain in her chest; Moreover, another clearly shows her refusal not to touch her hand, while at the other end of the aisle, a cheerfully confused man tells his morning about the chores on the farm to an employee who extends her arms to him. Days pass by, but they are never the same in this loneliness where benevolence and anxiety and serenity and irritability and confusion intersect. During our visit, the atmosphere was much more relaxed than the previous hours. We have been warned about the unexpected behavior of users and asked not to intrude. For a rare time, we’ve had access to a floor of this CHSLD, because for the past few months, staff have been testing non-pharmacological interventions in order to allay the anxiety experienced by the majority of the 39 residents. This is done as part of a research project led by Vanessa Rondo Laffot, a master’s student in Nursing at the University of Sherbrooke as well as a nurse at CIUSSS de la Mauricie-et-du-Centre-du -Quebec.

“I wanted to conduct this study with the goal of improving the management of elderly anxiety with clients with neurocognitive disorders, because according to the literature, there is a higher incidence of anxiety in people with dementia. Because of their diagnosis, they have difficulty expressing their needs appropriately, which generates anxiety and finds themselves are unable to manifest unmet needs, so they fall into a vicious circle. Here, on the third north side, these are the people with significant neurocognitive impairment. Between 70% and 75% of users experience anxiety. For these reasons, I felt Really need to explore this unit, especially since the population is multiple and there is a kind of heterogeneity in the issues,” says Student.

To achieve convincing results, Ms. Rondo Laffaut first met with all of the unit’s staff to inform them of aging anxiety and then trained them in various methods. It also emphasizes the openness and good cooperation of all.

Music therapy, massage, aromatherapy and relaxation activities, here are the suggested interventions that aim to stimulate the users’ senses to eventually calm them down. Concretely, small radios and essential oil diffusers have been installed in many rooms and corridors with the consent of the caregivers.

Each user involved has their own USB key which contains their favorite music and songs. For the trails, the radio plays the sounds of nature; The other music is more rhythm to the taste of the beneficiaries. Music therapy has been shown to reduce anxiety immediately, with several studies even proving long-term effects ranging from 12 to 24 weeks. As for diffusers, it’s the same principle, we went there according to everyone’s favorite scents. In addition to being soothing, it brings back memories,” she explains.

All staff also received training in hand massage.

“I was based on what was done in France, because they are very advanced in this. The training was necessary so that the staff knew how to recognize the user when he was particularly tired. They also learned some reflexology points. It has been observed that these therapies promote sleep while It clearly reduces anxiety.Finally, we also implemented some relaxation activities, such as yoga and breathing.The nurse who works at Sainte-Croix Hospital explains that it allows the user to get busy, so during this time, he does not think about his anxiety.

She was kind enough to explain two approaches to one of the residents. Somewhat suspicious at first, she managed to form a bond of trust by introducing him to music before she could massage his hand which he initially refused. It was calm and quiet and then he went to his room to have dinner.

A few minutes before that, a custodian gently approached a lady who was wandering the hall, and gently offered her to sing. All it took was a few words for the displaced woman’s blank face to light up and her eyes to water. Touching moment.

These are small and simple gestures, the effect of which can be great. This attention makes it possible to stop the past, forget about the future, and enjoy the present moment. Furthermore, the team has so far found that residents smile more and appear more relaxed.

“We notice good reactions among users: there are people who have never smiled and started to smile; others have begun to interact better with the staff. Sometimes, some dancing, it is nice to see in addition to the fact of movement, it prevents physical consequences. And what about times In which it is necessary to take care of hygiene!With music, it becomes easier, as many residents are more accommodating.Really, we see that users find a certain serenity.They manage to live in the present, because these people often ruminate, anticipate and talk about their past. In short, it completely changes the dynamics of the unit,” recounts Ms. Rondo Laffot, satisfied.

win time

And it’s not just the beneficiaries who benefit.

“According to the feedback received, I have noticed that employees have more pleasure at work, there is less stress, feel less helpless and job satisfaction improves. By being happier, employees are more inclined to find solutions to improve the quality of life, so that users are given happiness,” he notes. Master’s student.

If this project has prompted employees to adapt their ways of working, Ms. Rondo Laffot believes it is a winner, especially in the context of a labor shortage.

“For my project to be accepted, it must be easy to integrate, accessible to staff, and realistic in the care routine.

Marie-Pierre Melhout, Assistant Director of Seniors Independence Support, South Shore Housing Component at CIUSSS MCQ. (photo courtesy)

They are laid out, these are suggestions, nothing mandatory. However, what we note is that spending ten minutes with the user, for example, will reduce escalation of agitation and aggression that can last for a very long time. So in the end, there will definitely be time savings. Additionally, although this is not the primary goal of my approach, it can reduce the intake of antidepressants or any other type of medication.”

“Teams were very involved in the project, because it is interesting and applicable to the environment. We saw the effects quickly, even if it required a little reorganization,” says Marie-Pierre Melhout, Assistant Director of Seniors Independence Support, South Shore Housing Component at CIUSSS de la Mauricie-and-Centre-du-Québec .

Happy with these results, the latter indicates that the Foundation aims to implement the project elsewhere in the territory, which pleases Vanessa Rondeaux Laffot.

#emptiness #eyes #spark #Lexpress

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