- learn about the conceptual framework Hodges' model. A tool that can help integrate HEALTH and SOCIAL CARE, INFORMATICS and EDUCATION. The model is situated, facilitates person-centredness, integrated - holistic care and reflective practice. A new site using Drupal is an ongoing aim - the creation of a reflective workbench. Email: h2cmng @ yahoo.co.uk Welcome

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Locating the Spiritual in Care: (very big) Plantpots vs Green Windows

Last summer, July 13 2011 to be precise, the cover of RCN bulletin #278 declared 'Prioritise spirituality'.

I am not a religious person, but quite a spiritual one (I think). This RCN news item reported Professor in Dignity of Care for Older People at Staffordshire University, Wilf McSherry's views on spirituality. It is central across health and social care, (it is also vital in terms of cultural and spiritual literacy):

The practice of spiritual and religious care is about meeting people at the point of deepest need,' Professor McSherry said. 'It's not just about religious practices but preserving dignity'.
Also in that month, the 30th in The Times (page 19):
'Sacred forests bear witness to religion's unsung role in fostering a rich variety of life'.

This news concerned the extent of religious forests, with a project by scientists in Oxford to create a global map of forests under religious ownership and control. Now under the guardianship (whether intended or not) such forests have assumed importance as examples of biodiversity. Ruth Gledhill writes: From the Garden of Eden to Avatar, sacred groves have been central to religion and myth ... between 8 and 15 per cent of the world's land is regarded as sacred or religious.

With many remaining exceptions places of care have changed remarkably over the past 30-40 years. There remain many residential and nursing homes that prove challenging for health care professionals (I know they have told me over several years), never mind the residents and their carers. Challenging in the spiritual sense of the surroundings. I posted in 2010 about the wail of call systems. Visually though we must ask: how green is that care home?

Count - plants real [3]* : artificial [13]#
This isn't just the colour of walls and use of curves to soften the environment, but access to outside, to grass, to trees and flowers. The benefits of real plants in the office environment are well established.  Being able to see a green vista greatly improves employee productivity and well-being. For those people in care what is the view outside their window, the lounge(s), the dining room? How can it be improved? For those essentially bed-bound can the furniture and bed be moved around periodically to achieve a new perspective?

It is still upsetting to see that those physically less capable of reaching the outdoors are elevated to first and second floors. Even with positive spiritual acuity of staff (the outdoors matters to all) readiness to hand and soul - a sideways glance through a window, the sound of rustling leaves through an open window - can make a huge difference:

Spirituality, dignity and respect. ...

*And in need of water. #Five over-watered.

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