Belinda regained her strength
British Occupational Therapist, Gill Creighton, shares how the use of VENDLET has given a client with dementia her strenght back after a long period of complete immobility.
27. October 2017
Belinda was 73 years old, and lived in a large house on the edge of a small village. She was supported by a full time live in carer, a part time live in carer/companion, a gardener/handyman and her lawyer who was a lifelong family friend. She had deteriorating dementia, but physically, although frail she was able to manage the stairs and all transfers with minimal assistance.
She developed stomach pains and was admitted to hospital, where she was cared for in bed for approx. 6 weeks. On her return home she was transferred into her bed in a light, spacious room with an en-suite and good view of the extensive garden. She did not initiate any movement and objected to carers touching her and handling her to turn her onto her side to complete personal care tasks. She would scream and be verbally aggressive as soon as she was touched. Her memory had also become extremely poor and she had become increasingly confused, and could not recognise people who she had only seen minutes earlier.
Carers were finding it increasingly difficult to manage her. It was impossible to use hoisted transfers as she would not tolerate a sling being inserted under her, so the decision was made that she should be cared for in bed. During the day she could sit up and see out of the windows and a carer was always available to assist her as required. An in-situ slide sheet system was considered, but this would still involve more physical contact than Belinda was prepared to tolerate, so an assessment with the VENDLET positioning system was completed.
As the room was large enough, it was possible to set the system up on another bed and complete a side transfer. Although Belinda still objected to personal care tasks being completed, she was able to have fewer carers attending her and less hands-on rolling, which was very beneficial for all concerned. Care was quicker, easier and less stressful for all involved.
All went well for approximately 3months. Then the live-in carer called the OT and reported that Belinda was being very difficult again and was objecting to being moved on the bed with the VENDLET, please could the situation be reviewed? Belinda had started initiating movement and manoeuvring on the bed independently. The Vendlet system was removed and a Wendylet system was put in place, which now worked well. After being bed-bound and immobile for several months, there was no discernible reason why Belinda had started initiating movement again. Although there is no real evidence, it was considered most likely that the VENDLET system, which follows normal movement had helped Belinda to re-learn how to move in bed.