Lifelong Learning Programme

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Personal Experience

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Very nice....

Karola Martáková
Language: English
Country: Slovakia
Typology: health care professionals
Lora lives in a residence home for young people with multiple disabilities. She suffers from the second degree of mental disability. She did not even complete the entire course of obligations in a special school. Her legs are partially paralyzed as a consequence of cerebral palsy. Also her weak muscles and shortened tendons result in very difficult walking abilities. She is able to communicate as a 4 year old. She is 17 years old. Her parents died in a car accident when she was 10. She has been living in an institute since she was 14. Lora has lived with her parents until she was 10. She was attending a special school. When her parents died in the accident, her aunt took care of her for 4 years. At this time Lora was in the 6th grade. When her aunt gave birth to twins the situation in the family was very tense, so family decided to place Lora into an institutional care. Lora needs continuous supervision, sometimes she wakes up in the night and goes for a walk. She suffers from epileptic seizures. Her relatives visit her and take her for a walk to near park. She visits them during the holidays and Christmas. The last few days Lora sits and looks thoughtful. She is less active, does not eat properly. The nurse noticed that. In the afternoon she sat to Lora and started to talk with her. The nurse told her that she noticed that she seems to be more serious and if she wants they can talk together about what bothers her. Lora told her that she saw a film about a girl who lived at a farm and that this girl had her own room which Lora liked. The girl had flowers and pictures of horses and dogs and blankets with flowers in there. And now Lora is very sad because she does not have a room like that. The nurse actively listens to her and encourages Lora to express her feelings and wants. She told Lora to draw the room she would like to have and they agree that the nurse will find out what she can do for Lora about this. The nurse tries to solve the problem with the management of the institution. She finds out which changes can be done in Lora’s room and whether her relatives are willing to help. After agreement with everyone the nurse told Lora to draw and write down all of her ideas. Lora deals with the design of her room for whole days, she talks about it with everyone. Her mood has changed, she is interested in the new project. The nurse explains to her that the room can be divided only by paravans and that they will form kind of walls. Lora is excited and cuts out the pictures she wants to have on the walls. The relatives gave Lora her own blankets with big colourful flowers, similar to the one that the girl had in the film. Roomates get inspired by Lora and they draw pictures they want to have near bed too. The nurse encourages Lora in building her own room for weeks, talks with her about it, what does she want to have here and what can be really done. In a month the space around Lora’s bed looks like colourfully. Lora has flowers on her desk which she waters by herself. It is the first thing she wants to do in the morning. She invites nurses and roomates for a visit, offers them a biscuit and behave like a host. OBJECTIVES: Create a space for Lora’s desire of having her own room too. Create a feeling of home. Ensure emotional comfort in an institutional care. MEANS AND STRATEGY: Active listening, acceptance of Lora’s needs, shared meaningful creative activity according to the plan, anchoring in reality. Express support and recognition of her achievements. CONCLUSIONS: Lora has her own room of which she dreamt. She created it by herself and finds support in her environment. It resulted in her jumping development. Despite her handicap she managed to participate in creating her own home, which dramatically increased the quality of her life. It is as if she grew up.

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