This summer one of the projects that I am working on as Alzheimer Scotland Occupational Therapy intern is developing the use of the @AHPdementia Instagram account. Readers of this blog will be used to Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) sharing their work, knowledge and raising awareness of their different roles within dementia care and practice. The @AHPdementia Instagram is being used in a similar way, only in a slightly different format to a blog.
Instagram is a social media website and mobile app that allows users to share images and short videos. Instagram recently reached 500 million users, 14 million of which are in the UK. Instagram is currently being used by different groups and social movements to challenge attitudes and try to reduce stigma of certain conditions. For example, there are many campaigns aimed at reducing the stigma surrounding mental health conditions but there are also many dementia and Alzheimer groups posting regularly on Instagram to share their work.
AHPdementia already has an online presence on Twitter where the hashtag #AHPdementia is used by many people from different AHPs to share their work and start conversations about the roles of AHPs. The @AHPdementia Instagram account forms another strand of this social media presence sharing work, advice and information to living well with dementia.
Photographs are being posted on the @AHPdementia Instagram account accompanied by a short occupation-focused description to emphasise the importance of occupation to living well with dementia. It’s not just about Occupational Therapy though as the Instagram account will be used by other AHP professions who can post information that highlights the role of their own professions within dementia. Each post has a range of hashtags related to dementia but also what is visible in the photo, the aim of this is to increase the potential reach of the photo and accompanying information to a wider audience.
If you want to learn more about the work of Allied Health Professionals within dementia make sure to follow @AHPdementia on Instagram. Like or comment on posts to let us know what you think.
Here are some example posts:
Discovering the past, peeling back the layers – Talking to a person with dementia and finding out about their life history can help to build a picture of them and provide insight into which activities (or occupations) are meaningful to them. People are motivated to engage in occupations that have personal significance to them. (adapted from Pool 2012) Raising awareness and sharing knowledge. Please leave a comment if you have learnt something about dementia… #dementia #DementiaFriends #alzheimer #alzheimersawareness #dementiaawareness #occupationaltherapy #occupation #livingwell #mentalhealth #wellbeing #lifestory #history #livedexperience #pavement #street #paving #grey #layers #personwithdementia #OTintern
Journeys – A day in the life of an Alzheimer Scotland Occupational Therapy Intern. We look forward to attending meetings with the Scottish Dementia Working Group who have a wealth of experience – we learn about how they are living well with dementia and how maintaining engagement in occupation and activities can be central to this. Though we also learn how people living with dementia in this group know that they can still do so many things but sometimes other people’s expectations or assumptions of their abilities are lower than the reality. Raising awareness and sharing knowledge. Please leave a comment if you have learnt something about dementia… #dementia #dementiaawareness #alzheimer #alzheimersawareness #stigma #occupationaltherapy #OTintern #occupation #activity #wellbeing #livingwellwithdementia #livingwell #AHPdementia #journey #train #fields #trees #bridges #bridge #glasgow #clyde #green #countryside #country #nofilter
Summer sun – Drinking more water in warm weather is important to stay hydrated. This can be difficult for people with dementia for many reasons (eg. communication or memory difficulties). Making sure food and drink is visible and available whenever someone is hungry or thirsty could help to maintain good nutrition – eg. using a clear jug with coloured fluid. (adapted from NES dementia skilled practice) Raising awareness as sharing knowledge. Please leave a comment if you have learnt something about dementia… #dementia #dementiaawareness #alzheimer #alzheimersawareness #occupation #occupationaltherapy #mentalhealth #physicalhealth #hydration #heatwave #britishsummer #trees #sunshine #shadows #bunting #eveningsun
#AHPdementia exercise & physical activity should be promoted to people living with dementia as it is beneficial for physical and mental health – eg. maintaining mobility and muscle strength; reducing anxiety, stress and feelings of isolation. Think about things that a person with dementia CAN DO & use physical activity to promote independence. Raising awareness and sharing knowledge. Please leave a comment if you have learnt something about dementia… #dementia #dementiaawareness #alzheimer #alzheimersawareness #occupation #occupationaltherapy #AHP #exercise #mentalhealth #stigma #OTintern #red #bike #bicycle #bikeride #outdoors #Edinburgh #vintage
Each post has a question inviting all the readers to leave a comment if you have learnt something new about dementia which we invite you to do too
Thank you reading my blog
Rachel Bew: Occupational Therapy Intern
I am a post graduate Occupational Therapy student at Queen Margaret University (QMU). I am an Occupational Therapy intern with Alzheimer Scotland, in partnership with QMU, for summer 2016 where I will be working with the Scottish Dementia Working Group to help change the face of dementia and use social media, such as instagram, to raise awareness.