The fourth week at HTS was a nostalgic one to say the least. I would just like to take moment to appreciate I have actually been working at the hospital for a whole month. Time has gone by so quickly! There was a fire drill which made me reminisce on my times at school, where I used to be thrilled at the chance to miss a maths lesson for a time to get outside and chat carefree with friends, more recently however, I found the fire drill to be more harmful than good as it was more time consuming than productive. As the clinical psychologists and I walked briskly to exit the building with the pale coloured walls which seemed to go on infinitively, I thought about what my supervisor, David, had told me in my first week. Whilst marching through the wide corridors of the historical hospital, it made me think back about how far science and medicine has progressed. Where before the hallways were made built wide purposely to haul hundreds of mental health patients, now the hallway was empty, as now, scientists have psychologists have uncovered that we need to take a more person-centred approach when dealing with dementia patients, which is evident in the evaluation forms which I have been reading. HTS can take pride that they are emotionally attached to each of their clients and do their best offer them care and meet their needs on a personal level. This is important as many patients with dementia, which often worsens to greater stages, are left alone, isolated and dis-attached from society, even their family members leave them, due to stigma surrounding mental health.
From an interactionist perspective, it could be said that this is because once members of society no longer fit a role which benefits society, they are consequently marginalised. Today I read a case when the client was as young as 44 years old, and found it sad that this same stigma meant that the client had become distant from their loved ones. On a brighter note however, I have recorded around 320 cases now and hopefully can finish inputting data so I can start the data analysis process. David also gave me another book which details further what person-centred care is all about and why dementia is a significant feature of the twentieth century, which is also known as the Medicalization of Old Age by some in the sociological world. More to come next week!