Stress & Anxiety: Senior care and TTouch: Year long study yields remarkable results

This article is really about Stress and Anxiety so we thought it might be interesting to you:

A Report From A Long Term Health Care Facility Studyimplemented by Diane Gidding, the Wellness & Hospitality Director of the care center has provided some exciting results for the use of TTouch.   Diane had attended TTouch-for-You trainings with me at the University of Minnesota and in Hawaii, and found TTouch to be amazingly helpful for residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

In 2011 Diane organized a program of Tellington TTouch that she envisioned as a pilot program for other senior residences. She wrote a grant that covered the training of 42 staff members.  In line with their policy, each trained staff member was assigned to connect with an elder who was experiencing some type of emotional distress.   Staff representatives from all departments attended the training – nurses and nurse’s aids, along with housekeeping, kitchen, social workers, activity professionals, admissions staff, the administrator and office staff. Robin Bernhard and Elinor Silverstein, along with Diane Gidding, assisted me with this training.

The goal of the training was to provide self-help for the staff and caregivers and to teach some of the TTouches that provide comfort and pain relief. The “Magic 3 TTouches –Ear TTouch, Mouth TTouch and Heart Hugs to reduce fear and stress and enhance well-being were greatly appreciated by staff members who discovered they could share these TTouches with their families after only two days of instruction.

TTouch has many practical applications – including the “TTouch Feedback Scale” that gives a person control over pressure, tempo and choice of TTouches, instilling a sense of empowerment that is invaluable.

The wisdom of the policy of including staff from other departments paid off early in the week. Resistance to bedtime is not limited to adolescents. Seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s can also be resistance. At the end of the second day of training, a resident in the Alzheimer’s area became very agitated at bedtime. One of the housekeeping staff, who had only two days of TTouch training, walked past the room and was beckoned in by the caregiver. After just a few minutes of gentle “Abalone” TTouches on her shoulder, the resident was calm and was soon quietly in bed.

The goal of the grant was to develop an outcome based program that improves the quality of life for residents in the health care setting.  TTouch sessions and outcomes were recorded and evaluated with very positive outcomes in 11 targeted areas.   85% of the sessions were completed in 15 minutes or less.   A total of  284 sessions were recorded and evaluated.

Listed below are the outcomes of the TTouch sessions:

Behavior                                                        Successful Outcome

Anxiety                                                           95%

Restlessness/Insomnia                             100%

Irritability                                                       100%

Pain/Discomfort                                              98%

Comfort/Mood                                               100%

Rejecting Care                                                 67%

Tearfullness/Crying out                                  91%

Verbal Agitation                                              81%

Improved Ability with Task at Hand             100%

Physical Aggression                                        100%

Wandering/Wanting to Go Home                    100%

In addition, the proactive use of Tellington TTouch to reduce future behaviors and improve mood, resulted in an outcome of relaxed state and request to go to room to rest in 100% of the patients.

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