Riverview Manor RPN Susanna Kelusky holds the sensory pad she's making.
New RPN using ingenuity to ease agitation
Riverview Manor's Susanna Kelusky creates new sensory padAugust 27, 2012
A new registered practical nurse (RPN) at Riverview Manor has created a simple cushion with a few gadgets attached to help ease agitation in residents with cognitive impairment.
The idea to make the sensory pad came from Susanna Kelusky, an RPN and Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) team member at the Peterborough long-term care home.
By going to a local dollar store, Kelusky was able to buy everything she needed to make the sensory pad, including chair cushion, lights, hair bobbles and materials of different textures.
Kelusky tells the OMNIway the items on the sensory pad relate to residents’ needs. For example, some residents with cognitive impairment like to turn light switches on and off, so a light-switch application on the sensory pad fills this need.
The RPN says she got the idea to make the sensory pad after visiting a website selling sensory stimulation items for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.
“They were very expensive, and I thought, ‘Well, we could just make this,’ ” says Kelusky, who has worked at Riverview Manor a little more than a month.
Kelusky continues to add new features to the sensory pad and the item will soon be ready to be used as a support tool.
It was nursing administrative services manager Crystal Post who brought Kelusky’s idea to the attention of the OMNIway. She applauds Kelusky for her initiative.
“I think this has great potential,” says Post. “If we can stimulate our residents’ senses a little more and have them more alert . . . it will give them more excitement.”
BSO is a $40-million initiative to help enhance quality of life for seniors affected by dementia and other conditions that cause agitation. The funding, which is provided to long-term care homes through Ontario’s 14 Local Health Integration Networks, is largely put towards staff education.
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