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Life Threads and Identity following a Stroke Dr Caroline Ellis-Hill School of Health and Social Care Bournemouth University.

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1 Life Threads and Identity following a Stroke Dr Caroline Ellis-Hill School of Health and Social Care Bournemouth University

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4 Sudden life change ‘Its a very severe thing to happen to anyone its not like getting a -you know - having a broken arm or something like that which incapacitates you for a couple of months Put your arm in plaster and normally just take the plaster off and get back to where you were before 1364/1... you lead a normal life one day and within a matter of minutes, overnight it all comes to an end ’ 1387/1

5 Fundamental change in life “Nobody knows I didn’t know that Friday it was just a perfectly ordinary Friday.. just the same routine and it was gone within seconds it was gone your whole life is completely changed within seconds and that’s all it takes with a stroke is seconds one thing and your life is completely different I don’t know, its a strange feeling its the most frightening thing” 1151/2 Ellis-Hill and Payne (2001)

6 Life Thread Model Ellis-Hill et al 2008

7 Parallel life threads

8 Life threads frayed

9 New reality I had entered the strange and new experience which I now know as ‘disability country.’ Of course it is not a different country but it often felt like it ‑ with different names, expectations, conventions and possibilities. McKenzie 1996, p42

10 Loss of confidence I had not been conscious of loosing it [confidence], but in the period since my stroke it ‘leaked away’. I had become very well adapted to living in an institutional environment and had not experienced many of those small day to day cues that keep you informed that you are an okay ‘normal’ person. Now my unconscious was dominated by a ‘disability outlook’ and a fear of failure in the ‘real’ world. This was nobodies fault. Merely an inevitable consequence of institutionalisation. Cant 1997, p303

11 Both visible and invisible work Person and family have to work to develop new physical and social skills and practical ways of being in the world (visible work) This is underpinned and can only take place by creating and re-creating new life threads to guide future plans in life (invisible work)

12 Life threads frayed

13 Life threads joined

14 It can be a difficult journey

15 Need support for re-creation –creativity

16 To access own creativity need support to Have patience Be open-minded Be non- judgemental Be able to be vulnerable Tolerate uncertainty Let down mask to others Focus on process not outcomes/goals Claxton and Lucas (2008)

17 Van Lith 2010 [ People] regarded art making as an activity that they used to change or transform themselves in some way, as opposed to them being passive recipients of services. Using art making as a vehicle to take control, empowered [people], and resulted in them feeling stronger, and more confident [in their life]

18 Creativity Arts for Health –gaining recognition –London Arts in Health Forum (www.lahf.org.uk) Developing research at Bournemouth University Can be creative and express self in many ways for example, through sport, gardening, cooking, music etc

19 Thank-you ! To find out more please Caroline Ellis-Hill bournemouth.ac.uk


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