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

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Life Threads and Identity following a Stroke

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Life threads and identity following a stroke

Life Threads and Identity following a Stroke

Dr Caroline Ellis-Hill

School of Health and Social Care

Bournemouth University


Sudden life change

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


Fundamental change in life

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)


Life thread model

Life Thread Model

Ellis-Hill et al 2008


Parallel life threads

Parallel life threads


Life threads frayed

Life threads frayed


New reality

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


Loss of confidence

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


Both visible and invisible work

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)


Life threads frayed1

Life threads frayed


Life threads joined

Life threads joined


It can be a difficult journey

It can be a difficult journey


Life threads and identity following a stroke

Need support for re-creation –creativity


To access own creativity need support to

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)


Van lith 2010

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]


Creativity

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


Thank you

Thank-you !

To find out more

please e-mail

Caroline Ellis-Hill

cehill @ bournemouth .ac.uk


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