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Crestwood Behavioral Health


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An Innovative Neurobehavioral Rehabilitation Approach

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National Award Recognizing Dr. Gordon Muir Giles’ Innovative Neurobehavioral Rehabilitation Approach at Crestwood.

Crestwood Behavioral Health’s own Dr. Gordon Muir Giles, Director of Neurobehavioral Services at Crestwood Treatment Center in Fremont and Idylwood Care Center, was awarded the most prestigious honor related to clinical practice in the occupational therapy profession, the Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lectureship Award. This award was made in recognition of his “innovating the clinical practice of cognitive neurorehabilitation” through his groundbreaking work with clients who have severe neurological impair- ments.

Dr. Giles was presented with the Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lectureship Award by the Ameri- can Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) at its 2017 Annual Conference and Centennial Celebration on April 1st in Philadelphia. The Eleanor Clark Slagle Lecture- ship Award was named after a pioneer of the occupational therapy profession, and recog-nizes achievements in research, education, and clinical practice that make substantial and lasting contributions to the occupational therapy profession’s body of knowledge.

This award recognizes Dr. Giles’ efforts to improve the lives of Crestwood’s clients through innovative clinical practices, including his relational neurobehavioral approach to neurorehabilitation. This non-aversive method, which has been described as “relentless kindness,” assists clients with severe behavioral and emotional problems by empowering them through person-centered care and building positive relationships with them, rather than relying on confrontation, seclusion, or restraints. Dr. Giles uses this compassionate approach to treat clients whose neurological impairments have caused many of them to fail in other treatment settings due to difficult-to-manage behaviors. An example of this compassionate approach is being used with a client at Crestwood Treatment Center, Fremont who has had post-severe Trauma Brain Injury for 23 years. This client believes that he is a billionaire and that people are stealing his money. He would joke to the staff that they are stealing from him and if they would joke back, he would become very upset. To help deescalate this behavior, the staff now meet with him daily to review any areas of concern, assist him with solving any perceived problems, review his finances with him weekly and have him sign-off on any expenditures. Additionally, the staff responds to any of his questions about money by stating that taking money from him is unlawful and that if they did steal from him, they would go to jail. This increased focus on interpersonal factors and therapeutic relationships has made an amazing difference in this client’s life by helping to reduce his anxiety, stress, and negative attributional bias.

“This is the greatest honor of my professional life,” said Dr. Giles, who has written books and articles on the subject of neurorehabilitation. “It will absolutely raise the profile of our work at Crestwood and our innovative approaches to the practice of neurobehavioral rehabilitation.”

Karen Scott, Program Director at Crestwood Treatment Center, Fremont said, “The positive impact Dr. Giles has made with both his clients and colleagues is immeasurable. He is a tireless advocate for persons with neurobehavioral differences.”

As part of winning the Slagle Award, Dr. Giles will deliver an AOTA lecture in 2018 that will discuss how best to meet the needs of clients with neurobehavioral disability in a changing healthcare environment.

Contributed by:
Karen Scott, Program Director Crestwood Treatment Center, Fremont


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Garden to Table Bounty

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The staff at Idylwood Care Center is always looking for new ways to support the well-being of their residents.  Recently, Dietary and Occupational Therapy staff and interns came together to design and launch the Garden to Table program.  This program guides residents in the gardening of seasonal vegetables and herbs, provides education on plants, promotes physical activity, encourages healthful nutrition and supports emotional and mental well-being.

The daily schedule for the program begins with staff sharing with residents a variety of information on nutrition, food basics and overall health and well-being strategies.  Next they demonstrate how-to gardening fundamentals such as weeding, watering, pruning and harvesting. In addition to working in the garden, residents are also encouraged to walk through the garden and get moderate sun exposure during sitting breaks. This give them an opportunity to enjoy the garden, while increasing their Vitamin D levels through sun exposure, which helps with calcium absorption to improve bone density and maintain muscle and nerve function.

Residents are also involved from the beginning in the preparation of the garden by helping to choose what types of vegetables to plant such as peppers, basil and tomatoes.  When it is time to harvest the vegetables and herbs, residents are able to help choose a favorite recipe to use them in, so they can enjoy first-hand the delicious benefit of what they have grown.

The Garden to Table program has been successful in helping residents to increase their group participation and peer interaction; improve their overall well-being and fitness by increasing strength and dexterity; increase their moderate sun exposure time and Vitamin D levels; and improve their weight management and lab levels.

The facility plans to expand their Garden to Table program by having Dietary and Occupational Therapy interns and staff collaborate with residents to create new recipes for what they have grown and also donate a part of their garden produce to local community outreach programs. By sharing their garden bounty with the community, the hopes are that the residents will feel a sense of accomplishment and empowerment that they are making a difference in other people’s lives. With all of these amazing benefits, the Garden to Table program is having an overall positive effect on the mind, body and spirit of the residents at Idylwood Care Center.

Contributed by: Sandy Narasimhan MS,RD,CSG
and Rashmi Rajadhyax PD,OTR/L


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Life is Worth Living

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Rashmi Rajadhyax, Program Director at Idylwood Care Center, got up one morning and thought, “Life is worth living.”  As that thought passed through her mind she decided to wonder out of curiosity what do other people think about life in general and what kind of message are people saying to themselves on a regular basis. Are those messages positive or negative? So to find out more, she surveyed 228 people at Idylwood Care Center which included residents, staff, doctors, families and visitors and asked them what life means to them. She then comprised the list of all answers which included:

Life is Worth Living • Life is Joy • Life is Beautiful • Life is Awesome • Life is Good • Life is Struggle, through struggles of life you find yourself • Life is Amazing • Life is Interesting • Life is Full of Meaning • Life is Happiness • Life is Wonderful • Life is Difficult • Life is Cavalcade of parade • Life is Crazy • Life is Challenging • Life is Great • Life is Full of surprises • Life is Family • Life is Enjoyable • Life is Fun • Life is Living • Life is Special • Life is Exciting • Life is Better than Death • Life is Short • Life is Precious • Life is Blessing • Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries • Life is Simple • Life is Rough • Life is Rewarding • Life is Everything • Life is Splendid • Life is Important • Life is Happy • Life is a Ball • Life is Prison • Life is to be Human • Life is What you make out of it • Life is Journey • Life is a Bowl of Honey, the More you Touch it, the Sweeter it Gets • Life is Everlasting • Life is Gold • Life is Full of Stress • Life is Blessing from God • Life is a Bowl of Roses • Life is Nice  • Life is Hard • Life is Complicated • Life is an Escalator with Ups and Downs • Life is Full of Choices • Life is On • Life is Full of Miseries  • Life is Bright • Life is 10% What you Make it and 90% How you Take it

Rashmi said that it was a fun and satisfying experience to create something so simple that would inspire so much excitement and curiosity in people.  The final list was compiled and copies were handed out at the facility so everyone could share with their friends and families, and to clip on a bulletin board at work or home if they wanted to.

“What it ultimately comes down to is that life is a field of unlimited possibilities. We have choices.  Life is all these quotes at one given time and life is inclusive of all,” said Rashmi.   “Use them, share them, and get inspired by them. It doesn’t matter how you use them, if they make your day happy and bright.”

Contributed by:
Rashmi Rajadhyax, Program Director
Idylwood Care Center

(download and share the image below to inspire others)

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