Behaviour Matters

Morning all, hopefully normal service will resume, starting with the daily blog being written in the morning.

I sat down at my desk today, as usual with no idea what to write about, then i noticed a piece of paper on my notice board that said routines and institutionalisation.  So that’s my inspiration today.

Many people will agree that institutionalisation is a bad thing, people who have been in an institution for so long that they do what is expected on automatic pilot; never questioning or using their own initiative, never having choices or being allowed to make decisions. Some people never have the opportunity to try new experiences or have any say about their lives.  This sounds very negative and you may agree that it is not a good way to live.  But consider the same scenario form a different position. 

A child of 5 yrs old.  They are expected to attend formal school, where mostly they have to follow the instruction of teachers or teaching assistants.  They are rarely asked their opinions and have limited choices, as they need to fit the regime of the schools/timetables and other children. 

A woman of 50 who has had a stroke.  she has lived independently for years and now has limited ability in many physical tasks, needing support from getting dressed to making a cup of tea.  She needs routines to help her remember things to do.

Moving on how about your self?  You get up at the same time every day, get dressed go to work, follow the bosses instructions and expectations.  At home you may have a choice of what to eat or you may be presented with a meal some one else chose for you.  The choices you make are reliant on your finances.  Even those who are self employed still have rules to follow, still have restricted choices, due to finance and customer demands. 

Then there are routines.  We all have routines, from the order we follow when getting washed/dressed to the days we go shopping or do the washing.  Many of these routines will be unconscious routines that we don’t think of, or we may class them as habits.  So where is the line between habits and routines and between routines and institutionalisation, and who gives us the right to dictate to those we care for what is institutionalised behaviour that needs changing and what are habits that give comfort?




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