Should therapy services ever be discounted?

Have your say…

With more and more daily discount deal companies such as Groupon and Wowcher offering special offers on different products and services, is this driving demand or devaluing the service offered? Does offering a certain amount of money off retail products and therapy treatments help to increase uptake and potentially encourage new customers who, in turn, may become regular clients? Or does an increase in therapy businesses offering discounts mean consumers are expecting more and more for less money, which means therapists are having to drop their prices to be able to compete?

What do you think?

If you are interested in potentially contributing to an article* for International Therapist on this topic, please send your comments, full name and membership number or post code, to jreeves@fht.org.uk (please respond by 15 August 2014).

Thank you for your support.

*Please note that we would want to include the name of any FHT member wishing to potentially contribute to an article in International Therapist on this topic. Only comments received by FHT members will be considered for editorial in International Therapist. By sending your comments in to the FHT, you are granting permission for these comments to be published by the FHT, in print and/or online, along with your name. We may also contact you for further information. We regret that we will not be able to respond to every member who sends in a response, or publish all comments received.

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Quote of the week via International Therapist (Issue 107 January 2014)

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Thank you to all of those members, speakers and exhibitors who made the 2014 FHT Annual Training Congress such an enjoyable and successful event.

Held at the East Midlands Conference Centre and surrounded by 330 acres of the University of Nottingham’s landscaped parkland, the congress venue and adjoining De Vere Orchard Hotel proved a huge hit with everyone who attended.

As always, it was wonderful to bring together under one roof so many professionals committed to learning and sharing new therapy skills, techniques and innovative products. The wide range of seminars and workshops – all presented by leading industry experts – were very well received, and lots of members enjoyed the opportunity to talk to a select number of training and product suppliers in between sessions.

It was also a real pleasure to chat to so many of you face-to-face our Social Hour, Ask an Expert and Meet the President sessions. And of course, hats off to those early birds who enjoyed a free outdoor chi yoga session on the Sunday morning, long before the day’s proceedings got under way!

If you did not have a chance to complete a feedback form at the weekend, please do email us your comments » As your professional association, it is important to us that we always look at ways to improve our membership services in the future.

For those who were unable to join us on this occasion, we hope you’ll come along next year, so that you can enjoy all of the wonderful learning and networking opportunities our annual training congresses have to offer.

Images: FHT

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Study reveals how gardens could help dementia care

A new study has revealed that gardens in care homes could provide promising therapeutic benefits for patients suffering from dementia.

The research is published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association and by critically reviewing the findings from 17 different pieces of research, has found that outdoor spaces can offer environments that promote relaxation, encourage activity and reduce residents’ agitation.

Conducted by a team at the University of Exeter Medical School and supported by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Applied Health Research and Care South West Peninsula (NIHR PenCLAHRC), the systematic review also found that gardens could offer welcome spaces for interactions with visitors, helping to stimulate memories for dementia patients whilst providing wellbeing opportunities for families and staff.

Dementia is a global public health priority, with reports suggesting that 7.7 million new cases are identified each year. Almost half of the elderly people living in residential care have dementia or dementia symptoms, a figure which increases to more than three-quarters in nursing homes.

The study’s lead researcher, Rebecca Whear, said “There is an increasing interest in improving dementia symptoms without the use of drugs. We think that gardens could be benefitting dementia sufferers by providing them with sensory stimulation and an environment that triggers memories. They not only present an opportunity to relax in a calming setting, but also to remember skills and habits that have brought enjoyment in the past.”

The research represents the first attempt to bring together findings from a range of studies and has also highlighted several factors that must be overcome if gardens are to be useful in the future care of dementia patients. These include understanding possible hazards that a garden might represent to residents, and ensuring staff have time to let residents enjoy an outdoor space to its full potential.

Despite its positive findings, the study’s authors were keen to point out that this area of research is currently understudied and undervalued by policy makers. Dr Ruth Garside, an expert in evidence synthesis and one of the paper’s authors, said:

“There’s a lot we don’t know about how a garden’s design and setting influences its ability to affect wellbeing, yet it’s clear that these spaces need to offer a range of ways of interacting – to suit different people’s preferences and needs. We want to pursue these answers to ensure that care experiences can be maximised for sufferers of dementia, their carers and families.”

This research coincides with the development of a new garden at Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Julie Vale, Acting Consultant Nurse for Older People, said:

“We’ve long recognised the importance of therapeutic outside spaces for patients, particularly the frail elderly and those living with dementia. We’ve created the Trust’s very own Devon Garden to allow patients to come away from the clinical environment and experience nature. The garden design incorporates an innovative sound system, a telephone box with stories from Exeter and a safe, calming water feature. The Trust is delighted that the findings from the University of Exeter Medical School support the approach we’ve adopted in identifying new ways of improving care for patients with dementia.”

Image: Dollar Photo Club

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Some early morning chi yoga on a beautiful day! #FHTCongress

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We look forward to seeing many of you at this weekend’s FHT Annual Training Congress, featuring seminars and workshops from leading experts in the therapy industry! Make sure to visit our exhibition, come along to our social hour, and drop in for some advice on a variety of hot topics. 

There will be live updates and photos on Facebook and Twitter.
Join in with hashtag: #FHTCongress

If you need directions to the venue, an up-to-date timetable or just want to see what’s on, visit www.fht.org.uk/2014

Images: FHT and iStockphoto

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Quote of the week via International Therapist (Issue 107 January 2014)

Do you have a favourite quote or saying?

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New research by the University of Cambridge finds that one in three cases of Alzheimer’s disease may be preventable

The Cambridge team analysed population-based data to work out the main seven risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.

These are:

  • Diabetes
  • Mid-life hypertension
  • Mid-life obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Depression
  • Smoking
  • Low educational attainment

They worked out that a third of Alzheimer’s cases could be linked to lifestyle factors that could be modified, such as lack of exercise and smoking.

The researchers then looked at how reducing these factors could affect the number of future Alzheimer’s cases.

They found that by reducing each risk factor by 10%, nearly nine million cases of the disease could be prevented by 2050.

In the UK, a 10% reduction in risk factors would reduce cases by 8.8%, or 200,000, by 2050, they calculated.

Current estimates suggest that more than 106 million people worldwide will be living with Alzheimer’s by 2050 - more than three times the number affected in 2010.

Full article

Image: Dollar Photo Club

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An editorial in The Lancet Neurology calls for greater protection for footballers with symptoms of concussion

FIFPro, the footballers’ union, has called for an investigation into concussion protocols.

This follows players being allowed to play on after appearing to be concussed during the World Cup.

"Because signs and symptoms of concussion can be delayed, removing an athlete when there is any suspicion of injury would seem to be the safest approach," the journal editors wrote.

They refer to a recent World Cup group match against England, when Uruguay’s Alvaro Pereira returned to the pitch after appearing to be knocked unconscious by a blow to the head.”

Full article

Image: Dollar Photo Club

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Make great savings at our exhibition

Some of the most well-known suppliers and training providers in the industry will be attending the FHT Annual Training Congress on 19th and 20th July 2014, offering exclusive event offers. Offers include: 20% off aromatherapy products from Base Formula, 10% off all courses from Expectancy, price-matched books from Lotus Publishing, 25% off massage waxes from Songbird Naturals, a free prize draw with Story Massage, and many more.

Read all offers »

Images: FHT and iStockphoto

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