What better way for students to learn about working together as an interprofessional team than with an interprofessional experience (IPE) during their fieldwork placements? At Soldiers Memorial Hospital (SMH) in Middleton, NS, Kristin Crocker, an Occupational Therapy student at Dalhousie University, and Mark Ponikvar, a Therapeutic Recreation Assistant student at Nova Scotia Community College, had the opportunity to complete an IPE project of their choice to learn more about each other’s professions and how they can work together to benefit their clients. Not only did this project reflect the value of IPE in the curriculum for Dalhousie University and the special agency project for NSCC, but it also served as the first formal IPE project at Soldiers Memorial Hospital.
The project that was created for this IPE is called the Keeping Active Bodies And Minds (KABAM) Activity Program. The students tailored this program to meet the needs of seniors who are looking for a way to stay healthy in a fun and unique way. The program consists of a warm up activity, six stations with a different activity at each, and a cool down activity. The activities were designed to target commonly used muscle groups and areas of the brain to maintain or improve the participants’ general level of functioning. The stations alternate from a body activity to a mind activity; this allows participants the opportunity to rest their body at every other station while they exercise their mind. Each copy of the program includes all materials necessary for each activity, and the only additional equipment required is a chair for each participant for every activity. Music is recommended to add excitement to the warm up activity and a sense of relaxation to the cool down activity. Each participant is provided with an activity record sheet at the end of the program to track their individual progress. Participants are also encouraged to celebrate the completion of each activity by fist pumping and cheering “KABAM!”
One significant feature of the program is its flexibility to be used with a wide range of participants in a variety of settings. Not only does each activity include two modifications to increase or decrease its level of difficulty, but the stations can also be set up in any way to meet the level of functioning of the participants. For example, for less mobile participants, all stations can be completed in one location; for more mobile participants, each station can be set up in a different location to promote exercise through walking from one station to the next.
The program was presented to two different groups: first on the Mayflower Alternate Level of Care Unit at SMH, and then at the Middleton Adult Day Program. Since then, the program has also been used on the Veteran’s Unit at SMH, and has been continued on a weekly basis at the Middleton Adult Day Program. Plans have also been made to trial the program at the Wickwire Assisted Living Residence in Wolfville, NS in the near future. The program has been noted to be easy to implement by users, and enjoyable by the majority of participants. An added social benefit has been observed with the group approach to completing the activities, and individual level of functioning can also be observed with continued implementation of the program.
The outcomes of this project were presented to the Seniors LINCS – Living Independently with Community Supports team. Overall, the KABAM Activity Program was successful on many accounts, as a student IPE project and as a new activity resource for a variety of programmers who work with seniors. Kristin and Mark would like to thank all members of the Seniors LINCS team, their fieldwork preceptors at SMH, and all other staff and participants who helped make the project a success with their participation, constructive feedback, and support.
If you would like more information on the KABAM Activity Program, please contact Kristin Crocker and Mark Ponikvar at email@example.com .
Submitted by Kristin Crocker (MSc OT Student), and
Mark Ponkivar, TRA Student – Nova Scotia Community College