Is there an elephant in the ward?

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“felt good”, “quite pleased with my origami”, “I would never have expected to learn at hospital”, “prevented the onset of boredom”

It seems so obvious but it’s not really been acknowledged that many people in hospital become bored..   Normally at home or in our lives we can move around, do something else, make a cup of tea or get on with our work.  For those in hospital there are often long periods of time waiting unable to focus on reading, and in fairly blank spaces. I encourage people to grab the time and try something new.   After working with someone who was a patient in hospital, she wanted to teach me origami to pass it on..  my head hurt at first with learning something new but the sense of achievement as to what can be done with something as simple as a piece of paper is fantastic as can be seen above.

Can we make sure are some options for what to do while waiting beyond word-puzzles/magazines – can hospital be a time to inspire those in difficult times to focus beyond and maybe even make a moment in time happy?

I certainly find this happens over and over again given gentle encouragement and genuine enthusiasm and interest…  Wonderful things happen if someone can just say yes!

Been bowled over by the response from so many with the emergence of the Anti-boredom Campaign to start encouraging awareness, debate and the feeling that it is possible to do something…   Somehow this is allowing an otherwise silent issue to be named – but with that the possibilities become exciting…

Here are just a few of the things all sorts of people have said to me recently…

“just accepted isn’t it (boredom in hospital)?”

“need randomness when concentration not good”

“colour helps grab concentration and your eye”

“my mum was in hospital for two months and she’s made a really good recovery, and now she begs us in tears not to even call the GP as she’s afraid she will be sent back to hospital as nothing else to do but start at the walls. As well as being bored all of that time to brood about everything – her health, mortality, her family caring for her – everything that would make her miserable when bored”

“if seriously unwell don’t have the concentration for books – can’t concentrate and can’t be bothered”

“rubbish tv – don’t know how people watch it”

“it is boring – reading is difficult”

“you’re stuck”

“in hospital ward doesn’t change – so not much to talk about”

(the Anti-boredom Campaign) – “it’s a revolution”

Can we bring in more colour, things to spark interest, conversation, making and ways to stimulate the mind?  Let’s bring some moments of joy to those who could so appreciate a ‘holiday for the mind’.  Let the Anti-boredom Campaign bring awareness, listening, understanding and spark creative people to help find ways to make hospitals a bit more interesting for adults…

Let’s acknowledge what has been unspoken – and let a colourful inspiring revolution begin!





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