Leigh McLeod

Reducing the Use of Antipsychotics and other Remarkable Results

By Leigh McLeod, Spark of Life Master Practitioner and Clinical Coordinator at  Ranui Home, Alexandra, South Island, New Zealand.

Since May 2017, Leigh has goal directed implemented and role modelled the Spark of Life Philosophy in their Gillespie Unit, specifically supporting people with dementia.

Since May 2017, Leigh McLeod, Spark of Life Master Practitioner at Ranui Home,  has implemented the Spark of Life Philosophy in their Gillespie Unit, specifically supporting people with dementia.

‘Much more there is the feeling of home with the beautiful people that live here having their Spark of Life 5 Core Emotional needs met everyday,’ Leigh says. She continues, ‘The residents are actively contributing to the day to day activities, which enrich and enhance their self-esteem. They help the staff making beds, not just their own beds but others as well; they prepare morning tea, feed the cats, help the handy man, give staff a shoulder massage, play games and laugh together.  It really is a beautiful place to be.’

A resident giving the handy man a helping hand






Since the introduction of the Spark of Life Philosophy and Education, Leigh and her team have been committed to decreasing the use of anti-psychotic medication in the Gillespie Unit. Remarkably, they have achieved a reduction of over 50% usage in less than 12 months.  Nine of the 10 residents were on varying doses of antidepressants and now there are only three people, one of whom is on a reducing dose.

‘Further positive results from implementing the Spark of Life Philosophy are that falls and skin tears have all reduced and we have seen a marked decrease in the behaviours that cause concern such as the desire to go home at the end of the day. Our residents feel so much more settled,’ says Leigh.

‘Through the Spark of Life Philosophy, our End of Life Process has also been strengthened. We continue to receive amazing feedback around how we make a very hard time a little easier and we received a Continuous Improvement of Special Merit in our Certification Process – the highest recognition possible to achieve in NZ,’ Leigh said.