Our work is fascinating, isn’t it? I find the senior care industry to be filled with people with passion and compassion. So many are just like me, coming to this field because of a personal experience in helping an older adult in their life. I love helping caregivers with challenges, and I believe deeply in the value of education. With caregiving, that’s a big bite – because there is so much to learn. And we should all look at this from the standpoint of the often over used phrase “It takes a Village”, shouldn’t we? I find it quite amazing to observe the “feel” for a senior care community. Beyond the fancy décor, and new impressive buildings, what matters is the care that is provided. When you have both, it’s an added bonus, but certainly the passion and compassion of the team that takes care of your precious loved one is the most important – it is what’s on the inside.
It doesn’t take me long, especially when I’m conducting staff training, to get a sense of it being somewhere I’d put my loved one. Or not. The angels of your team are undoubtedly your direct care staff members. Those that have a sense of purpose is very apparent. Despite the challenges of their job, they love what they do. My intuition most often proves right. Everything starts at the top and rolls down hill. Providers that have a compassionate team due so as a team. Believe me, it shows, especially to us in the industry who have a keen eye for these things. “Beauty starts from the inside out”. I used this phrase with my children growing up and happy to say they can recite this as adults today! It’s so true with a care community. What you do to provide education and skills training to your staff and you families is critically important. It is not only valuable but it says, “you care”. You care that your staff learns new ways of handling challenging behaviors and situations, and that you want them to grow in their careers.
At the same time, educating your family members as part of your care team cannot be understated. If family members don’t understand dementia or other important aging issues and behaviors, they will be frustrated and confused. What is your facility doing to provide innovative and unique education experiences for your staff, family and community members? If I can access these things when I visit a community, then others are doing the same. Time to evaluate what you are doing that will enhance the care that you provide for your residents and families. Have to say it again… “Beauty starts from the inside out”!