Tag Archives: AGE-u-cate Training Insitute

The NICHE difference: Preparing Our Long-Term Care Workforce for Tomorrow

We are thrilled to have recently announced our collaboration with NICHE – Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders, a nation-wide nursing education and consultation program designed to improve geriatric care in healthcare organizations through education and mentorship.

The NICHE Acute Care Program, founded in 1992 is part of NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing.  The program promotes the use of evidence-based clinical interventions and establishes nurses as leaders to effect positive change in caring for the growing aging population.  NICHE empowers front-line nurses to build a team and develop organizational and workforce competencies to improve the health and wellbeing of older adults they serve.

The NICHE long-term care(LTC) program prepares nurses and certified nurse assistants (CNAs) to achieve organizational goals for the care of older adults patients.  The NICHE-LTC promotes the use of evidence-based clinical interventions and establishes nurses as leaders to bring about changes in the quality of care delivered to older adults in LTC and PAC (post-acute care) facilities.

The LTC curriculum is designed around the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Five-Star Quality Rating System so organizations uphold the nationally recognized standards for LTC.  A few examples of Quality Measures include:

  • Ability to move independently and participate in activities of daily living
  • High-risk residents with pressure ulcers
  • Re-hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and discharge to the community
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Falls with major injury
  • Antipsychotic medications

NICHE resources include highly engaging webinars, Need to Know patient and family consumerism, LTC Leadership Training, Implementation Courses, and Clinical and Quality Improvement Modules, and an Evaluation and Recognition Process.

Our shared mission that quality training empowers staff will lead to higher CNA retention and improved care:

  • Nursing homes whose nursing staff have enhanced knowledge and skills perform better on quality metrics.
  • CNA’s who receive specialized training on common health issues experienced by older adults are capable of providing better care to residents and feel more confident in performing their work.
  • Opportunities for CNAs to participate in training programs not only empower them with knowledge and skills to carry out their work but also reinforce their important role in achieving organization-wide quality improvement goals.
  • CNA’s who receive high-quality training are more likely to report that they are satisfied with their jobs and job satisfaction is directly linked to CNA retention.

Quality elder care is critically important and NICHE programs provide the tools and resources that elevate Acute and Long-Term care organizations to a level of excellence.  As the need for dementia training increases, our relationship with NICHE will serve to better prepare the workforce for the special needs of those living with cognitive differences.

Pam Brandon is President/Founder of AGE–u-cate® Training Institute and a passionate advocate for older adults and those who serve them.  Pam is the creator of the Dementia Live® Sensitivity Awareness Training program and led the development of  the Compassionate Touch® training for persons living with Dementia and End-of-Life care.  

Learn the The ABC of Compassionate Communication

I’m delighted to share that our Australian Master Trainer, Sue Silcox has authored and published a book – The ABC of Compassionate Communication.  Sue is passionate about helping people become empowered through learning, practice, support, and self-care.

Brain Sparks and the ABC of Compassionate Communication is the result of her many years of working and playing with people of all ages, many of whom needed more compassion in their lives as well as an empathetic ear.

In the ABC of Compassionate Communication you will learn:

  • How we can use our brain to increase empathy
  • Where we can connect with other people and groups
  • When friendships matter
  • What laughter has to do with compassion
  • Why people react the way they do

We communicate every day.  Sometimes in subtle ways, sometimes in frighteningly revealing ways, mostly in different ways in between. Often we are misunderstood, or we interpret the messages incorrectly.  Becoming aware of how, through understanding, we can send and receive those message with compassion will make not only the lives of those we love and care for better but ours too.

Through this easy-to-read book, which uses the letters of the alphabet to describe steps to compassionate communication, you will receive twenty-six facets of compassionate and their relationship to improved communication compiled in a way that you will have not seen before.  Each facet gives you the chance to delve deeper with tips and ideas that you can try for yourself.

In the ABC of Compassionate Communication, Sue starts by asking our aware are you, firstly of your own self?  Self-awareness helps us find our strengths and allows us to work out where we need to improve.  Self-reflecting on situations can show us where we match up to our expectations and values.

Sue points out that working on your self-awareness brings benefits not only to you but to those around you.  Thinking about how you reacted with others brings awareness to your connections with others and ultimately makes you happier.

The book is full of compassionate communication tips that will serve anyone, especially those who care for persons living with dementia.  This book may be ordered through the Brain Sparks website.

Pam Brandon is President and Founder of AGE-u-cate® Training Institute and a passionate Advocate for older adults and those who serve them.  She is the Creator of Dementia Live® Sensitivity Awareness Program, helping caregivers worldwide to better understand and communicate with persons living with dementia.  

Sue Silcox is Australia’s AGE-u-cate® Lead Trainer and may be reached at Sue@brainsparks.com.au

 

Honoring a Loved One with Trees for Change

In celebration of Earth Day, I want to share an organization that I recently became acquainted with that is supporting the efforts of saving our National Forests.  Trees for Change is a wonderful option for honoring a loved one or pet.

According to Trees for Change, the U.S. National Forests cover 8.5 percent of the United States, providing roughly 190 million acres of woodlands that serve as the home to many species of animals. These lands belong to all of us and are meant to help preserve the environment for future generations.

Sometimes, areas of U.S. National Forests need our help. When wildfires rip through them, wildlife becomes displaced, and the forests are badly scorched. Replanting trees can help to regrow these areas in order to ensure that they can one day become homes for wildlife again and places where families can explore and discover the beauty of nature.

Trees for a Change is a service that lets you do good while giving gifts to people who matter in your life. We make it possible for you to pay to have a tree or a grove of trees planted in honor of a loved one, friend, customer or employee or in memory of a deceased person or pet. Their tree gifts cost less than the average bouquet of flowers, and they make a big difference for U.S. National Forest lands.

Here’s how it works:

  • You purchase the tree gift of your choice using their secure online checkout system.
  • They send out the gift to you or the recipient of your present.
  • A tree or a group of trees is planted in an area of a U.S. Forest that’s been damaged by fire.
  • Information about where the tree is located and photos of it are posted online.
  • The recipient of your gift can go online and learn about the tree. They can even use a map to find it and plan a trip to visit it!

In the age of simplicity, I think Trees for Change is a meaningful gift for both receiver and giver.  I certainly know I’ll be supporting this great mission with a tree to honor loved ones in my life.

Happy Earth Day!

Pam Brandon is President/Founder of AGE-u-cate Training Institute and a passionate advocate for older adults and those who serve them.  

 

 

Suicide and Older Adults – Risk Factors and Warning Signs

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. This year, World Suicide Prevention Day will be observed on September 10.  The following information will help readers understand risk factors and warning signs of suicide in older adults.  

Suicide is a serious public health issue and an immeasurable tragedy for the surviving families, friends, and communities. Many of us may not realize that older adults are at particularly high risk for suicide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adult males age 65 and up, were the group with the highest suicide rate in 2016. Older adults appear to have a unique set of factors that place them at high risk for suicide. 

Suicide is often related to mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders; particularly if undiagnosed or untreated. A mental health condition alone; however, is not necessarily an indicator of suicidal behavior. It is estimated that over 50% of people who die by suicide do not have a known mental health condition. Furthermore, many people with diagnosed mental health conditions engage in treatment and are able to live full lives. There are many other risk factors in addition to mental health conditions, including: 

  • Brain injuries or disorders 
  •  Prolonged exposure to stress 
  •  Chronic pain 
  •  Life and role transitions 
  •  Access to lethal means 
  •  History of abuse or neglect 
  •  A family history of suicide 
  •  Previous suicide attempts 

After contemplating this list, we can see how several risk factors may be elevated for older adults, specifically the area of life and role transitions. Older adults typically experience changes in their function and the roles they serve in their family or community. They may also experience the death loved ones, health decline, and loss of independence. Older adults face unique challenges, including functional decline, fear or becoming a burden, and concerns about long-term care and loss of independence. 

Older adults are typically more isolated, more frail, more likely to have a plan, and more likely to use lethal means when attempting suicide; therefore, a suicide attempt is more likely to end in death for an older adult than for a younger adult. That being said, suicide CAN be prevented! Some of the warning signs include: 

  •  Marked change in behavior or entirely new behaviors 
  •  Increased use of drugs or alcohol 
  •  Feelings of hopelessness and/or helplessness 
  •  Talking about suicide or not wanting to live 
  •  Isolating from family and friends 
  •  Visiting or calling people to say goodbye 
  •  Giving away prized possessions 

If you observe these warning signs, or if you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

Let’s observe National Suicide Prevention Month by increasing awareness and reducing stigma! 

Author: 

Dr. Gabriela Frederick is a Clinical Psychologist, with a geriatric specialization. She is a Certified Master Trainer for AGE-u-cate Training Institute and is dedicated to improving care and services for older adults. Dr. Frederick may be reached at Gabriela@AGEucate.com 

References: 

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Data & Statistics Fatal Injury Report for 2016. https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/fatal_injury_reports.html 

Mental Health America (MHA) http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/preventing-suicide-older-adults 

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide.shtml