Attempting to quickly catch-up this evening on some healthcare articles / blogs I had flagged this past week and came across "Understand the patient's passion, purpose for better care" by Anthony Cirillo on Hospital Impact's blog. Another 'must-read'.
Are we asking our residents what is important to them or do we just assume that we know?
A great habit for Social Service staff is to ask each new resident about what is/has been most important to them. The above question always reminds me of a female rehab resident several years ago. I was able to be the first person in her room to welcome her (Social Service & Activity folks, you know how rarely that happens). Truth be told, I was the first one in because the Admissions person passed my office and indicated she was going to be a 'feisty one'. As I entered, the resident was unpacking her belongings and we started to talk about the usual new resident information. Then I asked her about what was most important to her and what her purpose is/has been. She handed me a framed photo of her granddaughter, looked me straight in the eye, and said 'Her, and people around here better realize that'. My response was to respectfully chuckle to which she responded, 'I'm serious. I am actually a nice lady, but that picture and my granddaughter's visits mean everything to me. As long as my granddaughter can visit me everyday and people here leave my picture alone, we'll get along fine.' And we did get along fine.
The resident wasn't 'feisty'. She was worried that her routine would have to change. She was afraid that someone would steal her photo. She was scared that her granddaughter wouldn't be welcome to visit. After reassuring the resident that her requests would be honored, I spread the word to the staff. Housekeeping staff left her photo alone and rehab scheduled her therapy sessions in the early morning so that she could have time to rest before the granddaughter visited every day at supper.
Some extremely simple steps helped to prevent behavioral symptoms, grievances, mood decline, and an early discharge. Sometimes we make situations out to be harder than they have to be. Talk to the residents. Ask them questions.
Need assistance with in-services for your nursing facility staff on customer service, psychosocial well-being, person-centered care? Contact Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC, and we'll schedule training to help continue improving Quality of Life services for your residents.