relatives and carers

“A test of a people is how it behaves toward the old. It is easy to love children. Even tyrants and dictators make a point of being fond of children. But the affection and care for the old, the incurable, the helpless are the true gold mines of a culture.”

Abraham J. Heschel

“If you really want to spend time stripping away the layers and getting to the things that are truly important in life – then this is the course for you. You will become more aware of your capacity to make a difference to the lives of others and, through connections with people, really understand the significance of spirit and what that means in relation to performance, productivity as well as happiness in the workplace.”

Anne Wilson

 

Two elderly women

“There’s more harmony amongst staff.  We are getting to know residents more.  It’s calmer environment and easier to get work done”   Veronica

Relatives and Carers Working Well Together

Some of the people who are of great importance are the relatives of the residents.  For many of them it may well have been a hard decision for their mother or father to go into a home.  Most of us ideally would like to care for our parents personally, but not all of us can do that, especially when high levels of care becomes necessary.  Relatives need to feel confident that their loved one is receiving truly great care, ideally better than the care they would receive in their own home.  For all of us what we truly want is for our parent to be happy, therefore it is vital that care homes become places that go way beyond simply delivering care to meet CQC standards.  The care needs to be loving and kind and sensitive to the particular needs of the residents, if the relatives are to have peace of mind that their parent is well cared for.  No one knows better than the relatives what are the specific needs of the resident and they can provide invaluable information to help guide the care home in providing the unique personal care that will ensure that the resident is happy.

At Caring for Care Homes we work with carers and relatives to help them find ways of relating well together.

Below you can get a glimpse of how relatives and carers worked together at one of our Caring for Care Homes workshops.

Once again many, many thanks for giving us the opportunity to host the Caring For Care Homes’ seminar on Monday, which examined ‘what could make the biggest difference to the relationships between carers and relatives’ and family involvement in the ongoing care process.

There is a fine line between what may be perceived by carers as involvement and interfering; all too often I have felt that many carers believe that once someone enters into a care setting then there endeth the need for family members to do anything other than visit! I say this as someone who has worked in the care industry for some years now, and as a family member who has both a mother and mother-in-law in care homes, as well as being a volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Society.

In my role I have spoken with hundreds of family members who are considering putting their loved one into a care home and, for most of them, it is the absolute ‘last resort’: guilt, grief, fear and anger are among many of the emotions they will experience in making this decision. Many families have spent years supporting and caring for the person. Usually they have known them all their life, or for a huge part, and there is very little they can’t tell us about the person’s likes and dislikes. Furthermore, there is often a huge sense of loss if they can no longer take an active part in the care giving process. There is an enormous amount we can learn from them that will help to make our lives easier in delivering the appropriate care. The more we understand the person the better their quality of life, their sense of well being and self worth will be.

We invited one of our family members to participate in the seminar, which felt a bit uncomfortable at first, but we agreed that it would be good to see things from both sides. Chris learned a huge amount on the day about what it is like to be a carer. He started to understand the complex nature of the problems involved in the caring process and was amazed at the commitment of the group to find a way to do it better. Every resident is an individual, each family member is an individual and often we are communicating with many members of the family, who each have different communication needs. When you start to multiply residents, family members, staff on three shifts etc. you can see the challenges to be overcome. In addition, we often have personality, language, cultural, and social differences with which to contend. When we look at the issues in this context, it is easy to see the opportunity for conflict, which the seminar addressed.

Personally the seminar took me back to basics: communication starts with self awareness. When we stray from our vision, mission, values and purpose, we forget the basics. The involvement of family and friends is one of our key principles of service. I cannot ignore the fact either that family members are also the biggest pipeline of referrals to our business. When we get it right our residents are happy, our families are happy, our staff are happy, and our business thrives.

Thank you so much for reminding me of the basics, having some fun along the way, working with the Caring For Care Homes team was a true inspiration. The professionalism of your team was outstanding, only surpassed by your commitment to the cause. The atmosphere was wonderful and our staff who attended are looking forward to our 21 day transformation: we are going to work together and have some fun with it. We intend to inspire our other team members along the way.

We look forward to an ongoing relationship between us and hope to be a shining example of how to be the best of the best.

Kindest regards, Lesley Loizou, Director of Community Relations, Sunrise of Virginia Water

Together creating truly great care for older people