There’s a new way of doing things for senior care centre managers

RandAidPerson-directed care is not just a new buzzword in long-term senior care. It comes from the world-wide realisation that care facilities for seniors are not hospitals and that the management of medical conditions related to ageing is just not enough to promote the wellbeing of senior residents.

As this model has been followed for so long, a culture change is needed to make care facilities a better place for seniors to be in – and to turn them into homes where seniors want to be in, for families to enjoy visiting and for staff to working in.

This culture change requires a new way of thinking about long-term senior care, new values, attitudes and ways of doing things in order to transition from an ‘institution’ to warm, loving and caring senior ‘home’.

Eleven Rand Aid Association staff members were fortunate to participate in a two-day coaching workshop run by international Eden educator, and mentor, Carol Ende.

Carol is the former CEO of the Eden Alternative in the US and currently works internationally as a consultant and educator of culture change associated with seniors.

The workshop focused on teaching new techniques and skills to help build relationships between staff and senior residents, promote team work between the various care partners and create a sense of community in our care centres.

It was highly practical and interactive and used examples from everyday working life to demonstrate skills, solve problems and develop a better understanding of the needs as well as abilities of elders.

“Carol emphasised the transformation towards person-directed care is not a programme, it’s a journey that requires conscious leadership that ensures all care partners become and remain involved and committed towards creating a better life for our seniors”, says Rand Aid’s Zabeth Zühlsdorff, GM Services and Advance Division.

Helen Petrie, the Manager of Elphin Complex, that includes the Ron Smith Care Centre, said the workshop made the leadership role required of her as a team leader easier to understand. “The logic required to lead culture change in our care home was explained to us so clearly that we are all better armed for the task ahead of us,” she said.