I just returned from spending two days in Columbus, OH at the Ohio Healthcare Association Conference with my AGE-u-cate colleague V'Ann Guiffre. I now realize how much I have missed interacting in person with "my people." There is just something about people that work in Aging Services! I won't do justice in explaining what I mean, but you know, there is just something there.
There is an urgent need to equip caregivers to better respond to and care for persons living with dementia. Traditional training models have focused on the number of classroom hours an individual must spend in training, assuming that a person who completes the required training hours is ready to work successfully with people living with dementia. The shift to competency-based training improves dementia care by focusing on mastery of tasks and tools that are learned.
Topics: AGE-u-cate Training Institute, dementia care, Senior Care Professionals, care staff, dementia, caregivers, compassionate touch, Dementia Live, leadership, Hospital Professionals, dementia training, staff
Anyone working in the field of senior caregiving knows how important it is to find meaning in our work and service. Author Simon Sinek tells us to Start with Why. I’m haunted by the memory of a man who reminded me of why I continue to love senior caregiving. I met Frank in a nursing home where I was teaching a Compassionate Touch workshop. I first noticed him because he wasn’t particularly old, at least not by senior care standards, and because he was tall and muscular. He was sitting in a corner in the hallway near the nurse’s station. By his appearance, I was pretty sure he had suffered a stroke some time back.
When visiting someone with dementia, be ready for anything. Things can change day- to- day, even moment- to- moment in dementia care. A little preparation can go a long way to help create a positive experience in dementia care. Have a “magic bag” ready that you can pull things out of that may reach through the dementia to the person inside.
The senior care work force of tomorrow should be at the top of discussion topics for eldercare leaders. Investing in development and retention of great workers, along with competitive wages and benefits is vital. Many areas of the country are already facing critical shortages in front line staff and this trend will no doubt spread quickly as baby boomers need increasing aging services.