Learning by doing is not a new concept. Educators have long pointed to the exponentially powerful effects of this education model. American psychologist, professor and educational theorist David Kolb published his learning styles model in 1984, from which he developed his learning style inventory.
Part of my responsibility as the VP of Grant Initiatives is to track the progress of Compassionate Touch® and Dementia Live® online coach training for the nursing homes that are participating in our Civil Monetary Penalty Grant (CMP) projects. We have amassed an impressive list of nursing home staff in Ohio , Minnesota, North Carolina and Tennessee who have completed online training to become Compassionate Touch® and/or Dementia Live® coaches.
After months of reviewing training reports, this week I noticed something other than the number of new coaches, and that is the number of coaches since 2019 who are still with their facility.
I need to preface by saying that this information has not been confirmed by participating facilities, but each time an email bounces back to me- the name is scratched off my list. In Ohio, 99/124 Compassionate Touch® and 76/106 Dementia Live® coaches appear to be reachable with the same email address used to enroll in coach training, indicating retention of 79% and 71% respectively.
Admittedly, there is likely a margin of error in these numbers, but assuming a -10%, these numbers are impressive, considering the massive turnover that has occurred during the pandemic.
Employee Engagement and Retention
While the recipe for retention is far more involved than just providing staff education, I believe I am justified in believing the human resource investment that these participating facilities made in Compassionate Touch® and Dementia Live® training may have contributed to the retention of these coaches. Many of these coaches are still in touch with me and share their excitement about starting up training again.
National Commission for Quality Long Term Care, 2007
Public Policy and Aging Report, 2017
National Institute of Health, 2021
The above studies reveal that the reasons for voluntary separation include many factors, but lack of quality training and education, feeling ill-prepared, and absence of professional growth were consistent factors.
Compassionate Touch® and Dementia Live® coach training is high quality, relevant and fills knowledge gaps that move the ill-prepared to a place of confidence and competence. These programs are also utilized as career ladder opportunities in many organizations, and that number is growing.
Everyone should take a moment and think of your accomplishments over this past year- I am sure there are many. For me, taking stock that perhaps our work at AGE-u-cate® has helped to in some way to keep employees engaged and retained is very rewarding.
Marketing Team - are you ready for 2022? I suspect you are either shaking your head in agreement or feeling stuck in planning what to do next.
Senior living providers have had a plateful of challenges to address, and one that ranks high on the priority list is to rebuild census.
Let’s talk about how to differentiate yourself from the crowd, build quality relationships that result in move-ins, and create an ongoing stream of referrals.
I started in the aging and caregiver space over 27 years ago as a family caregiver. Almost three decades later what I needed most then is exactly the same as what study after study supports is desperately needed now - education!
Be Your Community Resource
I talked in my last blog about the importance of community collaboration - that is, a care community's collaboration within their geographic region. For example, working with a local Dementia-Friendly Initiative, Alzheimer's Association or Parkinson's Foundation, or others working hard to build widespread awareness of critical aging issues. This helps to expand community relationships, build awareness and develop connections with referrals, and all the while contributing to the greater good.
The need today for effective dementia education is through the roof!
Marketing team - add to your toolbox a "Wow" experience to help people better understand life with dementia.
2022 will be a year for:
- A game-changing referral source strategy.
- Families and professionals seeking out in-person activities, conferences, education, etc.
- Senior care providers to offer something different that will help engage and connect with their referral sources in more meaningful ways.
- Communities to invest in programs, activities, and events that will engage people and set them apart from their competition.
Become a Dementia® Live Coach
AGE-u-cate®️ Training Institute's highly acclaimed Dementia Live®️ Simulation Experience is the game-changer. It's what people talk about a year after they've gone through the experience. It offers the care community representative the opportunity to speak one-on-one with participants, build a meaningful relationship, and in the process, provide one of the most powerful dementia education experiences available today.
As much as your staff needs Dementia Live®, your community does as well. This program offers the benefits of flexibility, practical tools, and resources to allow senior care providers to use as staff training AND community outreach education. And if in-person is not an option, the program includes an online option!
"Dementia Live is hands-down, our most valuable census building tool. Beyond its incredible educational value, it's our #1 marketing investment." ED, Texas.
AGE-u-cate is on a global mission to ignite change! Want to join us?
If you want to learn more about having Dementia Live® in your sales toolbox, contact us today!
It's frightening to care for someone you don't understand. People living with dementia (PLWD) are themselves often filled with fear and anxiety and express themselves in ways that are difficult for others to comprehend. For a family member or professional who is helping persons who are themselves trying to cope with the cognitive changes going on in their brains, it is a domino effect that carries over to care partners. Fear, anxiety, guilt, and feeling very frustrated in not having the tools to better communicate and respond to stress reactions leave caregivers feeling helpless.
It's no surprise that the long term care sector has experienced declining occupancy and census due to COVID-19. The best marketing and sales efforts couldn't compete with a worldwide pandemic. But the tide is turning and if we've learned anything during this time -is that creativity is king, education is powerful and experiences change how people think, feel and act (because we've been missing these!). Dementia education and awareness is critically needed in our communities. Let's talk about how we can bridge dementia staff training with meeting marketing and sales goals by providing a solution to the pent-up demand for impactful dementia education from our local communities.
On the brink of a new decade, I contemplate what the next ten years will look like for the aging services industry. Reflecting on the past provides me some hope for the future. In some respects, we have come a long way. By the same token, we should maintain a future focus and continue to develop more strategies that support the quality of living of frail elders.
Topics: AGE-u-cate Training Institute, Senior Care Professionals, Family Caregiver, Training, dementia, Family, caregivers, Dementia Live®Training, leadership, Hospital Professionals, professionals, elder care, education, families, understanding, dementia training, older adults, dementia education, home care
Caring for people with dementia requires specialized communication skills training. Unfortunately, healthcare professionals and family caregivers often receive little training to enable them to meet the communicative needs of people with dementia.
Topics: AGE-u-cate Training Institute, Senior Care Professionals, dementia, Family, caregivers, Dementia Live, Dementia Live®Training, Hospital Professionals, family caregivers, faith communities, professionals, older adults, health, communication, Social Workers, CNA, Certified Nurse Assistants, communication skills, Chaplains, Case Managers, Communication Skills Training