Nov 23, 2016 • Provision Living at West County • By: Tom Bedwell
As we at Provision Living assisted living community work to deliver a truly person-directed model of senior care, we are finding that the results are incredibly rewarding, but they do sometimes challenge us to put our vision to the test on a day-to-day basis.
The other day, the daughter of one of our residents popped in to visit her mother. We love the impromptu visits from family and friends, but on this occasion there was just one small problem. Mom wasn’t home. It was a beautiful fall afternoon and mom (along with a few other residents and a couple of our care partners) had spontaneously gone out for ice cream. We expected that the resident’s daughter might be upset or at least express a sense of inconvenience about her mother not being home. Instead, the daughter was delighted. Going out for ice cream is exactly the kind of thing her mom has always loved to do on a warm afternoon.
The message to us: Trust in our vision, but be prepared for a little uncertainty around how care concepts such as spontaneity will play out in real-life scenarios.
Since we began planning the care model at Provision Living at West County, we have known that true person-directed care requires a place for spontaneity. Let’s face it, being able to act on your ideas is part of life, and so it’s going to play a big role in the daily lives of our residents. But it’s only possible if our care partners receive support and training on an ongoing basis to reinforce the message that spontaneity is a good thing. The care partner teams also need coaching on how to make spontaneity work, because even though Provision Living assisted living community is committed to the idea we also need to be committed to making it happen on a daily basis.
At Provision Living, our care partners are trained to take a person-directed approach and focus on the individual needs of each resident. Teamwork is a big part of our commitment to person-directed care. We have regular stand-up meetings throughout the day to deliver the training and coaching that helps care partner teams put concepts into action with successful outcomes. We also actively encourage our care partners to work collaboratively within the community to figure out ways, in the moment, to eliminate feelings of boredom and helplessness that can arise in our residents.
The day to day realization of person-directed memory care and assisted living can only happen if the model is defined, taught, coached to and, perhaps most importantly, staffed adequately. Unlike most assisted living communities, which tend to focus on how to get by with fewer caregivers, we purposefully employ extra team members to allow our residents the flexibility to live more fully. That means that there are care partners ready to take a resident for a walk outside on a nice day, lead a game of cards or checkers when it’s raining, or, as was recently the case, go get ice cream on a beautiful fall afternoon.
To learn more about the Eden Alternative approach to person-directed care, or to visit our community, contact Provision Living at 314-873-4430.
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