Recently I learned of a national group called The Pioneer Network, that consists of prominent professionals in long-term care to advocate for person-directed care. This group "pioneered" for radical changes in the culture of aging - going away from the institutional feel of "nursing homes" to a more humane model called "Person-Direct Care" that embraces quality of life regardless of age, medical condition, or limitations.
Wow - that is powerful! When I heard that The Pioneer Network 2015 National Show was coming up, I knew Beekley Medical had to be there. This show was the perfect fit to feature our product AromaTabs, aromatherapy designed for the clinical setting.
Our Long Term Care (LTC) customers shared that they use AromaTabs on their most challenging residents. By helping to calm those residents, it helps create a more peaceful environment. They shared that if a resident is highly agitated, it can have a domino effect on the other residents. We were so excited to hear that AromaTabs is helping residents with their quality of life, we wanted to share this with other LTC homes to support their efforts to impact the residents' care.
Around 1,000 attendees joined together in Chicago for the "Navigating Through Winds Of Change" annual conference. The commitment these attendees have towards the culture change movement to give their residents' a purposeful life is indescribable.
A few takeaways I learned at the show that I will live by:
BE PRESENT! This seems like the obvious, but for many of us we are thinking of how we are going to respond, wondering if we gained a pound after indulging at lunch or if we are really brave enough to zipline off the mountain on our upcoming vacation. We are not listening, we are not connecting. Be present, be there - it is not only a gift you can give the person you are listening to, it is a gift you are giving to yourself. You will be surprised at the rewards you will reap by connecting. And you never know what you may learn!
BE A SUPER HERO! As shared by Christopher Ridenhour, a keynote speaker at the conference, pretend you have on your Super Hero cape and know what your Super Hero special power is! Think back to when you were a kid pretending to be a super hero - you could do anything, right? Also help others see the Super Hero within themselves! When you think you can do anything, possibilities are suddenly knocking at your door.
DON'T GIVE UP ON CONNECTING! Sometimes it is us, not them. We need to slow down to make a connection with our elders. Take time to observe them - what frustrates them and brings a smile to their face. Reach out and don't give up after the first, second, third time - keep trying! Eventually you will make that connection.
I heard this poem at the Pioneer Network Namaste Care End of Life Session that Gerard Bodalski, Vice President of Health Care Services from Lutheran Homes in Oshkosh, WI shared. I think this is inspirational and by sharing can challenge us to make personal "winds of change" on how we treat the aging population: