Re­spect­ful com­mu­ni­ca­tion starts with me and you

Life & Style Weekend - - HEALTH GUIDE - For more in­for­ma­tion visit ten­thingsabou­t­ or email ten­thingsabou­t­[email protected]

Stella was in the same aged care home for 10 years.

Stella loved weak black tea but was still be­ing served up white tea dur­ing her fi­nal days.

Stella was a vic­tim of the aged care sys­tem.

If only staff lis­tened and acted on the fam­i­lies con­cerns and com­plaints.

Meet­ings were held with res­i­den­tial care givers and man­age­ment how­ever, there was lit­tle change made to im­prove the dis­tress­ing way Stella lived.

Com­plaints were taken to the next level.

A Pow­er­point pre­sen­ta­tion was shared with the CEO of this home, out­lin­ing ev­i­dence of ne­glect, abuse, theft, lies and cus­tomer care sur­veys filled out, but never sent be­cause of the fear of reper­cus­sions.

Ob­ser­va­tions of Stella’s and other res­i­dents care, and the meet­ings held re­lat­ing to this, re­vealed a common thread – there was very lit­tle com­mu­ni­ca­tion hap­pen­ing be­tween car­ers, an­cil­lary team mem­bers, Stella, and her fam­ily.

Af­ter Stella had passed away, it was im­por­tant to the fam­ily, that the com­plaints and con­cerns didn’t dis­ap­pear.

They were con­cerned for other res­i­dents who still lived in this home.

The fam­ily needed to be heard. They also wanted to be part of the so­lu­tion.

Fam­i­lies and aged care providers need to work to­gether to pro­vide person-cen­tred-care, en­sur­ing good clear com­mu­ni­ca­tion is hap­pen­ing be­tween all par­ties.

Fur­ther dis­cus­sions held with this home re­sulted in the es­tab­lish­ment of “Ten Things About Stella.”

A ser­vice that will im­prove the lives of all aged care res­i­dents through in­creased, prompted and eas­ier com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

As providers/res­i­dents be­come aware of this ser­vice, they are con­fi­dent they will come on board, en­sur­ing an im­prove­ment in re­spect­ful and mean­ing­ful com­mu­ni­ca­tion within res­i­dences through­out the coun­try.

Given that the in­dus­try is cur­rently in a re­flec­tive stage of growth, sup­ported by the Royal Com­mis­sion into Aged Care, Stella’s fam­ily are keen to estab­lish and grow this ini­tia­tive as soon as pos­si­ble.

“Ten Things About Stella” wants to pro­vide a first step in im­prov­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween car­ers, an­cil­lary team mem­bers, res­i­dents and fam­i­lies.

This com­mu­ni­ca­tion will be fa­cil­i­tated through the de­vel­op­ment and dis­play “Con­ver­sa­tion Boards.”

Care givers and An­cil­lary team mem­bers can rely on the boards to as­sist them in en­gag­ing with res­i­dents in a re­spect­ful, un­der­stand­ing and en­gag­ing man­ner thus, im­prov­ing care and un­der­stand­ing that res­i­dents are in­di­vid­u­als with unique needs and his­to­ries.

An in­tro­duc­tion pack­age about the boards are avail­able to the fam­ily of the res­i­dent or the res­i­dent di­rectly, de­pend­ing on ca­pa­bil­ity.

This al­lows the fam­ily and/or res­i­dent to in­di­cate their pre­ferred pic­ture and the facts prior to print­ing and hanging.

Love shared be­tween the old­est and the youngest with 92 years be­tween.

Ray and Stella Shaw mar­ried 15.2.1947. Ray passed on 6.3.1997.

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