---It finally hit me why it is that everything we do at Laguna Honda never quite has the payoff that is slated. I think that it is one simple thing. It was breached by Dr. David Farrell from Lumetra…way back when. It was when he gave his wonderful talk on CONSISTENT CARE. He mentioned THAT - ''WE HAVE TO TURN THINGS UPSIDE DOWN!''
---Symbiotic - like the can of tuna and the can opener. When the resident is genuinely made happy by the immediate caregiver in, basically, anyway that it happens…the CAREGIVER BENEFITS IN MANY WAYS. The satisfaction and sense of accomplishment is almost immediate and immeasurable. Like the opened tuna...the resident opens when he/she expresses himself. He can express good or bad, happy or sad, etc. His caregiver is given to have the expression be what he wants. A rapport is built between the two. If you find how to get the resident to express the positive stuff you do him a big favor. If you make him/her happy it we will have a happier hospital. HINT: Like everyone else, the resident loves to talk about himself/herself and his life.
---All the staff/caregivers involved come to life when this happens. It trickles down in this way. As an example we will use a baby. Whatever makes a baby authentically laugh has a positive affect on all present. And, there is NO blanket formula that is universal. It ALL pertains to that particular baby. It, basically, works the same for elders. If a caregiver on/off staff approached a resident and simply said (out-of-the-blue,) ''I HAVE A FEW MINUTES BEFORE I HAVE TO GO TO THE NEXT RESIDENT. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT I CAN GET FOR YOU?'' The Resident would be flabbergasted. He would, probably, feel ''SPECIAL'' at the very least. Of course the caregiver would then have to follow through. If he did this for all his charges of the day...it would be 40 minutes (total) well spent.
---The Resident, also, derives many of his moods from his surroundings. If he is ignored a lot and left alone a lot…he will be in that funk.
---The caregiver will have to be a little proactive. The resident doesn't open up to strangers very easily, but once he is convinced you are on his side, you have made a friend for life. When he is engaged, involved and feels like he is a part of what’s happening, he has more opportunity for laughter and happiness. It is amazing how a couple of nurses dancing to music being played gets the attention of many in that funk. We have to expand on those good times. See how happy the resident is when an important preference that he has...is met.
---We have to actually turn things around OR (UPSIDE DOWN.) It will take a concerted effort, but it just begins by the positive affects of paying quality attention to resident. Explore things that you have in common. (Like it or not...you have more than you think in common.) Watch TV With HIM/HER. Mentor him or even vice-versa. Explore what’s going on with him/her for a change. Become genuinely concerned with him. Take his preferences seriously. Realize that you have your job because of him/her, if that is where you are. Hope that you shoot from your heart, eventually. RESIDENT HAPPINESS is IMPORTANT! Take Care.