Supporting every single consumer in your care to live the life they choose to live, every single day…

Sometimes this is easier said than done! The reality is that this is a core aspect of the new era of Aged Care in Australia and possibly one of the greater challenges.

Storytelling as source of information

It is important, therefore, to find ways to do this both formally and informally. Throughout human history storytelling has been a very effective and valuable teaching tool because the stories are generally purposeful making them informative, interesting and relevant. Understanding the notion that the ongoing developing consumer story is vital to their care and that there are ‘moments that matter’ in everyone’s life on a daily basis, may assist care teams and organisations to support consumers to live the life they choose.

So, what is a “moment that matters”? Let us tell you about “Peggy”.

“Peggy” – an example of how important conversation can be

Every morning, after breakfast, Peggy goes to the communal living room to say good morning to everyone, and to share what she has planned for the day. One day Peggy was very quiet and didn’t want to chat about the usual trip to the op shop or what was planned. Sally, a new member of the care team, engaged Peggy in conversation and commented on the beaded necklace and bracelet which Peggy made herself and is very proud of. The conversation moved on to the visit to the facility’s beauty/pamper bar where Peggy regularly does her own nails. During this time Sally was able to observe and undertake unobtrusive assessments of Peggy, her personal hygiene and mobility, for example.

The conversation continued and the rapport built, and Peggy shared with Sally that she didn’t have any breakfast today and didn’t want to eat in the dining room anymore as one of the other residents yelled at her and she was very upset by it. This is a ‘moment that matters.’

How do moments that matter impact daily life in Homes?

The five minutes Sally spent talking to Peggy gave important insight into Peggy’s life and needs in the Home. As leaders celebrate and encourage the sharing and follow-up of the stories of the moments that matter by their care teams, they will witness positive change, consumer and employee empowerment and engagement, and service transformation.

Taking care teams on this journey is essential if we want to support every single care recipient to live the life they choose to live, every single day. And, storytelling will help teams gain insight and truly know and understand the care recipients, which will enhance individual outcomes for them and the care teams.

Do you have a story to share?

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