Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Long-Term Care Family Councils

Went to a webinar yesterday. It felt great to be involved on a professional level with family council and staff issues. It is hard to get a facility interested in actual growth of a council that wishes to be a force within that community. They need it for their own high ratings, but the benefits to the families go well beyond a group that meets once a month. And benefit to the facility in improvements that will also bring those high ratings. They should be real care centers.

The closer people are to their loved ones care, the more they should be a part of the council. Families that are away or otherwise do not visit much, of course tend to think that things are fine and their loved one is in "good hands", which almost a dangerous misconception. I spoke with a family member recently and he said he didn't wish to participate in a council because he's furious about some of things going on with his loved one's care. That is EXACTLY why he should join. The purpose is not to just sit around and talk about how great everything is; there are positives of course, but they're largely cosmetic. Issues of daily hygiene are the issues that seem to be the biggest issues at my Dad's facility.

JOIN in a be a part of making your loved one's care better. Just because they are surrounded by staff does not mean anyone is paying attention to them individually. Someone once said that their care is only as good as the family (or beloved friend, etc.) that can be there all the time. This is very true. It is a business. Some are more caring than others, but there are plenty of staff that are simply doing a day's work. For facility caregivers whose hearts are in their work, they are irreplaceable and make all the difference in the world. These are people that know how to put themselves in someone else's shoes - that could be any one of us some day. Wouldn't you want someone to care about who you were, how vital and talented, wish to talk about that, find your interests, cherish your wisdom and experiences if only in years on the earth?

JOIN to make your skilled nursing facilities the centers for caring that they are meant to be.

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