My Home Life

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Ever wonder what it takes to be Outstanding?

 

My Home Life spoke with a manager of a recently rated ‘Outstanding’ Dementia, Nursing, and residential care home, they kindly shared the key ingredients they needed to reach an ‘Outstanding’ rating.

“Thing’s in the home improved when I was out of my office, it made me visible to staff relatives and residents and most importantly, involved me in the home”.

Being out of the office allowed me time to get to know my residents and see first-hand what was happening in the home. Last year I attended a My Home Life Leadership Support Programme, it allowed me to focus on my personal development in becoming a healthy, confident coach and leader. The programme allowed me time out of the home to network with other care home managers, reflect on my leadership skills and learn new methods of communication with staff. All this has created a more open, empowered culture in the service. “It all begins and ends with quality Leadership”.

“Resident involvement in the daily running of the home was pivotal in creating a person centered environment “.

The manager said, to reach ‘Outstanding’ the care home moved towards providing consistent capture and feedback of relative, professional and resident comments regarding quality in care. I explained to MHL the need to always involve the resident’s in all aspects of care home life, from individual care planning, to events planning for the care home.

“Making time to listen to relatives, residents and staff members is extremely important to me”

I explained that using this time allows me the opportunity to feedback and meet or realign expectations which, overall improved the experiences of those living in, visiting and working in the care home.

“Just be yourselves, it’s enough”

I often speak to staff about the importance of maintaining a ‘normal’ day’s routine when being inspected. Every day I see my staff shine with talent and initiative, I want to ensure staff know an inspection day is no different to any other day. “The key is managers being confident in their staff’s abilities”, this comes from investment in quality training, and the development of a positive culture of openness and good relationships.

“Always support the questioning, challenge and reflection of why things are done in a certain way”

Reflective practice is the final key ingredient in reaching ‘Outstanding’. All people living, working, and visiting the care home are encouraged to feedback and question practice. The Manager explained that with questions, comes learning, with learning comes change, and then innovation. This is why we always want to develop our skills, share our knowledge and learn from positive and negative experiences.

“It’s not a job, it’s what we do here”, a statement of which truly embodies the positive values of caring for older people living in care homes.

My Home Life would like to extend its thanks to the manager who assist in the creation of this blog.

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A networking day in our care home

Our home held an older persons services information drop in afternoon in which we invited in local organisations and support groups to discuss services available to older people in the area and opened the event to members of the public.
We held the event in our home to provide a relaxed, comfortable space for people to come in and seek advice.
Representatives from the Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, Care and Connect North Tyneside, Equal Arts, and the North Tyneside Carers Centre met with guests to discuss their services and the help, advice and support available in the area.

Why did you decide to hold the event?

We thought that this would be a great way to connect with organisations relevant to our residents and their families and friends, as well as provide the opportunity to showcase the works of Older Persons advice, support and social groups in the area and help inform local people of the resources and support available and equip them with the knowledge of where to go for help and further information. The open day also offered a networking opportunity for local older persons groups, as well as older people living in the area.

What was the impact on the professionals/residents and staff?

Following the event we received an email with some lovely comments about the event and the home from the Chairman of North Tyneside. The staff were very proud.

We also had some new visitors from a neighbouring sheltered accommodation complex who said they’d like to come along to our weekly coffee morning and future events which is great for our residents who like to make new friends.

What have you learnt about the power of community engagement?

As care homes we often think about how getting involved in the community can benefit our residents and our home but we also have so much to offer our communities too. As part of day-to-day life we form many close relationships and networks in our area, from our visiting healthcare professionals, to local suppliers, to our local authority, to community groups and churches involved in our activity provision.

We can use our connections and shared knowledge to help benefit people living locally and better our communities as a whole.

Thank you to Joanne Rossiter, Maria Mallaband & Countrywide Care Homes.

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Clear Lines of Communication

Imagine my concerns when during a monthly team meeting it became apparent that my team felt that their ideas and worries were not acted on.

The process we had in place to collect staff views was to feed them into the melting pot at staff meetings. But it became was clear to me only things that we had time to pick up or deemed as urgent were being actioned. On day two of the My Home Life Leadership Programme we learnt of the six sense framework, it made me think about how my team must have been feeling about their wishes and concerns not being acknowledged.

I said to myself, “Sarah, what does a deputy manager do?” I needed to give a clear structure to capturing staff comments and to have a team that knew who to report to and receive feedback from.

sarah-bucks

We have captured fantastic ideas such as care assistants with hobbies that can be transferred into activities and new ways of working to steer away from task orientated days. Another great aspect of this is that these lines of communication have become our supervision lines.

Overall this has allowed us to become more relationship centred as a home and united as a team, who are passionate, caring and devoted to the resident and service we provide! Creating a visual tool for colleagues to appreciate the structure and flow of our home and support system has helped everyone.

As a bonus it also acts as clear evidence that inspectors and support services look for when entering our residents home.

Many thanks to Sarah Clarke Deputy Home Manager, Buckinghamshire for sharing her experience with us.

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Welcoming children into the care home (with free guide!)

Child visiting relativeOver the years we’ve had a relationship with different groups of young people in our care home but we had lost contact with them, so we decided to start to build the links up again. It wasn’t completely straightforward – when we first started to try to find groups to link with some of them said that they had other things going on and weren’t able to commit to visits, even not very often. But we’ve kept trying and now have a good relationship with our local Girl Guides and Scouts, and different age groups from schools, who all visit the home regularly.

One thing that’s worked really well has been coordinating with the school about what the children are working on and building in the care home visit opportunity. For example, our Activities Coordinator went in to visit the primary school children beforehand and read the group a story designed to help children understand people with dementia. Then they had a group activity drawing pictures of their grannies and grandads for a display in the front of the care home, which was waiting for them when they arrived. Continue Reading

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