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Northern Ireland holds My Home Life conference

NI conferenceSeptember saw the first conference for My Home Life in Northern Ireland; the Improving Quality of Life in Nursing & Residential Homes Conference was held at Magee, Ulster University with over 170 delegates.

The conference was targeted at health and social care practitioners across a range of sectors who are interested in improving quality of life for residents, relatives and staff in nursing and residential homes. Delegates included HSC representatives across the 5 trusts, RQIA, care home managers and provider’s and academic and research staff from Ulster University.
The event provided an overview of a range of practice development initiatives that have been introduced in nursing and residential homes across the Western Health & Social Care trust, as part of a Knowledge Transfer Scheme funded by the HSC R&D Division, Public Health Agency, IHCP, Ulster Garden Villages Ltd and AgeNI.

The conference focused on four key themes from the MHL best practice themes:

  • facilitating a positive transition for residents and relatives;
  • maintaining dignity and identity;
  • sharing decision making and
  • creating and maintaining community links.

The care home managers involved in the My Home Life programme engaged the audience with a range of presentations on the changes they have successfully implemented as part of the project. This included testimonials from a resident, staff, a relative and primary school volunteer.

Transitions – Manager presented a film they have produced to demonstrate the new pre-admission approach they have developed. In the film the managers themselves played the roles of the older person relative and manager. This film is currently being developed further to become a full teaching resource explaining the new admission approach using the paperwork devised to support the initiative.

Dignity & identity – Managers presented their new innovative ‘ This is me now’ tool. A narrative care plan which involves relatives and staff working together to ensure the’ little things’ that matter to resident’s with limited communication are shared in a meaningful way. They also included a relative share a very emotive story of her positive experience of palliative care in one of our homes which was underpinned by the use of a ‘palliative care table’.

Shared decision-making – Managers talked about different ways to use a conversation tree and how they used it to engage with residents, relatives and staff, also the use of the reading rooms to enable shared enjoyable experiences with residents relatives and staff.

Community links – Managers presented a chat show style presentation approach to demonstrate how they had engaged with the local community. They showcased the FaNS initiative, intergenerational work and included a resident speaking about her experience of this and a young school boy who enthusiastically shared how he loves visiting the care home and how Maisie is now his friend (shown in the accompanying photo to this story). He sang to the audience which resulted in not a dry eye in the house.

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