Colleen was explaining to a relative newcomer to the Senior Living community Kelly, how she came to work here several years ago. “Gram moved in about a year after Grandpa passed away. She no longer wanted to maintain the big, old country house anymore or to wander around all the rooms empty of Grandpa. Mom wasn’t sure she would adapt to such a drastic change in her lifestyle. Boy, did Gram surprise all of us! She took to the community like ducks to water!”
“But what does that have to do with you?” Kelly inquired as she continued eating her lunch. They were on break and had been meeting at lunchtime since Kelly began her first day of work when Colleen offered to show her the ropes.
“I was still in high school and left my summer job working in a retail shop to work here in foodservice. I was supposed to check up on Gram to be sure she was not lonely. Hah! That was a joke! Gram fit right in and had new friends within a week or so. Her days are as full as she wants them to be. She tells me how she never expected to enjoy herself so much. It is so different from her mother’s widowhood. Big change, she tells me.”
“In what way?” Kelly asked.
“She has choices of what she wants to eat, when, where- meaning the café or dining room, or in her own room, and when she wants to get up in the morning or to bed at night. There are no institutional routines like there once was in Senior Living or Assisted Living. She is treated with dignity and respect; not talked down to that would make her feel childish. She joins in the activities offered, or not; her choice. She’s made a great many friends including some on the staff. They took time to get to know her, not as a faceless person that needed care.”
“How has your work here changed you?”
“I’ve learned so much in the training sessions and on the job from coworkers, that have touched me in many ways. I’ve changed my direction in school and am now pursuing education for a career in the Food Service Department. I want to work in a field where I love what I do.”
Kind Dining♥ training gives employees the confidence to challenge them to do good work easier and better. This training encourages culture change that allows staff to give personal care, to come to know the people they provide service for, to reap the benefits of caring, and to love the work they do with altruistic satisfaction.
B♥ Kind ®Tip: You have the power to make a big difference in resident satisfaction!