Collaboration and Cooperation – Working together for our Patients

Collaboration and Cooperation – Working together for our Patients

ThanksFor obvious reasons, I don’t call public attention to the few complaints we receive from our clients or our referral sources about our CNA’s/HHA’s. And I don’t think I’ve ever publicly shared my thoughts about the care our clients receive at local assisted living facilities, but today I was so impressed by the way one of the ALF’s we work with handled a difficult and emotionally charged situation, that I have to share.

Most of us know that not all assisted living facilities are the same, and those that care for people with memory disorders have a pretty difficult job. When I got word that one of the aides from our nurse registry has been reprimanded on more than one occasion by the ALF’s management team, and today, the same aide was completely disrespectful to one of their employees, I had to call the head of HR and the Resident Services Director.

After 25 years working with local ALF’s, I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful it was to have the opportunity to speak with these two amazingly dedicated women.  Both were passionate and voiced their extreme disappointment in the aide who is providing 12 hours of care per day to one of their residents. Both of these professionals felt the aide should be replaced.

In my experience, this has pretty much been the norm. Just replace the aide. With no real consideration on how this might adversely affect the patient… But today, these two women spent almost 30 minutes with me, our staffing coordinator and our Director of Community Relations, focusing on what really matters most. The patient we both serve.

Despite the fact that this aide was completely out of line, rude to staff and continued to use her cell phone in complete disregard for the rules of the ALF, these two women came together with ElderCare at Home to come up with a game plan that would address their very serious concerns, and would also provide an opportunity for the aide to continue to work with the patient.

Was it easy to come together and have a meeting of the minds? Not really.  Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that something that appears hopeless is worth the time and effort it would take to salvage. And sometimes egos can get in the way, because it hurts when someone is rude and it’s no fun to have to deal with it. But we worked hard to find a solution we could all live with. One that wouldn’t be detrimental to the patient, and which would not create additional stress for his daughter. And I was determined to make absolutely sure, these women would never need to bring something like this to my attention again.  I wanted to make sure we knew their expectations going forward so we can shine and they can continue to feel confident trusting their patients to our caregivers.

It’s easy I think to get caught up in the emotions that all of us face as professionals as we advocate for what we believe is right and what we believe is just. But those professionals, like these two wonderful ladies today, who can think bigger, look harder, dig deeper, and collaborate with the goal of improving the life for someone with dementia, I believe is very deserving of recognition and applause that is so often not given. And although we know that our plan might not work, we remain equally committed to giving our plan a try. And that is pretty amazing.

Over the years, I haven’t met many who would take the time to do what these two women did today. To be a voice, not only for their community and the standards they hold so high, but to be a voice for their patients.

Their Executive Director, their Regional Director and their corporate office should be very proud of the way in which these ladies represent their community and their organization, every single day.  It is an honor for us to work with them.

When my clients ask us which ALF they should choose for their loved one? Or how each ALF is different? Every member of my team can attest to the fact that this ALF, and the professionalism of their staff, and dedication to their residents, is what truly sets them apart!

Elayne Forgie
Founder, ElderCare at Home