‘That’s why we’re here — we’re here to support’
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 — Deron Hamel
During the last Garden Terrace staff Christmas dinner, a personal support worker’s (PSW’s) pager went off, but when he excused himself to go tend to the resident needing his assistance, administrator Carolyn Della Foresta and another manager insisted they go instead.
This type of camaraderie is essential when you’re working in a long-term care home, says Della Foresta. In short, when you’re working in long-term care no job is too big or too small when it comes to caring for residents and when you’re a manager you need to be willing to step in and help those working on the floor, the administrator adds.
The culture of helping others and always being supportive of staff members is embedded in the DNA at the Ottawa-area long-term care home and at other OMNI Health Care homes.
“That’s why we’re here — we’re here to support,” Della Foresta tells the OMNIway. “We can’t lose sight of the support we need to offer (all staff members).”
In another recent example of this type of support, Della Foresta and assistant director of care Christine Schyf stepped in when a resident was in crisis. A doctor had requested the resident’s rings be removed from her fingers for a medical reason but the resident, who is affected by cognitive impairment, couldn’t comprehend this.
Della Foresta and Schyf stayed with the resident and helped the doctor remove the rings, which the resident had worn for years. Della Foresta and Schyf used supportive measures to redirect the resident’s attention.
“Afterwards, the resident’s daughter came up to us and said, ‘You guys went way above what we expected,’ ” Della Foresta says.
The next day Garden Terrace had a strategic planning meeting. During the meeting, Della Foresta wrote three words on a board: Above. Below. Beyond. These words refer to parameters, and no job should be above, below or beyond anyone working in a long-term care home, the administrator says.
“We have to do everything we can within our power to make this the best home possible and make sure we’re providing the best care,” she says.
If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.
If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.