Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — Deron Hamel
In the world of family councils, the group at Springdale Country Manor is nothing short of a team of superstars.
In fact, they don’t even call themselves a family council, opting instead to use the term “family circle.” This term is much more friendly, welcoming and, indeed, more reflective of what the group of family members stands for, says chair Carol Delahey.
One of their missions is to highlight the great work that goes on in long-term care homes and to give kudos to staff members whenever possible.
Family councils, Delahey emphasizes, should not be bodies that exist to lay blame or find fault in a long-term care home’s staff. Instead, these groups should be supportive of staff members and highlight the good work they do every day.
This, she says, encourages a positive atmosphere for staff members, which helps people enjoy their jobs more. The trickle-down effect can lead to a happier environment for residents, Delahey says.
This is the message that Springdale Country Manor families bring to the other long-term care homes in the region they visit. Yes, this family council visits other OMNI Health Care long-term care homes as well as other homes in the Peterborough area, sharing their successes and encouraging family councils that support long-term care home staff members.
“We visit other homes and we take these ideas to these homes,” Delahey tells the OMNIway.
Springdale families have even consulted with other long-term care homes to help them establish councils when they had challenges forming them, Delahey notes.
For example, when OMNI’s Pleasant Meadow Manor experienced challenges forming a family council, the Springdale group met with life enrichment co-ordinator Chris Garden to help form one, Delahey says.
The Springdale Country Manor families also share with other councils the programs they have to promote staff confidence.
One of these programs is Guardian Angels, with families voting for staff members they see go above and beyond the call of duty to create a happy environment for residents. (The OMNIway will be featuring a story on this program later this week.)
So, how does Springdale Country Manor’s family council get families from other homes interested taking the first step forward to form their own council? Often, it’s as simple as asking them to meet for coffee, Delahey says.
“Everyone likes to go to Tim Hortons,” she chuckles.
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