Resident photos proving to be effective engagement tools

Country Terrace

Project encourages one-to-one time between residents and staff

Friday, February 14, 2014 — Deron Hamel

A photograph of a Country Terrace resident posing proudly in his military uniform, his medals earned for valour displayed conspicuously across his chest, is mounted outside his room at the Komoka long-term care home. This proved to be an effective conversation piece to engage the resident and his family as the man went through the end-of-life stage.

This is one way the home’s photo project, which sees residents’ portraits placed outside their rooms, is proving to be an effective engagement tool.

Clinical care co-ordinator (CCC) Kimberley Noftle recalls how the resident’s son was often at the home visiting his father; his dad’s photograph, she says, led to many conversations about the gentleman’s military service, which was important to him.

Administrator Karen Dann came up with the idea for the project but it has been led by resident services co-ordinator Heather Davidson.

The goal is to get a photo of each of the home’s 120 residents mounted outside their rooms for an added personal touch. Noftle says residents look forward to getting their photo taken by Davidson, who Noftle commends for the program’s success.

Davidson, who received Country Terrace’s Inspired Leadership Award in 2013, is finding that taking residents’ photos is an excellent way to spend one-to-one time with those living at the home, Noftle says.

The CCC adds that Davidson is patient with residents, giving them the time they need to find the clothes they want to wear for their photos and getting their hair done.

“We didn’t know how popular the program was going to be with residents, but their faces just light up when Heather is taking the extra time with them,” Noftle tells the OMNIway.

“She takes a lot of time with the residents; it’s not just snapping somebody’s picture and putting it up on the wall; she really takes a lot of time to make sure the person looks very good.”

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