27th February 1969.
This Photo is credit to me - and my phone - Last time I was in New York City!
FOSTER A RESILIENT CARE-FORCE PART 11Teaching Resilience in the Care-Force?
What does resilience look like in the care-setting.
It is the worker who keeps turning up. It is the elderly resident who has lost function and family but keeps smiling. Resilience is dealing with grief and loss on a daily basis. It is managing money and finances. It is maintaining standards. It is improving what we do and how we do. Resilience is turning up, supporting ourselves and others and doing the best job that we can do. Resilience is learning from our mistakes and owning our vulnerability.
“When a man is pushed, tormented, defeated, he has a chance to learn something”.
Not all workplaces or workers are resilient.
BUT resilience can be learned and should be supported.
In the care setting, this can be realised by incorporating some crucial facets to the workplace such as:
Promoting Resilience in Care Services
Different strokes for different folks. A one size fits all approach to adult learning will never work. The ‘antie’ increases when talking about resilience.
Resilience can be built within the care-force through implementing a number of different activities. This approach can be easily modified to suit the needs of the workplace and the workforce.
Essentially, there are six steps that assist the educator plan effective resilience building skills and behaviours within the care-force. Think about:
If positivity is not your natural state of mind, do not despair! It is just a thought and thoughts can change.
“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” Willie Nelson
SOME TIPS TO ACKNOWLEDGE OTHERS
It all starts with you.
These types of questions help care professionals to gain insight into their experiences and to keep track of their progress. Self-reflection is an invaluable quality in a care worker. Learning to consistently reflect on what they can do in order to improve their performance over time manages improvement continuously. Staff who develop a sense of self-worth and value within the workplace grow value to theory workplace.
Being able to communicate, think and plan ahead of time builds team work. Team work is essential to maintain a harmonious workplace. When the workplace is not so harmonious, being able to communicate, think and plan help rebuild the team.
There will always be crakes. We cannot have success if there is not failure. Having a resilient care-force means that workers feel valued for their contribution and are actively engage in critical reflection and continuous improvement that promotes personal, professional and business success. This is important if the business is in the business of care.
I am passionate about building our CARE-FORCE. I work with small to medium size care service providers to develop programs that suit their business.
Who do you know?
CALL now and COLLABORATE with me.
The most important skill that care-service leaders should share with staff is resilience.
The workforce becomes a care-force.
But resilience is not simple to teach. Imbedding resilience into the care-force is beyond rote learning, lecturing or policy and procedures. Resilience learning has to be relevant, meaningful, engaging, and challenging.
The process of becoming a resilient care-force starts with the individual worker who has developed a firm set of beliefs about himself, the workplace and his place in the workplace.
The worker is knowledgeable about their worth and capability. This means not just understanding the vision and mission of a workplace but being a part of it.
Few workplace behaviours and attitudes are acquired in isolation.
‘Man is by nature, a social animal.’ Aristotle
Workplace beliefs, behaviours, and attitudes are shaped by or within the workplace. The stories told within the workplace often determine a worker’s perspective. What is perceived is seen to be within the realm of reality and possibility.
Thus, how the workplace is perceived impacts the attitudes and behaviours of the social network at work.
The culture of the workplace will impact workplace attitude and behaviours. The care culture should be driving your care-force. The expectation of high standards should be matched by the implementation of high standards. The care-force is obligated to demonstrate care values to the people the work with and the people they work for. This expectation of care attitudes and behaviours becomes a buffer against adverse circumstances, maximising workers well-being, success and happiness. This impacts the care service.
The expectation of care attitudes and behaviours need to be cultivated.
There needs to be balance of explicit understanding and clear direction. If the policy and procedures are in place and practised, the perceived control of managers can be loosened, trusting that front line managers have the skills, attitudes and behaviours to do their job.
Care-force should not be ‘over-managed’. The helicopter manager can create workplace stress and anxiety through taking away the care-workers sense of responsibility and worth.
Care-force community plays a pivotal role in workplace development. The fundamentals of care-force development are found in building a skillset that builds resilience through building the workplace community.
FRAMEWORK OF RESILIENCE for CARE-FORCE DEVELOPMENT
This is within a framework of resilience that employs workplace specific knowledge and skill. Care-force development is grounded within a context of achievement, growth and supportive competition for care organisations to build attitudes and practices. It is about building a team – not replacing old staff with new staff.
Like the Japanese art of Kintsugi, building a team means that we start with something that is not perfect, and we appreciate the beauty and uniqueness that comes from that.
Characteristics of Care-Force Resilience
Resilience can be acquired within a workforce. It is cultural and social rather than fixed. Building resilience with the care-force targets:
An ability to develop positive bonds within the care-force, manage small challenges, trust one’s capacity to deal with responsibility, having a positive outlook of work and life, showing an emotional attachment to one’s relatives as well as to the social framework of the workplace, are key characteristics of a care-force that are resilient. They can manage change and implement improvement.
New York City
I was just 19 years old when I was told to leave home. It was unplanned and painful.
I was a “young” 19 year old. I was not wise to the world.
I stayed with my best friend’s family for a while until her mother organised a safe place for me to stay.
This was my first experience of living in community with people to whom I was not related.
I was lucky.
This community enhanced my growth and fulfillment. I had to learn and abide by the community expectations. I had fun with less financial struggle than what could have been. I had less status and stuff but I was happy and I was safe.
Research published in a recent Wall Street article describes loneliness as closely linked to mortality as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day or consuming more than 6 alcoholic drinks a day. Loneliness impacts longevity greater than obesity or physical inactivity.
This article is worth a read. You can find it here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-loneliest-generation-americans-more-than-ever-are-aging-alone-11544541134
LONELINESS AND AGEING
My grandfather refused to move into aged care. He was passionate about that.
Pop talked about renting out a room in his home so that he had some help and some company. He saw that this model of living would support him as he aged but also support other people who did not want to be alone.
It was an interesting idea. The trick would be to make sure you had the right mix of people and have clear guidelines and processes about expectations and how to resolve issues. This is not an impossible task.
My AGED CARE EXPERIENCE
I was just 21 years when I completed my University education and became a Registered Nurse. I had accepted a post-graduate position in Central Australia but worked casually around Sydney until the position started in the January (Too many years ago!).
One of the most challenging responsibilities was as the senior staff member in an aged care home. This was pre-accreditation days and it was horrific for a young casual nurse who was in charge a large number of staff and clients. Our Aged Care system has made significant improvements since those days. It had to.
I have now worked in the aged care setting across Australia and in the UK. I have been involved with education and leadership in care. I have completed a master’s degree in Education with the research component examining adult learning, aged care educators and the aged care sector.
I am not sure we have the system right.
Loneliness still occurs in Aged Care Facilities.
CO-HOUSING in the USA
On our recent visit to the USA my Project Manager and myself stayed in co-housing apartments where shared common spaces with long term and short term tenants. It was an interesting mix of people and of places.
Some places had private kitchen and bathroom facilities – and some did not!
It was a little uncomfortable at times but we relaxed into it.
We met so many people who were living, working or travelling. We learnt so much from these people. We laughed so much with these other people.
We were different. There were no other middle aged (I want to write ageless goddess but I am not sure you would understand that!) Australian white women in our accommodation. We made friends with people in the halls, the laundry, the bathrooms.
The permanent residents seemed to enjoy the new faces. They were open and welcoming to us as we explored their hometown. Most of the people we encountered who lived permanently were older, and some were disabled.
It was not comfortable all the time. The accommodation in San Francisco left us feeling a little on edge when other tenants came down to look in our apartment when we left the door open. Yes, I know – lesson learnt!
We travelled to Rochester to meet with a member of the Co-housing team there. This team had spent seven years planning their community but has not pursued it. There had been a number of factors that had prevented this site from being created.
The lesson here is that it doesn’t always work. It is not an easy option.
The most reliable wealth is found in relationship. (Courtney E. Martin)
Courtney Martin is an American journalist. In her book The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream (2016 – Seal Press)Courtney talks about how people are redefining the American Dream. This concept is not just American. It is happening all over the world.
Courtney talks about the new, redefined dream as having more fulfillment, community and fun with less debt, status and stuff. She talks of her experiences of living in a cohousing community.
She has given a TED talk which I highly recommend. It is entitled “The New American Dream”.
WE HAVE CHANGED
Co-housing is an opportunity to define a new approach to work and family that emphasizes community and creativity. As Courtney Martin says "The biggest danger is not failing to achieve the American (or Australian) Dream - …. (It) is achieving a dream that you don't actually believe in."
Last year I had a student who gifted me a red envelope and gold bookmark. She said it would bring good luck and prosperity. This awesome gift was received for a job I get paid to do and absolutely love. I was - and continue to be grateful for the lessons I am dealt.
My luck has continued. I have planned, looked for and created more of it.
This year my best friend from high school and I decided to travel to America! It has been a wonderful trip. There have so many memories created and times that have created unplanned opportunities – you know those!
So, we booked a bus tour to Niagara Falls. The falls were defrosting after being frozen – and the tour was a Chinese one (and I do not speak Chinee!)
Then, we realised that we would be on a Chinese tour - with Chinese people on Chinese New Year – surely this is auspicious!
So, the point of this post is to remind you (and me) of the opportunities (and LUCK) that this year will bring. Get prepared people!
The Chinese New Year is an opportunity to celebrate new year again
Now is the perfect time to re-adjust the January New Year resolutions or business plans. It is an opportunity to plan to pivot and change.
PLAN TO CHANGE
We had to TRUST that this tour will be fun and informative.
It was an opportunity for me to EXPLORE a work related project with experts in Rochester.
We BELIEVED that “things” were falling into place, as I KNOW that things always work out.
Handling adversity when you are out of your comfort zone (like travelling in foreign countries) is important. Handling adversity effectively means stepping back and taking emotion out of the situation. Learning to trust that the situation will turn out and there will valuable lessons to learn may feel uncomfortable. Handling adversity means that you must accept that it might just be different. Sometimes all the care and planning does not ensure everything will be how we think it should be – and that is OK!
SOME CHANGE CONSIDERATIONS
CHANGE CAN BE UNCOMFORTABLE
Know that uncomfortable is normal. This is what traps people into never moving on. Uncomfortable is manageable – it can also be enjoyable. Be brave and move through this discomfort.
BE TRUE TO YOUas you set intentions that make you excited.
This is a lesson I lost in my modern world. Being blessed with the opportunity to travel and meet people makes me realise that other worlds have lessons to learn.
Years ago, I travelled through Egypt. I was lucky to witness the Light Show at the Pyramids of Giza. It was spectacular. After the show I met a tourist policeman. His job was to make sure tourists were looked after. He was a happy and proud man.
The tourist policeman taught me to live and love in the moment. No – not what you are thinking … It is about gratitude and authenticity. He was practicing his English and was excited to talk with people from other countries. He invited us back to his house, promptly woke up his wife and children and entertained us for the evening. He was kind and generous and created a memory that has lasted forever.
My lesson here was to be kind, generous, authentic and grateful for what you have. This makes life better and allows you to dream bigger. My lesson was to not let life limit you – but be brave enough to let it expand you – let life make your world bigger.
You are imperfect and that is OK – because we are all imperfect. IMPERFECTLY PERFECT (Thank you Brene Brownfor that lesson).
So with the new moon and the Chinese New Year, take the opportunity to review where you are up to.
I wish you great happiness and prosperity. 2019 is the Year of the Pig. Pigs are a symbol of wealth and prosperity. The Chinese New Year is a time to cultivate luck and extend wishes of prosperity for the year ahead.
SENDING WISHES and BLESSINGS FOR GOOD FORTUNE IN YOUR LIFE – PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL.