Conversations with Liz
Improving the wellbeing of residents and staff in your Nursing Home
Improving the wellbeing of older people living in our nursing homes, as well as the wellbeing of the staff who care for them, is a major part of ensuring we have happy residents, happy staff and happy families.
The ASCOT tool suggests there are eight domains of wellbeing.
Four lower-order needs (accommodation, food, safety, and personal care) and four higher-order needs (social interaction, occupation, control over daily life, and dignity).
All these domains need to be addressed for a resident to feel life satisfaction, optimism, self-esteem, feeling in control, having a purpose and a sense of belonging and support.
Do your assessment tools and care plans reflect these domains?
How do you know and understand the needs of your residents?
Research completed by the Institute for Health & Aging (IHA) at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) in Sydney found that up to 50 % of residents living in aged care facilities suffer from depression but only half are diagnosed or treated.
- Improve mood and combat anxiety, depression and loneliness
- Build resilience and coping mechanisims
- They improve or maintain physical fitness
- Reduce falls
- Improve the quality of sleep
- Reduce joint pain
- Help with forming of new friendships
- They improve central nervous system processing and reaction time.
- Improves staff engagement
- Improves staff morale
It is important that staff and residents are aware and are reminded of the daily activity programme. Creating a sense of fun, excitement, or competition for upcoming events is a great way to encourage resident participation.
Diversional therapy/activity plans should be discussed at your Circle of Care meetings also known as Multidisciplinary Team Meetings.
Residents’ meetings and surveys allow your residents an opportunity to discuss what activities they enjoy and changes they might like to the current program.
Many different approaches are used to improve wellbeing and I have provided links to some websites that may be useful.
About the Author – Liz Lear
Liz is from Northern Island and initially trained in the UK before moving to New Zealand in 2005. Liz is an expert in her field, working for over 11 years as a nurse consultant and the last 5 years as an Auditor. In order to provide great care to the older residents in our community nurses need to be educated, ask questions, and use sound clinical judgment when decision making. Liz helps organisations achieve this by sharing her knowledge and working as an auditor to help healthcare facilities identify any gaps and work with them on solutions to improve. Liz is an experienced Registered Nurse, Quality Improvement Advisor, and Lead Auditor in NZ with a passion for working in Older Person’s Health.