Caregiving at Autumn Leaves is a team effort – it takes everyone doing their part to make it work. While our caregivers are trained to provide excellent care, they also rely on family caregivers back home to help fill in the blanks and paint a life portrait to draw from when developing a care plan. Knowing the details that make each resident unique allows the care staff to tailor care to specific personalities.
At Autumn Leaves of Georgetown, Chuck’s caregivers know that he has sweet tooth, and that the way to his heart is paved with chocolate. But they might not have known this had his partner Cameron not shared this fact with them. Because of Cameron’s tip, Autumn Leaves caregiver Darlene knows that if Chuck is refusing a shower, the promise of a bit of candy may do the trick!
Medication Tech Alexis knows that when Chuck helps with her morning duties (he is her shadow throughout most of her shift), a special “thank you” treat from the vending machine will make his day. Says Cameron, “They treat Chuck as if he were their family member. It’s nice to know that caregivers will devote that kind of time to the residents.”
Darlene says she is a better caregiver because of her relationship with Chuck and Cameron. “It doesn’t matter what kind of day I’m having,” she says. “All I have to do is see Chuck and he lights up my heart. Chuck has a special name for me – ‘Barb.’ I’m not sure where it came from. but I wouldn’t change it. I love when I’m off for two days and when I return, he throws his hands in the air and tells me, ‘Barb, I’m so glad you’re here.’”
She also knows that she couldn’t be as fulfilled as a caregiver without Cameron’s support. Says Darlene, “I want to thank Cameron every day for trusting us to care for Chuck.”
Caregiver Stephanie feels the same. “When Chuck first came to Autumn Leaves, he was having a hard time. But as time progressed, he got better. I have been here with Chuck for a year now, and he and I have formed a special bond. When I come into work, his face lights up, and he tells me, ‘Thank goodness you’re here!’ To Chuck, my name is ‘Bob,’ not Stephanie. I always answer. Cameron, too, has grown so comfortable with the care and connection we have with Chuck, that he confides in us about Chuck’s care and progress.”
Open and honest communication results in improved care, and no one knows that better than Cameron, Darlene, Stephanie, and Alexis. The personalized care they give Chuck doesn’t just benefit him, it benefits Cameron as well – and that makes them better caregivers. Listening, learning, and loving are a caregiver’s best tools!