The recently released report from the office of BC Seniors’ Advocate painted a pretty sad picture of what life can be like for many seniors living in government funded care homes. Though those living in these homes feel safe and are well fed most would not use the word home to describe where they live. Many feel isolated and lonely and find it difficult to make friends and have meaningful conversations and opportunities to learn and grow.
There are similarities in hospital care and long term care and one of those is pointed to in her report. Isobel MacKenzie recommended 8 improvements, one of which in my estimation will require training for both health care providers and administrative staff providing care for our ageing baby boomer population that now numbers some 9.6 million people Canada-wide.
Provide on-going education for all care staff on the importance of resident emotional well-being and focus on developing staff skills in supporting this important aspect of care.
“While care staff are trained in the fundamentals of care such as bathing, transferring, lifting etc.,
there is often no formalized training in how to support residents emotionally”
In my personal experience working with end of life issues, dying, death, and grief over the past decades it is extremely obvious that folks working in health and long-term care environments must have solid training in grief and loss self care if they are to remain healthy and happy in their work and have truly satisfying careers.
Just Alive Consulting and a team of four veteran nurses created Alive In Death Training for Healthcare Providers for this very reason. We recognized the unarguable lack of grief and loss training for RNs, LPNs, and care aides and created an online program to provide this much needed self-care training.
I have attached to this letter an outline of the eight-module program for your review and understanding.
My request of you is that you include this helpful and supportive online training program amongst the program offerings your RNs and LPNs can use for their continuing education requirements – as the Saskatchewan Association of LPNs has done. Many LPNs have taken the online training since it was approved six months ago and found great value in it.
The online program itself is financially well within the reach of health care providers and has been priced with affordability in mind. It is self-paced and requires roughly 24 hours of study. It is in an easy to use format and provides eight supportive learning tools along with the lessons.
I would be happy to chat with any of your colleagues in order to make this important training available to your licensed members.
Warmly and with gratitude
Reverend Stephen Garrett, MA