June – Know Your Resident

We love our residents! That's why June is Know Your Resident month! ❤️

June 3-7, 2021 is Senior’s Week in Alberta, show your appreciation for seniors and recognize the important contributions seniors make to our province.

How do you keep residents active and involved?  How do you know if a resident has undergone changes that may alter how you provide care?  CCSA has put together resources to help you!

Who are your residents?

The relationship between seniors and caregivers is a unique one; it relies on mutual trust and respect. It is not simply about providing assistance, but about building relationships.

Dementia can have a profound effect on communication abilities.  The Alzheimer Society has lots of great information including this day-to-day series on what you need to know about dementia and communication.

The Legacy Project has created “fill-in-the-blanks” life story sheets to help you get to know more about the residents you care for and help them tell and share their stories with caregivers and loved ones. 

StoryTelling Toronto provides an online storytelling resource guide to aid in collecting the stories of senior adults.

How is your resident feeling?

As resident’s needs and states can change day to day or even hour to hour.  Asking questions to determine how they feel when you are providing assistance is not only important for the safety of the caregiver but also the resident.  As a caregiver, you deal with residents families, it’s your responsibility to provide peace of mind for the family, building a positive relationship with families will help you understand how to communicate with their loved one. 

Remember there is a significant correlation between caregiver safety and resident safety.  When preparing to help your residents with mobility, remember the acronym S.A.F.E. – Scan, Adjust, Follow-Through, and Evaluate!

Consider these questions when assessing your resident’s state or abilities:

Was my resident happy to see me? Or did they tell me to go away?
– How is my resident feeling right now?
– Does my resident verbalize pain or are there non-verbal cues my resident is in pain (moaning, crying, constant shifting, grimaces, winces, clenched jaw or clenched grip on an object)?
– Is my resident able to assist like they did yesterday or earlier?
– Is my resident cooperating with following instructions?
– oes my resident seem confused about what I am asking?
– Is my resident being resistive (pushing back against the caregiver, trying to grab the caregiver’s hands)?
– Is my resident verbalizing?
– Is my resident self-talking (mumbling or talking to things not present)?
– Is my resident hallucinating or seeing things that are not there?
– Is my resident pacing or otherwise occupied in any stemming activities (rocking, hand twirling, hand waving)?

Gerontological Society of America has a great publications on communicating with older adults and you may find the CCSA resident mobility assessment form and flowchart useful tools when working with residents.

How to engage your residents?

Here are some resources to help your residents keep on their toes with activities for mind and body!

Looking for a fun activity for residents? 

How about pet therapy?  Pet Therapy Society and CAAWLS both provide safe and effective animal-assisted activities and pet therapy visits.

Golden Carers provides fresh and meaningful activities for seniors, take a look at their article; 20 practical activities for people living with Alzheimer’s Disease.

100 fun activities; whatever the age, interest or abilities that can be enjoyed and make you laugh!

Free printable word search puzzles in LARGE PRINT; great activity that is fun and relaxing!

Looking for a day trip? Check out Peaceful Valley Day Lodge; which provides opportunities for organizations who serve the elderly and terminally ill in Central Alberta a beautiful, serene location for day trips!  


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