To Be Somebody's Someone
Anyone working in aging services has probably heard the following comment more than once: “It takes a special person to do what you do.” The implication is that only individuals with special qualifications, training, or personalities can serve individuals in care communities. Perhaps the answer isn’t in what we know, but in who we are in order to best serve the person who is non-verbal, who is actively dying, or who lives with a physical or cognitive challenge seemingly beyond our capability in addressing. I offer encouragement through specific narratives in connecting with those we would most like to avoid. Take a deep breath, pull up your bootstraps, and prepare to build bridges. You can DO this thing called BEING!
- The learner will be able to describe Martin Buber’s I-Thou philosophy and framework necessary for connecting with individuals with challenging limitations.
- The learner will be able to identify rules of improvisation and how they can enable positive interactions.
- The learner will be able to practice the skill of attention.
The Golden Experience
The Golden Experience is a heart-warming account of individuals who live with dementia and other age-related challenges. I share original songs and stories based on my work as a Creative Engagement Specialist for older adults. I combine qualitative research with philosophical concepts which provide practical insights into the needs and experiences of older adults. I applaud the role of the caregiver and share ways to initiate meaningful interaction with individuals who live in older adult settings. A unique feature to this presentation includes a detailed description of the Culture Change movement via an original parody of Gilbert and Sullivan's Modern Major General, the most famous song from their opera, The Pirates of Penzance. Participants go away with a greater propensity toward empathy, creativity, and renewed passion for the world of older adults.
- Upon completion, the participants will be able to apply principles of Validation while communicating with individuals who live with dementia.
- Upon completion, the participants will be able to exercise the skill of attention with elders as human beings in a person-before-task relationship.
- Upon completion, the participants will be able to identify examples of creatively engaging experiences in the long-term care setting.
Beyond the most unlikely landscape, there lies an immeasurable treasure. Emilou, an 89-year-old woman who was a Polio survivor and lived with dementia for many years, was considered by some to be the stereotypical nursing home shouter. In a unique case study format using original song and narrative, I illustrate several crucial relationship-centered care lessons I learned from an individual who spent 17 years of her life in long-term care, including the cost of being ignored. Participants leave with a greater propensity toward empathy and being fully present with someone.
- The learner will be able to apply principles of Validation while communicating with individuals who live with dementia.
- The learner will be able to engage in an I-Thou, rather than an I-It, relationship.
- The learner will be able to recognize and address the significance of exceptions to the order in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in the long-term care setting.
Studies say that stress management may be the most important business challenge of the 21st century. Everyone encounters stressors in the workplace and in life. I share a musical narrative of a disastrous winter road trip as a means to explore the crucial and compelling implications of both negativity effect and positivity effect in our lives and work. I distinguish authentic positivity and explore the subconscious pay-off for letting negativity take the driver’s seat. Once understood, expect to have a much healthier, happier outlook and experience in the workplaces and beyond.
- The participant will be able to define negativity effect and positivity effect and its personal implications.
- The learner will be able to distinguish the difference between perfect client service executed poorly, and imperfect client service executed beautifully.
- The participant will be able to identify healthy self-care practices.