New research cited by McKnight’s shows what we have been teaching for years… relationships matter, especially healthy working relationships between care partners. We define care partners as everyone involved in providing care for an elder including professional staff, family, friends, and the elder herself.
At the Eden Alternative we teach the concept of “care partnership” because it helps everyone understand that they are part of something bigger than themselves. This fosters an environment of interdependence where cooperation and teamwork can thrive. It creates a much better living environment for the elders and a much better working environment for staff while satisfaction, quality, and financial performance all improve.
While this can be an easy concept to understand, it can be difficult to put into practice in a sustainable way. The good news is we have a new tool called Neighborhood Guide Training to help drive care partnership and relationship-building skills deep into an organization’s culture. It is the answer to help leaders grow the skills of the hands-on care partners so they can resolve conflict, problem-solve effectively, understand and use quality improvement tools in their daily decision making, and overall become well-known to each other so they are a cohesive team. It is the answer leaders need to transform themselves and grow their employees and teams!
I still don’t understand why so many long-term care providers cling to an outdatedinstitutional operating model rather than embracinga concept like “care partnership”. There really aren’t any more excuses. We have the answers. Tools like Neighborhood Guide Training are available, and the evidence is in. It works! I say it is time to embrace change or fade away.