November is Empathy Action Month in the UK, and we at Beritaz Care have been taking some time this month to consider how we put empathy into action within our homes.
Understanding and demonstrating empathy plays a big part in everyday life at our homes. It is important for our staff to understand our resident’s feelings and experiences from their perspective, being able to put themselves in the residents’ shoes and understand the struggles or frustrations they may be facing will help our staff to provide compassionate care.
When any resident comes to live with us we always want them to feel like our home is their home, this means ensuring they feel completely comfortable and know that anything they need we will provide. Often when they first arrive at the home it can take a little while to settle in, our staff are there to support them through this adjustment, offering a friendly listening ear and helping them deal with any feelings they may be having.
We have arranged specific activities to help our staff understand the experiences of our residents, such as our ‘resident for a day’ exercise and a ‘virtual dementia tour’. The ‘resident for a day’ experience is a training exercise where the staff member lives the life of a resident at the home for the day, taking part in activities, meals and other daily routine tasks, exactly as our residents do. This was a valuable training exercise for our staff and gave them a better understanding of our residents’ struggles and needs.
Some of our staff have also taken part in a ‘virtual dementia tour’, an eye-opening training session where our staff members had the chance to walk in the shoes of someone with dementia and experience what life is like for them. They carried out day to day tasks while experiencing the impediments faced by someone with dementia, a fantastic way to truly understand what some of residents go through.
At Beritaz Care we understand that every person’s situation is unique, therefore our approach to each resident must be tailored to their needs. By forming close bonds with our residents we are better able to understand how they are feeling, understand issues they may be struggling with and notice if they are not completely themselves. Our staff truly care about each and every one of our residents and want to improve their happiness, which is why we will continue to apply active empathy in everything we do.