Home' Community Care Review : CCR Aug-Spt 2015 Contents PAIGE'S STORY
"Iworked in IT before joining Amana
Living as a community support
worker. It was a big change, but I
knew I wanted to do something to help
people, and aged care appealed to me.
In the first year, I learned a lot, mainly
because I was curious. Even the smallest
things were fascinating to me -- medications,
catheters, stomas -- it was all knew and
interesting. I'm also intrigued by how
differently people age, and I wanted to know
all about dementia. I had so many questions.
Amana Living provided training in dementia
care and I'm now doing my Certificate III.
I became a care coach recently, which
means I still deliver care but I'm also available
to support new community support workers. I
meet with them and their clients, go over the
care plans, show them what to do and give
them advice. I then fill out a report so we can
keep track of how they're getting on.
But the most important relationship for
me is with Thom'e. I can call her at any time
if I'm stuck and don't know what to do. She
usually knows straight away what advice to
give me. Otherwise, she'll come with me
to visit the client and review the situation.
After just a year working together, home care team
leader THOM'E NAYLOR says she'd like to clone
care coach PAIGE DOWNES.
Thom'e Naylor (left)
with Paige Downes.
so this is quite a different role for me. Both
the team leader and care coach roles are also
fairly new for Amana Living. We've had to do
a lot of brainstorming as we become more
experienced with the new structure. It now
runs very smoothly.
It makes perfect sense to have someone
who is dedicated to supporting the
community support workers. Clients may be
quite diverse, culturally and temperamentally
as well as in terms of their care needs.
The community support workers are quite
isolated from the rest of the team, and
benefit from having a direct line to someone
who knows their clients and can respond
quickly. I'm happy that I've learned how to
pass on my knowledge to my team because
more people are able to benefit from it.
Paige and I meet every eight weeks
and, if necessary, I'll also meet with her at
a client's home. Clients and their families
seem to find it reassuring that their
community support worker has back-up
from someone with a lot of experience.
A great benefit of the structure is
the relationship we have with the care
coordinators. They are there to support the
clients, so we work closely with them to
ensure the best care is delivered. Having fast,
direct feedback from the community support
workers means we're right on top of any
issues. For example, if a client's condition
or circumstances change suddenly, we can
get straight onto the care coordinator. They
will then talk with the client or their family
and make any necessary adjustments to the
schedule or services.
Most importantly, Paige has a positive
attitude, and this is reflected in her clients.
She gets to know them, listens to their story
and thinks about how she can best support
them. By using cues such as photos and
lifestyle choices, she opens conversations and
connects with her clients. She will get to know
family members as well if this is appropriate.
This is the kind of care we aim to deliver --
turning every encounter with our clients into
an opportunity to really connect." n
As told to Jane Hammond.
Since we've had the new ComCare system,
this works even more efficiently, because
we can immediately record everything that
happens and the communication flow is
much better. Sometimes a client will tell me
things they don't tell their care coordinator,
and vice versa, so having this system means
everyone on the team has all the information
at their fingertips.
The best part of my job is getting to
know clients and finding out what will
increase their wellbeing. For example, I
deliver social support to a gentleman with
dementia and found out that he had an
interest in aeroplanes. I took him to the
aviation museum where he told me lots of
stories. It was a great feeling to connect
with him in that way."
"Paige has done really well to become a
care coach within a year of working with us.
She's had some challenging clients and has
coped brilliantly. It's a real pleasure to be
her team leader.
There are four team leaders here, each
managing about 50 community support
workers. I've been a nurse for over 30 years,
aaa community care review | 49
It's all about relationships
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