Megamorphosis blossoms in Brock Fahrni Orange Neighbourhood
Submitted by Ann Gibbon, senior communications specialist, Communications & Public Affairs
On Brock Fahrni’s Orange Neighborhood, framed drawings with evocative words like Love, Kindness and Home adorn once-empty walls. Vibrant blue and green paint create the illusion of wainscoting on what used to be plain, beige walls. The nursing station is painted turquoise and is decorated with playful vintage posters.
And on the wall across from the dining room is an ever-expanding Community Tree with green construction-paper leaves containing meaningful details about staff, while each pink blossom contains a photo of a resident and the three things that bring him or her peace, comfort and joy.
One resident’s blossom contains a simple, poignant sentence: “Joe is the love of my life.”
These are some of the many features that sprang from Megamorphosis, which took place over two weeks at Brock Fahrni. As the second phase of the Residential Care for Me initiative, Megamorphosis draws upon insights gathered previously about the experience of residents, family and staff at all of Providence Health Care’s residential care homes. The goal of Megamorphosis is to find ways to achieve the vision of:
- Emotional Connections Matter Most,
- Residents Direct Each Moment, and
- Home Is a Feeling – Not Just a Place.
Similar to the experience at Youville, which underwent Megamorphosis in February, BF’s experience involved testing a variety of ideas, including:
- personalized name buttons,
- a buddy program in which staff volunteer to spend time weekly with residents who do not have regular visitors,
- Find Me Lights to make it easier to locate staff,
- the creation of more dining space so mealtime can be a pleasant and social experience,
- a welcome basket for new residents, and
- brightening up the shower room, now known as the spa room.
Remarkable individual stories have emerged from the process: of connections between residents and between staff and residents, of residents engaging in activities and “helping out around the home” and of open hearts and minds.
“We saw so many examples of people going above and beyond their duties to enhance the lives of the residents,” said Sonia Hardern, Performance Improvement Consultant. Clinical Nurse Leader Patsy Tchao cooked congee (Asian rice porridge) for a resident whom she noticed would often sit asleep in a chair in the dining room, her lunch untouched. After eating the new meal, which was more familiar to her culture, the resident became more engaged, walking in the halls and helping with the Community Tree.
Megamorphosis at BF concluded with a staff and resident celebration on June 23, led by Jo-Ann Tait, Program Director, Elder Care and Palliative Services. The event, held on a warm, sunny summer day, was complete with cake, music and some joyful singing and dancing among the residents.
Jo-Ann told the 55 or so residents and staff at the celebration: “We want to get away from ‘I’m in need of care’ to ‘I’m living at home’.”
Enid Frankgate, a 76-year-old resident who came to Brock Fahrni last December, noted the considerable effort staff have put into creating positive changes that align with the three goals. “They have created more room, and the art makes it feel homey.” She recounts how a room off the dining room was never used, so the door to it was removed and it was recreated into a mah-jong area to encourage more socializing. “The living areas are much nicer now,” she said. She also loves the new poncho created to cover patients going from their rooms to the shower area.
As part of the Megamorphosis process, extra staff was brought in temporarily so regular staff could spend uninterrupted time getting to know the residents and what matters to them. That made the experience extra special for them.
“I had a lighter workload, so I could build relationships with residents and not be so task-oriented,” said Samantha Morris, Residential Care Aide. The extra time allowed her to learn more about residents’ lives. A family member told Samantha of how her father, who has dementia, proposed to his wife of 70 years so long ago. “At the end of the day, residents need someone to talk to,” she said. “It means so much to them.”
Initiatives still in the works include art projects for the walls, art cards to sell and one-to-one volunteers for the residents.
“To me, Megamorphosis is about planting a seed,” said Jo-Ann, adding she looks forward to seeing the seeds that have already been so carefully and thoughtfully planted continue to grow into something abundant and transformative.
Residents Dan and Glen, helping out with redecorating
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