Assisted Living Tips

I need to give an in-service to the nursing staff at an assisted living facility this week. What approach do you recommend for me to use to really make them understand what it is the resident goes through when they are brought into an assisted living facility? Thank you.

Eileen in New York, 46

The senior coming into an assisted living may or may not be there by choice. I try to get my audience/staff/students to think in terms of what it would be like for them to be 75, 80, 90 or older and then get into the mindset of an older individual. 

Then we consider the following questions:

*How many changes have they witnessed?

*How many new inventions and scientific discoveries have they experienced?

*How many of their loved ones are no longer near (due to moving or death)?

*Will they be getting visitors and if so how many, how often and who?

*What changes have happened with their body?

*Who do they see when they look in the mirror?

*What were the highlights of their lives? (education, romances, weddings, 

children, moving, travel, owning their first, horse and buggy, car/house/business etc)

*What are some of the sights and smells and sounds that excited them or gave them pleasure as children but they have not experienced that in a long time (i.e., coffee at a camp site, milking the cows at 5 am, train whistle, smell of the ocean or lake)

I also have my students/audience walk with a cane or walker, sit in a wheelchair, and have others stand over them and talk to them. Then they have to describe what it felt like.

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