Caring for Residents Also Means Caring for Our Caregivers

Our caregivers are the backbone of Our Family Home and our commitment to more good days. Providing care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is not easy. It requires deep compassion, dedication, and for many of us, training. Our caregivers are no different.

From the onset, we knew that to see our vision for providing high-level, personalized care come to fruition, we needed employees who were equipped with the resources, structure and tools to be successful. Much of that comes back to the right training and the right situation.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Training
Through new hire training and our ongoing “OFH University,” Our Family Home goes well beyond state-mandated training for our employees. We teach Teepa Snow principles and focus on the tools and techniques for patient, personal care.

Specifically, we work on identifying and understanding triggers, how to handle and de-escalate resistance from residents and understanding the effects of memory disease. We want our care teams to be able to connect with our residents where they are in their disease and adapt to the needs or situation of each resident.

Personal Development Training
At Our Family Home, we are committed to both the professional and personal growth of our employees. One of the most important aspects of our training is reducing caregiver stress. We do this in two ways: first, by providing Alzheimer’s and dementia-specific training aimed at lessening their work stress, and two, by improving self-care.

As caregivers, to provide the best care, we must also be sure to care for ourselves. This holds true for our staff as well. We focus a lot our attention on helping our caregivers take responsibility for healthy decisions, learn new techniques for managing the difficulties outside of work and find ways to cope with stress.

Maintaining Ratio
In addition to training, one of the most important things we do for our staff is maintain our 5:2 resident to caregiver ratio. Employees – and therefore our residents – will be unable to thrive if they are over-burdened or given the unrealistic care expectations of larger centers. To apply the principles of their training, two employees are only ever tasked with caring for up to five residents in one home during the day.

By keeping our ratio at an industry low, we are able to improve the working situation for our employees, the care for our residents and the personal connection that every individual needs.

Our residents thrive because of our caregivers. It is our responsibility to make sure our caregivers have the right training and resources to thrive as well.

Meet Begashaw!

Employee Spotlight: Begashaw Gurmessa
Assistant Manager

What do you do for Our Family Home?

I am an assistant manager with Our Family Home. In this role, I help oversee scheduling, payroll, resident care and our caregiver team.

How long have you worked with Our Family Home?

I started with Our Family Home six years ago as a caregiver.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

What I enjoy most is being able to pursue my purpose to help people. I used to work for a big company. Coming to Our Family Home has shown me how to see our residents like family. Now, my work is always centered around helping them.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I enjoy spending time with my children and family. I love to go to the park with my kids.

What have you learned working with the residents of Our Family Home?

I’ve learned so much. I didn’t have Alzheimer’s in my family, so I’ve learned a lot about the disease and its effects. I understand how their lives changed quickly as a result of the disease. More importantly, I’ve come to feel like our residents are family. When you see them every day and you connect with them, they stabilize and embrace you like family. That gives me purpose. That’s the reason I work here.

How does OFH give residents and families more good days?

In a lot of ways. How we treat our residents every day and our relationship with families. Our families believe in us and have confidence in us. They know we care. More Good Days guides us in our belief that our residents are going to have a good day. All of the caregivers at Our Family Home come to work to take care of the needs of our residents. It shows in the passion they have for the job we do and our relationships.