Many of our residents come to Our Family Home from unsuccessful situations in other care centers, and often begin to show improvements after joining Our Family Home. When we look at the common threads that help our residents improve, we realize it’s because for us, it’s personal.
Dementia care is the fastest growing segment of assisted living and we continue to see growth among larger, corporate-owned entities. While some individuals do alright in these settings, we find that our residents thrive in an environment that’s more personal.
Our Family Home was born out of personal connection to memory disease. Evan grew up around Alzheimer’s disease, caring for his grandparents, who had the disease, and later his mom. After his mom’s diagnosis, he realized nothing like Our Family Home existed. It sparked an idea for a new level of care.
The format of converting residential houses into smaller, safer and more familiar homes for individuals with memory disease originated from his experience, as well as his formal education in senior care management.
Evan also knew that successful care needed to go beyond the right environment. It had to include a commitment to forming a well-trained and committed care team. Equipping the employees with both personal and professional training opportunities would be the key to attracting and keeping staff that cared about the residents.
Our Family Home believes in giving employees the tools, training and techniques to be able to provide high level care for residents and take better care of themselves. We need to invest well in our people, so they invest well in our residents.
While personal experience has contributed greatly to the foundation for Our Family Home, the guiding principle of the organization is really connection and livelihood. With a 5:2 resident to caregiver ratio, our staff is afforded the opportunity to spend meaningful time with residents. Often time our caregivers will refer to this as being able to get in their moment.
Being in their moment means putting aside your own agenda and focusing on what our residents need at that time. We don’t enforce a strict daily schedule because we realize that not all people adhere to the same schedule. Some of our residents are early risers while others prefer to get up later. We want to create an environment that relays consistency and familiarity.
This mindset also empowers our caregivers to focus more on the needs of each resident depending on where they are in the disease. We focus on what each person can reasonable do rather than setting expectations for a group that may be unrealistic for some. We’re also able to reconfigure our days, our tasks and our expectations based on how things are going each day or hour.
Being a caregiver is personal. It can be strenuous and emotional, but it’s also something we do because we care. At Our Family Home, everything we do – from the layout of our homes, to investing in the right training for our care teams, to engaging with our residents and their families – is because for us, it’s personal.