What is Aria Gardens trying to achieve?
Aria Gardens wants to ensure that family members who would like to be involved in their loved one’s care are given the opportunity to fully participate. This degree of involvement is important as it gives health professionals a valuable insight into the resident’s progress from a family member’s perspective, gives a focus to family visits providing consistency, introduces the concept of family interventions, and creates an opportunity for the meaningful exchange of information between professionals and families. For Aria Garden’s, the person that knows the resident best is their family and they wanted to maximise this valuable resource.
What have we done
Aria Gardens has launched the "Aria Collaborative Care Approach". This is an innovative scheme that involves family members having their own set of family notes for their loved one. Family members are assisted to write family care plans, focusing on the medical or social needs of the resident. The family care plans provide valuable opportunities for family members to fully participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of their loved one’s care.
A sample Family Care Plan
On each visit by differing family members, their care plan is referred to and followed, and progress towards stated opportunities is documented on a set of family progress notes. These notes are included in the multi-disciplinary reviews, forming a key part of the resident review process.
As part of the launch, Aria Gardens distributed "Family Satisfaction Questionnaires", focusing on the topic of family involvement, to every family member with a loved one in its specialised Dementia Care Unit. Meetings were held with family members, the concept of collaborative care and family participation explained, and care plans written.
The content of care plans range from assisting to ensure that a loved one maintains an adequate diet and fluid intake (this is particularly important for residents who, due to their illness, have a reduced intake), and socialising events for residents who are at risk of isolation or loneliness.
Family care plans and notes provide a consistency to family visiting and provide numerous ‘moments of joy’- a snapshot in time where the resident experiences joy at participating in a pleasurable activity, irrespective of the fact that their short term memory loss means that they may forget the event after a very short period.
A sample Family Progress Notes
Where to from here?
This is a pilot scheme that is due to run until March 2014. At the end of this period, Aria Gardens will resend the questionnaires to family members and professionals involved in the residents’ care and seek their feedback on the scheme as part of a formal review process.
To date, the feedback from family members and health professionals has been exceptional and the positive experiences for both family members and residents have been heartwarming. Following the review, Aria Gardens intends to roll out this approach across its facilities, involving both the rest home and hospital residents and their family members.