Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Attachment theory

I received a new magazine in my letter box yesterday - a free one. It is called Natural Parenting. One of the articles has caught my eye and it is on "Attachment Parenting".

Over the years there has been all sorts of theories on what you should or shouldn't do with babies and bringing up children. This one makes incredible sense to me and I am wondering how this applies to the elderly in our care and the diseases that inhabit their body's.

Reaseach states that children who are emotionally secure are "more enthusiastic, persistent and cooperative and tend to be less fearful, oppositional, angry and are more joyous" They are also more likely to be "more popular with peers, more soically competent and more capable of empathy" and "they are less likely to be targetted by bullies".

On the other hand insecure children "seek attention in oblique or irritating ways and are more likely to grow up clingy and hypersensitive or aggressive and disruptive"

Now the article has a lot more in this of course but I have long believed that what happens to us in our childhood and how we learnt to react or respond to these issues has a major impact on who were are as adults in health and wellness.

My question has been, what actually makes us sick? Why is that some people fly through life with little or no illness and others are continually unwell? Why is it that some people are more resilient than others? Why is it that some people get dementia in a family and others don't?"

Because I am unable to answer these questions, I have listened to people's stories - their life story. This is where the clues lie. This is the clue to their behaviour.

In my first book I talked more about this but essentially it is not what happens to us that causes disease, it is the way we react and respond the the things that happen to us. If a person does not have the skills, confidence or tools to cope, manage or rise above each challenge that is set them they will become sick - either mentally or physically.

Now I know it is a lot more complex than that but I worry for all these young children who are put into day care at such a young age. Are we indeed setting them up to emotionally and physically unwell adults? Food for thought dont you think.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Compassion Fatigue in Nursing

I have come across this article on Medscape Nurses Viewpoint. It is really worth a read and can be found at.


Some interesting facts have come out of the survey carried out by Marily W Edmunds.

Nurses working 8 hour shifts are more likely to suffer compassion fatigue than those who work 12 hours shifts.

Intensive care nurses had higher satisfaction than emergency nurses

Nurses with the least experience reported higher rates of compassion satisfaction than more experienced nurses.

Nurses who had higher compassion satisfaction scores were more interpersonally "fullfilled" which is defined as being happy, being me, being connected to to others. They were happy in what they were doing, didnt feel trapped, were less likely to be bogged down or feel exhausted.

So what is the message here?

Nurses can suffer compassion fatigue which affects their coping mechanisms. They are the people who are more likely to ignor bells ringing, take days off sick, leave the organisation, reduce shifts etc.

So what is the message here?

Working as a nurse can desensitise some people. Nurses don't appear to be good at looking after themselves or their co-workers. Compassion fatigue is closely related to burn out. Compassionate nurses are a dwindling resource.

However I guess there is once bright star on the horizon. Psychiatrists have higher rates of suicide, sever depression and general compassion fatigue.

If we don't take care of ourselves how can we take care of others? This is what is lacking and why it is so important to bring the care back into caregiving.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Excitement ahead for 2011

It is coming to the end of the year. I am feeling tired. Are you feeling the same?

But I am inspired for 2011. About this time of the year I am really looking foward to the next year. New growth, new development, new exciting things happening - but this time it is different.

2011 means business expansion but not so much in financial, although that no doubt will be a spin off, but expansion and the realisation of my mission to bring the care back into caregiving through training.

I have been working towards this for a long time. How to do it has now become a reality. How can I make training instantly applicable to more people. How can I make training easily accessible and affordable that reduce obstacles to learning?

Well I have found it. My goal to provide mini classrooms for training is being realised at this very minute.

You see there is only me. I am it in my business. If Ii want to get my message accross, how can I get training out to more people and not burn myself out.

So for now, watch this space. I am excited and inspired. Now I can get this information out to one person or a classroom which is facilitated by an educator.

Have I got you interested? Well keep reading and watching this space.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I think many people are over Treaty Workshops

I think that this happens because many New Zealanders, especially Pakeha's, see these workshops as pro-Maori. In actual fact the Treaty was written for all Newlanders. Until Pakeha's understand this there will still be a them and us.

There is no them and us. There is only US. Yes us is all New Zealanders. This is what the Treaty of Waitangi is all about.

So why all this hoohaa?

It only comes from those who want to promote separatism not collectism.

We can all claim our space in our little world here at the bottom of the Pacific. We all have rights, the same rights.

So if you want to really understand the Treaty of Waitangi look at it in it's entirety not just the sections you want to claim for yourself. When everyone looks at it in this context we will see that New Zealanders comes in many forms and are all given protection under the treaty.

Arent we just a lucky country?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cultural Sensitivity goes both ways

I know I am on a bit of a tangent here but it is time us Pakeha New Zealanders stood up for ourselves.

It may have sounded in my last blog that I am against other ethnicities coming to New Zealand. I am not. I feel they add a real richness to the diversity of our country.

What I am concerned about is that as a Pakeha New Zealander we are expected to accomodate everyone else with little regard to ourselves. We have needs and desires that are culturally appropriate for us too and I don't feel these are being met.

Frequently us Kiwi's have care dished out to us in the form of what others think we need. We are suppose to promoting Person Centre Care but it frequently does not happen. We are not understood by those who look after us.

Now I am not saying other ethnicities are not caring - they are but are they giving the care that the person needs to their cultural identity or is it the caregivers cultural identity.

If anyone if offended by what I am saying I am not apolgising. What I want is for those people careing for the elderly, disabled and infirm are giving the care that is appropriate to the clients needs, culture and indeed they want.

If you are having a reaction to this - great? I commend you. You are on the road to recognizing the needs and desires of a Pakeha New Zealander.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I am sick of being so PC!

As a Pakeha New Zealander I am fed up with having to bend to all other ethnic groups in this country.

We have a culture too. We are generally a fairly passive group of people. We have been told to recognise other ethnic groups and be culturally sensitve.

But what about us!!! Who is being sensitive to our needs? Who is making sure people understand US.

Get real Pakeha New Zealanders. Speak up for your needs and your rights. Stop being so passive about it.

A message to all caregivers, including RN's and Managers, Pakeha New Zealanders have rights and needs. Many of us have been living here for 4 or 5 generations. We don't have to take what you give to us.

Pakeha New Zealanders, it is time for a revolution.

Stop apologising for who you are.

Stop being afraid to say what is not happening for you.

Stop receiving care or being dressed in clothes you dont want to wear or are culturally inappropiate for you.

Stop allowing other people saying we are cultrally insenstive. We are not. We are very accommodating to all cultures so how about other cultures thinking about us and our needs.

A message to other ethnicities - Start thinking about what is culturally appropriate for your clients and be culturally sensitive towards them.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Steeling people's belongings is Theft!

I don’t know if caregivers are aware of the importance of people belongings? It always grieved me when I had to face relatives who complained that clothing or belongings were missing or I had to advise relatives that their precious belongings had been mistreated or lost. I now find myself on the receiving end of and it does not sit well with me at all. Yes, my mother’s clothing has gone missing from a residential facility.

I am not criticizing the facility she is in. Far from it. It was them that brought it too our attention.

What I am criticizing are the people who look after my mother who who have complete disregard for her belongings.

I know that some cultures view clothing as something that covers the body – nothing more. I know that some people believe first up best dressed. I know that some people just don’t care and some people don’t know how to look after a person’s clothing.

This is not so for me or my culture – Pakeha New Zealander.

Our upbringing is we care for what belongs to us. What we own is very important to us and is to be treasured. If we choose to give it away, as many of us do give clothes and belongings away, we willingly do so.

But when we feel we have our belongs stolen we feel betrayed and hurt. To take what does not belong to you is theft and theft is a crime.

My mother is on a subsidy. She doesn’t get very much money but she likes to look nice and we do our best to do this. The cost of doing this falls on our shoulders which we gladly do.

But we don’t appreciate people stealing her clothes. We don’t appreciate going in to see her dressed in well worn, tatty clothes because that is all that is left for her to wear. I consider this abuse!

On top of this my mother has macular degeneration so her vision is very poor. This does not mean that she does not like to look nice. She does.

It also means that she would not know who took her clothes either. They could be whisked out from under her nose and she wouldn’t know.

This whole thing really distresses me. I am not blaming the management but
I am distressed, and yes angry, that people have so little regard for my mother that they want what meager belongings she has left.

I do my best to get the message out how important it is to respect a person and their possessions. I will not give up.

While I can’t get it to everyone, and yes probably I am getting to the converted. The people who do care. At least I hope I am promoting some debate so we can get a better deal for those in care.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

This is your day! Your on your way!

What a great mantra to start your day.

With feet in your shoes and brains in your head ...

The power of advertising.

I am with the National Bank. I also have to say there is not much I remember about advertising, that is if someone asked me to relate sayings to ads. However I have to say "This is your day! Your on your way!" has really got me.

Now I don't have much trouble getting out of bed in the morning. I love what I do. I am inspired and excited by each day and what it is going to bring forth for me. It is my purpose for being alive.

So what is your purpose? What gets you up every morning? Mine is clear.

My purpose is the bring the care back into caregiving. To help caregivers understand what a privileged role they have and how their very being can influence a person's day. They are the light that shines for the person - the cheer germ.

If you cannot get up everyday knowing you are going to make a difference in someone's life each day then I feel really sorry for you.

If you only get out of bed every morning just to get your pay cheque? Then I feel very sorry for you?

Find something that inspires your day. Inspires you as a person. Makes a difference in someone else's life. Then this IS YOUR DAY! YOUR ON YOUR WAY.

Have a great day.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Keeping Stress Free

I am not a gym junkie. I find it difficult to get myself motivated. I take the dog for a walk. That was me.

However recently I decided I needed to do something about my energy levels. I was getting tired and lethargic and of course headachy. So I made a decision.

I will join a gym.

So I went on the recommendations of a friend and I must say I haven't been disappointed. I joined a ladies only gym and it is very different to a mixed gym.

So what have been the benefits for me?

I have more energy. I sleep better. I have time for me in a different space. I meet new people. I meet up with my friend. I am relaxed. I can go on and on.

So if you are finding your energy levels dropping getting close to Christmas why not consider doing something for yourself. You may just be amazed at the results.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In the news again!

Saturdays Herald devoted a two page spread on yet another complaint about an aged care facility. I feel for the grieving family.

However it is clear that Geoff Harper has a real gripe about Aged Care as this is not the first artilce he has written or been involved in about Aged care. He is against multi-nationals coming in to New Zealand.

To a certain extent I understand his gripe but at the end of the day because I am care focused, it comes from the calibre of staff employed. The employer is superflouous. It is a training issue.

However talking about scabies. Once it gets into a facility it is extremely hard to irradicate. The itch keeps coming back and flare ups are common. I have been involved in a facility that had a scabies outbreat and it kept coming back for 3 years.

What surprises me is that scabies wasn't treated in the first instance. Whenever there is a person with a rash dermatolgy say - Treat for scabies first. Early detection and treatment is what controls such outbreaks.

Scabies is rife now in New Zealand and not only in Aged Care facilities. It is also resistant to a lot of treatment available. It, like many other infection and infestation, have mutated to ensure the survival of the species. It seems the harder humans get to eradicate bugs the smarter the bugs or mites become.

So what is the answer?

1. Infection control principles. The most important is Hand Washing.
2. Observation skills of staff - early reporting will help to control these infestations.
3. Training

In the end this is what it comes down too. Increasing knowledge improves care. This is what it boils down too.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Time for a funny

This is a true story. It was told to me last night by one of the Rotary members of the club I belong to. It actually happened to him.

This man was fishing in his little boat off the shores of Omaha. He lowered the fishing line over the side of the boat and very shortly he got a bite - an boy was it a big bite.

He reeled in this mighty catch getting very excited. OOOOOO I've got a big one here. Fish Killer strikes again.

He struggled and pulled on his rod and reeled in his catch. He was so excited but his excitement changed to amazmene whe he got it to the surface and up popped a head. He had caught a DIVER!

Yes that is right. He snagged a human and dragged it to the surface. Now I don't know about you but at this point I get some very vivid pictues in my head. I just wish I was a cartoonist!

According to the diver he wondered whatever was happening. He was minding his own business swimming along under water when suddenly he feels this tug and he cant get away from it. He had no idea what was happening.

Guess this is a novel way to make friends!

This is certainly a tall story, but it is true. One I think that will keep grandchildren amused for years. The one that didn't get away.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Knowing right from wrong

It turns out the person who stole the money off a lady with dementia was the wife of a detective. Surely she would know right from wrong. There is no grey area in this case - taking from someone else is wrong!

While I know we do not know the circumstances behind this case the mere fact of taking something from someone else without their permission is wrong.

How often do caregivers in their daily care inadvertently take from those in their care. I am talking about taking away their independence their right to choice the freedom to speak for themselves.

A person I know who is in care told me the other day that one caregiver wouldnt listen to her when she said what she wanted to wear. She told her NO something else that the caregiver chose was better. So this person had to wear something she didn't like.

This is disempowerment. A caregiver's role is to encourage a person to make decisions for themselves and accept what they choose. Not take the power of choice away from them.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Still we see people taking advantage of those less fortunate

I note in the NZ Herald that a Tauranga woman stole $10,000 from an elderly lady who had dementia. What made this worse she was actually living with this woman. To her defense she felt guilty and told a family member. Her sentence 5 months home detention

This is not an isolated case. Too often we hear of people taking advantage of the vulnerable elderly. What goes on in these people's minds?

I guess it is more of what I discussed Monday. It is the ME society. What can I get rather than what I can give.