Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Mobile Learning Era

Did you know that the fastest growing group of technology learning is in the 50+ age group.

Did you know that we are in the era of 7 minute learning revolution? That time is limited for 2 day workshops? That people want to learn bight size chunks of learning when they need and want it not spend a whole day in a classroom?

Did you know that many learning institutions are 5 years behind google learners? That mobile learning is on the increase dramatically and that if you want to reach you staff you need to provide them with the opportunity to learn in multiple ways using technology?

This very interesting YouTube video is very iteresting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yswtL_3cb_g

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Congratulations to Rosedale Village

Debbie Tunui has been working with Netsoft Technology on a new Instant Point of Care data collecting technology.

Congratulations for your forward thinking Debbie.

Really intersting Press Release. Why dont you check this out http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1106/S00593/new-hand-held-technology-provides-instant-point-of-care.htm

Apple peel helps prevent muscle wasting?

Well maybe our grandmothers were right. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Well this was something that I learned anyway.

Now I don't have a problem eating apples, I love them but I know of others who don't mainly because they are gas producing. However it now appears that there may be a compound in the skin of apples that actually prevents muscle wasting but many older people find the skin very difficlut to eat sowhat do we do? Yes thats right, we peel off ths skin which may turn out to be the best part of the apple.

While more research does need to be done, as always, it appears from a study done on mice that the mice who were fed this compound, ursolic acid became leaner and had lower blood levels of glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides. Very intersting.

No doubt there will be drug manufactured sometime in the future with these compounds. So maybe if we keep eating an apple a day (with the skin on) then we may be a much healther group of people who will have strong, healthy, well functioning muscles well into our old age.

Care Training Online Update

I am amazed how well this is going. More and more people are joining and experiencing the benefits of have training at their fingertips 24 hours a day.

I am continually working to get more topics up on line so caregivers have access to comprehensive training. The topics that are now up online are
Infection Control
Aging Process - Skin
Challenging Behaviours
Reatraint Minimisations & Safe Practice
Stoma Care
Pain Identification and Management
and this week will go up Aginig Process Muscles, Ligaments, Tendons and bones. Soon to follow will be Abuse and Neglect. Want to know more give me call.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Still, Lovely

This movie is well worth seeing. It gives an insite of how it might be for a person with dementia. It is slow moving but profoundly frank. It left me with a strong sense of sadness.

I have worked with people with dementia for very many years, but I have never had such an emotional response to a movie for years. It certainly isnt a movie that you jump up from and walk out of the theatre.

I beleive it would be a great movie for caregivers, registered nurses, managers and owners to see. For those who don't understand what it might be like having dementia, this should have a profound affect and cant help but change attitudes

Monday, June 6, 2011

On-Line Training Update

I have been going around visiting facilities in a variety of locations to talk to them about the online training. I am excited at the uptake and people are seeing www.caretrainingonline.com as a valuable tool to help train their staff.

I know what it is like to be a nurse and manager trying to get the education to all the staff and do everthing else as well.

My next move is to itemise what is in each segment of the topics and how long each segment is so that you know how much time you need to do the training. I am making changes all the time to not only add new material but also to help you in both time and training.

The next topics to go up is likely to be Aging Process - Muscles, Tendons Ligament and bones.

I am still looking at how to best do a topic as an Introduction to Caregiving that covers Customer Service and looks at the Social Model of Care but with a heading that will excite people and entice them to want to use it.

Like many of you, I am concerned at the lack of personal care. It is not that the carers don't want to do it, it is just they think their role is clinical rather than predominantly social with clinical when needed.

If anyone who thinks like me, can send me a topic heading that would entice them to open a link on it can they please email me at leigh@clinicalupdate.co.nz Caregiving has to start at the beginning and to build on skills.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Vitamin D debate

It seems we are caught between a rock and a hard place here. We are told to slip, slop, slap in the summer to prevent skin damage from sun yet we need the Vitamin D for healthy and strong bones!

What do we do?

For sometime I have been aware of this and have not used sunblock unless I am going to be out in the sun for extended periods. I never use and SPF factor in my moisturisers either. You see I already have osteoprosis and am on Vitamin D so why would I compromise my health even further?

Most of my day, like many others, is spent inside working. Why would I want an SPF factor in my moisturiser to protect me from the suns rays that I don't get? It doesn't make any sense to me.

While I may have sparked a debate on this, I hope a healthy one, just don't get caught up in all the hyp of generalised research that may not affect you. Research is now linking Seasonal Affective Disorder and other conditions like internal cancers, heart disease, immunity, diabetes, strokes to lack of Vitamin D.

Question? The more we find out, the more we complicate our lives and health.

Now I am not against research. It think it is very valuable and a great way for us humans to understand our bodies and how they work. But lets get a bit of balance here and some common sense.

If our major source of vitamin D comes from the sun, why do we spend so much money on blocking it out when we are not in the sun?

While there are small amounts of vitamin D in some foods like oily fish (especially fish liver oils), salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, egg yolks, butter, some cheeses and oysters we cant possiblby eat enough of these to give us our required daily dose of Vitamin D.

So choose for yourself what you want to do.

For me I will continue to do what I am doing and get the maximum amount of Vitamin D from the sun whenever I can.

What about you? What about your residents who never go out in the sun? Think how you can help them naturally as well as through diet and supplements.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Customer Service in health care

I have talked about this often but not using the words customer service. I talk about understanding and listening to the person and their needs and responding appropriately to what the person wants, not what you want to give them. You will also often have heard me talking about "who is paying your wages". It is the same thing.

This came up again when i was out of Auckland recently. It is particularly apparent in nurses from overseas although not exclusively. It includes both registered nurses and caregivers.

So what can we do to address this?

Well my next topic I am going to put on line is "Introduction to Caregiving". This is Customer Service. It will outline what is expected of a caregiver and will come with worksheets. It is not a required topic for District Health Boards but it is an essential topic for care - at all levels.

If you want to give your residents the best care available then your staff need to understand customer servicer, customer relations and social interaction. All of these come together to provide a place where people want to come and live, not fear; where people tell others it is a great place to live so so it sells itself; where staff retention is high and people are clambering to come and work for you; where you can pick and choose your caregivers.

All in all this is a good model of care and should be the industry standard. Who knows, it could do auditors out of a job!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

And while were talking about the bowels!

When is the appropriate time to give aperients?

In my experience, mostly it is given at meal times in conjunction with other medications often mixed up with food ( and yes I have been guilty of this too).

Did you know that this could affect the efficacy of other medications? Why?

Because aperients are designed to stimulate the bowel thus could influence the efficacy of other medications and speed up the absorption of them.

So when should aperients be given? At least 30 mins either side of medications being given.

Are aperients designed to be given every day?

Well of course not! So why do we give them every day to some people. Do they actually need them every day or do we, as nurses and caregivers, think they do?

Food for thought isn't it?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What is normal bowel habits?

I know this is not something we sit and talk about over a cuppa but how different are your bowel habits to some one else? Do you know? Have you thought about it?

Therefore what is normal bowel habits for people in your care? Are you trying to regulate someone to what you consider normal bowel habits for you which may be abnormal for the person.

Maybe this should be a question that is asked in more depth when a person enters your facility so that you don't give them laxatives when they don't need them.

Next I will talk about when laxatives should be given.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Educating Caregivers on who is paying them

I am working towards helping caregivers have a wider perspective on the care they are giving and how where the money comes from. I am doing this by frequently mentioning through my inservice workshops that the client/resident is actually the person who is employing them because they are paying for their care.

Payment can be directly through their own bank account or indirectly through the taxes they have paid over the years. I explain that the company they work for are only the filter or the bank if you like that collects the money and pays caregivers wages.

I also try to get them to understand that wastage of products like continence pads, are actually paid for by them through their taxes as the overnment subsidises the products.

I do this in the hopes that they will look carefully at the way they not only look after people but also in the way they use products and equipment. If caregivers have a wider understanding of how the money comes in to pay their wages and that they are paying for wastage may help them think a little about the care they give.

I hope to get them away from the government being a bottomless pit and that business have access to unlimited finance. This is not true. The money has to come from somewhere.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Repetition is the mother of skill

I always become really heartened when something positive happens in my day. Last week I got an email from Fiji from people interested in my online training. As this training for caregivers is relevant in all countries, it has inspired me and excited me at the future of online training.

Being able to repeat the training over and over again is a benefit as I know that when ever I attend any training session I only pick up on a small amount of content, I then have to put it into practice and go back for another session to gradually build on my knowledge.

When I learnt to speak in front of a group of people I attended 6 full weekends training. I paid for the first one then I went along and helped in my own time, for another 5 weekends. This is what has given me confidence to speak in front of a group.

I have sat through countless sessions that Gigi Lim has presented on Medications for Clinical Update in the last 5 years and I am still learning things and I know they have been in presentations before.

So the beauty of the online training is that your staff can listen to the same training session several times till they understand the topic. That wouldn't that save you time in not having to repeat yourself.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Did you know the colour you wear influences the impact you have on others?

Yes this is for real. I know that the colours I wear reflect how I'm feeling. I first became aware of this when my marriage broke up. I would not see or visualise myself in anything but black, white or grey. Every other colour, I thought, looked terrible on me.

I also know that the more colourful my clothes are the more joyful I am and my personality and behaviour reflects this.

Well apparently this is true. You can see more on this website http://www.colourcomfort.com/

Here are some examples of colour and impact.
If you want show determination, activity and motivation then wear red.
If you want to show authority, wisdom or intelligence, then wear navy blue
If you want to show calmness, inspriation or fantasising, then wear purple
If you are an innovative thinker, ready for change then magenta or fuschsia is your colout. (this is a colour I wear a lot and feel really good wearing)
Now if you want create harmony, decision making and team work then wear green. Give it a try at a staff meeting and see the results.
Interesting if you are reserved, mysterious or want to blend in, wear black. How many people wear black!!! Lighten it up with a colour and see the results.

Now you don't have to be decked out totally in the colour to create impact. It can be as simple as an accessory like a cardigan, tie or scarf.

There are many more colours that influence people so go and have a look at the website and see what you come up with and use colour to your advantage.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

More people paying for private home care

We are more and more becoming a user pay society.

While I am not altogether against this as I think people have more control over who they employ. If they are not happy with the care or service, they can terminate the contract and shop around for someone more suitable. It is not as easy if you have been referred to a service provider.

What my concern is the level of training the caregivers receive and the supervision. There is no one checking on the care being given on a day to day basis and is right for the person. Nor do we have a "watch dog" to see if the person is being treated fairly and respectfully.

Vulnerable people, whether they are elderly or not, are not known to speak out if they are receiving respectful or indeed the correct care. They take what is being dished out to them by the caregiver and don't want to risk being victimised or being left to fend for themselves if they do speak out.

So how do you address these issues? It is a difficult one but training is one way. It is not a panacea to fix all but it does deliver some understanding for those who are willing to learn. It does work for those who generally care and want to deliver what is right for the person or what the person wants.

What does need to happen is the caregiver has to understand they are employed by the person they are delivering care to regardless to who is paying the account. When this happens there should be a change in attitude towards their work and the important job they do. Training is part of this process.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In 20 years time 1-4 New Zealanders will be over 85

That is the estimation. So just how are these people going to be accommodated?

Social isolation is going to be a much bigger problem in 20 years time if it is not addressed not. People who cannot get out and mix with people through illness, disability or depression are causing concern now so just imagine what it will be like in 2031!

Nutrition is also a major problem. How are people going to be nutritionally balanced? This is what helps their survival, motivation and ward off disease and illness.

Anyone who has lived on their own will know there is not quite so much joy in cooking for yourself as there is in sharing a meal with another person.

Many older people are under nourished not so much from lack of food, though it is a contributer, it is the lack of company. Dr Carol Wham from Massey University has just completed a study on the effects of nutrition on the elderly. It was conducted on 1000 people living at home. It was discovered that sharing a meal has a bigger impact on whether a person eats there meal or not.

Meals on Wheels does a great job, but it is empty if you have no one to share it with. What people enjoy most is the visit from the person who delivers the meal.

Not everyone gets involved in the community or in organisations. While when you are young and busy this is not a problem but when you live on your own, the skills to mix with people have not been developed. This leads to a person being more at risk of social isolation and are more likely to suffer from depression and disease and undernutrtion is also a contributer.

This is why when people enter a residential facility their depression abates, their weight increases and their nutritional status improves. Don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand this.

In 1987 when home care was first introduced with the aim of keeping people at home and out of the then Stage 1 rest homes, I predicted that the biggest disease we will see is social isolation. It has come true.

Social isolation costs the health care system far more than residential care does. The number of people who have repeated public hospital stays, increased homecare to keep them at home costs much more than residential care.

While I agree people have the right to stay home with support if they choose. I do not believe that ALL of the people who are receiving home care are there by choice. They are encouraged to stay home, even if they do not want to and know they need to have people around them. It is considered fiscally beneficial to keep them at home.

Wrong. It cost more when you take into consideration of all the different services that are involved in keeping them at home -home care, meals on wheels, public hospital care.

I am going to be one of the 1-4 over 85 in 20 years time. While I pray that I will remain active and able and have family around who are willing to support me, I am also prepared for the fact that I may need some help or residential care.

This means I have 20 years to ensure the caregivers who are going to help me live at home or in residential care know how to care for me as an individual and understand any medical conditions I have. Hence my mission to get on-line training throughout the country so consistent individualized care is the norm and everyone gets the care they want and what they deserve.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Positive emotions - what makes some people more resilient than others?

I have long held the belief that how we think and feel has a huge effect on our health and wellness. In fact in my first book I wrote about the significant effect I beleive emotions have on people with dementia.

When dementia strikes, as they progress through the disease process where the mind is not longer in control, they are finally free to express what they are feeling, who they want to be with and what they want to say. They shoot straight from the hip which creates a lot of problems with carers who take what they say literally rather than seeing how it is for the person. I found it easy to work with people with dementia because I understood them and I didnt take offence at anything they said.

Understanding your emotions is hugely important and it is estimated that 80% of people have difficulties in this area. The 20% of people who freely express who they are as a person are those who are more successful in all areas of their life and have much less sickness and disease.

Now this can be learnt.

I was listening to Radio New Zealand interview with Barbara Fredrickson, a researher into understanding happiness who has developed a test for you to see where you fit on the happiness scale. This gives you guide to the areas you can change in your life.

She suggestes you do this test everyday in the evening for a period of 2 weeks to see how your day went and ratio of happiness you have in your life. To do this test go to http://www.positivityratio.com/single.php .

Also note that this test will probably not return the same results each day so do it honestly and it will give you a guide on how or what to change in your life. Most people in the US who take this test have a ratio of 2-1, depressed people have ratio of 1-1 but the successful people consistently have a ratio of 3-1.

Her website http://www.positivityratio.com/index.php is a very intersting read and also see where you fit on the happiness ratio scale.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Why do people still have a negative attitude to residential care

I was out at lunch yesterday with a group of family and friends when I got talking about OnlineTraining I am currently developing. Out came all the negative things we hear from the media like:

No 1: Well they don't get paid enough so of course the care is going to be substandard.
My reply "It is not about money. While I agree caregivers are underpaid. Paying them more will not necessarily improve the care. It is a myth. Training is what improves and uplifts care and higher pay should be linked to training."

No2: It is terrible the way people get treated. The cases reported in the media are horrendous.
My reply: Yes they are but have you heard about the wonderful things that do happen in long term care every day. Like the staff who come in on their off duty time to help get a person ready to go out, or attend a picnic or outing to help make up the numbers or the caregivers who have been doing this work for 20 years or more and just love it and won't do anything else.

The public are too quick to criticise the industry without the facts. Yes there are some bad caregivers but there are bad employees in every job. I myself have seen far more committed, caring, sensitive, loving caregivers in my 38 years of working in aged care than I have seen uncommitted, uncaring, insensitive and unloving caregivers.

We must never loose our good sense of prespective.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Have you looked at your Gratitude Journal Lately?

It doesnt do us any harm in the world of Me Me Me, to go through a crisis from time to time to make us realise just how lucky we are.

It is so easy to focus more on what we don't have but when the chips are down we really get a lesson on how lucky we are and what is really important. What am i talking about?

Last week I became unwell and ended up spending a couple of days in bed and another in Emergency Dept for tests. It is at these times one feels most grateful. So today I am going to tell you what I am grateful for in my life.

I am grateful for my wonderful children. My daughter stayed in Emergency Department for 11 hours with me. She was constantly in contact with my sons all through the day - one local and one in UK. They even kept their father up to date (we have been divorced for 24 years)

I am grateful for my sisters who were in constant contact with my daughter so see how I was and when I came home they called.

I am grateful for my friends who kept in contact with me and who did the work that needed to be done.

And you know at the end of the day, this is all what we need. To be loved and cared for. How powerful is that.

So what are you grateful for today? It never does any harm to reflect on the truly wonderful things in your life and how much they mean to you. take a moment to reflect. It may be the best investment in your time you spend today.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I really feel for older people (not that I am a spring chicken myself) getting used to settling into to new environments, trying to make sense of this ever changing world where every thing happens so quickly and the young say "It's so cool" or "It's so easy". So what am I rabbiting on about,

Well my computer was so slow I spent untold time waiting for it to chug along (and it is only 4 years old) so I got myself a new one. Yes a modern, up to the minute laptop with all the bells and whistles - Window 2010. Designed to make life easier and quicker. Yeah Right.

Admitted I have only been working on it a few hours but I reckon I have wasted more time on this today than if I had done a full days work on my old one. My trusty old friend and companion is sitting beside me beckoning me "Use me please" but I am resisting. I am just plugging along with the new one waiting for it to do all the things it's suppose to do the way I want it to.

My daughter, who is so patient with me, just does everything so easily and quickly. Oh I am so grateful to have her around to help me. I would be completely lost by now and crying into my pillow or threatening to throw it out the window.

Yes it is much harder for us older people to keep up with this newer and faster technology. I can understand those who don't want to know anything about it. However on a final note, I wouldn't be without my computer. Would you? How did we manage without them?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The stories keep coming

Now that the dust has settled, so to speak, and Christchurch people are picking up their fragmented lives the rest of the world goes on. It is hard once the initial tragedy occured for people to go about their everyday lives just as before.

However now life it starting to get back to some normality the post-mortums begin. This is the normal path of grief.

I feel for everyone who has suffered a loss. I personally don't know anyone who has suffered tragically in the earthquake but I am sure I would too come up with some regrets. It is very difficult to be philosophical at this time.

So lets send some love to everyone and wish them comfort and solice that they can find some peace within to see them through this time. The rest of us do feel for you. We can't forget you, not that we would want to, as you come to us each day, several times a day through the media.

I know they get some criticism but it is pleasing to know that NZ journalists showed humility, more so than our cousins across the ditch and from other countries according to a Radio New Zealand Spot on the media yesterday. It appears how they get the story doesnt matter.

This is what makes New Zealand and their people so great. It is what has made us so sought after in other countries. It is our humanness, our humility. Yes we are a very humble race and may we remain so.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I feel for everyone in Christchurch

I just feel so helpless as I am sure everyone else ist feeling.

Just to think of all those who have nowhere to live now and all of those people living in Rest Homes, Continuing Care Facilities and Retirement villages who have had to leave their homes.

Residential Care people develop a very narrow spectrum on the world. It is only themself. The rest of the world, apart from their family is has little importance to them.

For those who were transported in the middle of night to another city it must have been extremely traumatic but what was the option? None really.
Being shifted to a new location is bad enough but to have to get used to new caregivers, strangers all over again must be devastating.

While I can write about the trauma for these people, I do feel so helpless. What can I do apart from send some money. It feels such a little thing but I know that in the end it will be well received.

I am also amazed at the generosity of people. On Saturday I was involved in a Rotary fund rasing event for the earthquake and our local hospice. We do this every year and usually people just give coins. This year however the generosity was incredible. $5, $10, $20 and even $50 notes were given this time.

This is what heartens my spirit. The selflessness of those who realise just how well off we actually are.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It is with a heavy heart I write

The sadness of what has happened in Christchurch is so over whelming particularly as I was in Christchurch this last weekend. While I am pleased that my friends are all okay, I, like many of you I am sure, feel so for the devastation they have suffered and the continued suffering they are going to experience.

I would like to do something but what? Sitting up here watching the whole disaster unfold on television I have found very distressing as I am helpless. Apart from giving money, there is little else anyone can do at this point.

There are so many people who are now displaced - taken away from their own homes or living spaces. Rest home residents transported out of Christchurch, mothers having babies early and having to leave their city to do so, injured people leaving their loved ones behind to be treated in other centres. All too much to bear.

But they are all alive. I guess that is some comfort.

For those who have lost loved ones, my heart goes out to you. There is little I can say apart from my prayers are with you as are the prayers of many New Zealanders and people from around the world.

I guess in the end, their is little protection for us when mother natures trackes her path.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Very Exciting Day Today

Today I have launched my new training website www.CareTrainingOnline.com It is exciting because now all of New Zealand can access the same training. Consistent, applicable, accessible and affordable training is now readily available for you to access.

My goal has always been to train as many people as I can in the Art of Caregiving. People who are unable to take care of themselves through sickness, disease or fraility deserve to have the best care available and be care for people who really understand what to do.

Now you can take advantage of all my wisdom - all the knowledge and expereince I have accumulated over my 46 years of nursing - 37 of them in aged and young physically disabled care.

On top of that I am available to answer any questions you may have and help you solve problems. I hope you will take advantage of this training and join in on the ride with me.

I know there are going to be some teething problems but if we all work on this together we will iron them out quickly so please tell me how it works for you. That is

Is it easy to access?
Is it instanly applicable?
Does it meet your needs?
I definately know it is affordable. So keep me informed on how it is working for you and NOTIFY me immediately is it isn't working. I am here to serve you.

Thank you for you support. The journey now begins.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Do bully's actually know they are bullies?

Well actually no they don't. They are often shocked and horrified if you tell them they are a bully.

According to an article in Medscape written by Laura A Stokowski, the bully just sees themself as smarter, faster, or more skilled than anyone else. Unfortunatly this inflated ego is actually incorrect.

So what labels can we apply to these people to help you identify the serial bully? According to C Dellasega the author of "Girl Wars and "Mean Girls Grown Down: Adult Women Who are Still Queen Beeds, Middle Bees and Afraid-to-bees", they fall into these categories.

The super nurse - the one who does all the courses and conveys this knowledge continually so others think they are smart
The resentful nurse - the one who develops and holds grudges: pits others against others
The person who uses put downs, gossips and starts rumours - shares negativity and quick to take offense
The backstabber - cultivates friendships, then betrays them - the 2-faced person
The green with envy person - tends towards envy and bitterness
The cliquish person - the person who uses exclusion for aggression; shows favouritism and ignores others.

Do you have anyone on your staff like this? It could be you or one of your staff members or managers.

In an article I wrote for Kaitiaki some years ago, I believe the best way to manage a bully is to develop skills within yourself. If you identify them and stop playing into their hands, you will be able to manage them better.

You see the question you have to ask yourself is "why does this person affect me so" or "what do I need to do to develop the skills to stop them from making me feel powerless".

The key to managing a bully is to not let them to have power over you. However if this person is bullying residents then it does become your problem to handle.

People in care are very vulnerable. They often don't have the ability to fight back through fear of retribution and vitimisation so they don't fight back. You need to identify these people early and help them identify what they are doing.

So how will you do this? I will put this in the next blog.

Monday, February 7, 2011

What are the warning signs of a serial bully?

Reference checks are mandatory and the best way you to get warning signs. Devise yourself a checklist that will give you warning signs.

However, these people are very clever and you may not pick up from a previous employer as they will only give you people they know will give them a good reference. This of course can make reference checks difficult.

However take into account their employment record. How many jobs have the had in the last 5 years. This is some indication there is a problem.

Remember the Serial Bully is an adept liar so it may also be difficult to pick up from their body language.

They will, however tell you all the things that were wrong with their previous employer and the people there. If this occurs don't let your ego get in the way. Just listen and take notes. Do not employ on the spot.

While you have to be careful with the questions you ask if you can engage them into a conversation where they do the talking and tell you about their background, what they like doing, what are their goals you may just find little pieces of information will surface. They may even contradict themselves.

It is a tricky one with questions to ask but if they willingly chat to you just listen. You may be surprised what yo find out.

My suggestion is if you have any doubt, dont employ.

I am going to follow this topic through on the next blog and will start to unravel the personality type that fits the serial bully. I just may help you identify any people you currently employ and prevent you from employing these people in future.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Do you have a bully in your midst?

I haven't got round to writing any articles this year as I have been very busy with the on line training. However I believe this subject to be so important that I will do a series of short discussions on this blog.

Why do I believe it is important?

People in care are very vulnerable. It is up to us to protect them. To make sure that they are free from any harm.

The Serial bully is the one you need to look out for. They are so cunning and conniving and make others feel they are wrong; including managers.

I am sure that you either have or have had someone in your midst who you just don't trust. The person that has all the answers, says the right things at the right time. The one you just can't catch or couldn't catch out?

Don't despair I have been duped by these people.

Over the next while I will put up some of the signs to look for. Not too much at a time so you have time to digest and reflect. So here goes.

Do you have anyone on your staff who you know is lying to you? They are so convincing? They have all the answers and are quick to come up with them if asked? They may even get to you first? Watch this person very closely.

Is there someone who is just so charming when you speak to them? The argument is always very plausible but there is some alarms going up in your head? They are very willing and very empathetic - especially when they know you are in ear shot. In fact they are likely to go over the top if they know you are around.

Be very wary of these people. They could be a serial bully.

Remember the elderly or disabled in your care are unlikely to speak up. The mere fact they have had to give up their independence is enough to force them into submission.

Next time I will look at the signs before you employ a serial bully. There are some.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Personalities in Rest Homes

I had a conversation the other day with a person from the industry who said there was a problem with caregivers not showing empathy to residents, similar to Psychopathic Personality. Is this your experience?

I believe we do have a lot of bully's working in our industry which makes me very sad but while some of it may be calculated and intentional, I believe most of it comes back to two things.

1. They have this warped understanding of their job being one that They are in charge and Tthey are there to get the person in their care to do what They tell them. After all They have to look after them!!!! They don't understand that their job does not include taking the power away from the person in their care. Does not mean they control them.

2. They don't know what empathy is. They have no conception of what it is to connect with a person, to listen, understand and be present with another person and help them get their needs met. No one ever did this for them! They had to do the best they could to SURVIVE. That is all they know. Survival means earning as much money as they can to feed themselves, send money home, buy "toys" and certainly not get emotionally involved in their work.

Do you understand what I am saying? Are there any other people who see it like I do or are there really a lot of bully's or psychopathic personality types working in Caregiving?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Are you a dabler, a hacker, copulsive or have Mastery in your life?

I went to a very intersting educational session today run by NZ Training and Development (I would strongly recommend that educators and trainers belong to this organisation - want to know more, go to www.nzatd.org.nz. There are divisions in Auckland, Hamilton and BOP as well as Wellington and Christchurch.)

It was on Mastery. So to have Mastery you need to be passionate about what you do, practice the skills you want to develop and monitor your performance.

People who attain mastery in their life live on the edge, challenge the status quo, be committed to continually reset their script, is committed to learning and development of the self and is a life long learner.

Have you acheived mastery in your life?

To be a master you have to be patient, purposeful and persistent.

Mastery has been recognised by many and this quote by Albert Einstein describes it very well. "Anyone who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. Therefore for this reason, mastery demands the whole person"

Is this you? Do you have a cause you are devoted too?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I heard today they expect this year to be another bad year!!!

Well you have a choice whether you buy into it or not. People have bad years all the time. Just look at what the weather has been doing - and this has nothing to do with the economic climate.

I know it is difficult for people who have and are suffering hardship. Many people are affected by floods,earthquake and disasters of many different types. I am sure even if you are not affected by nature at the moment all of you at sometime will have experienced loss, hardship, pain and suffering.

It is really hard while in the midst of these trauma's but one thing for certain is that the pain and suffering doesn't last forever.
While you never forget these times, life has a habit of showing us how to get through and that good times, fun and laughter can result.

So how does all this relate to my first sentence?

The way in which we make it through the tough times is dependent on your attitude. If you think you can't, then you are right. If you think you can, then you are also right.

So if you think it is going to be a hard financial year, then you are right if you choose to buy into it. On the other hand if your attitude is one that you will always get through, there will always be enough to go round and have some left over, that you can still provide great care on a limited buget then you will be able to do all of this and more.

On the other hand if you say that you can't manage on the budget and pay for the extras that are so important, like training, then you are also right. It is called a self perpetuated prophercy.

Try this year to change the way you think and believe it is going to be a great year, that you can afford training (even if you think your budget can't), believe you have full occupancy in your facility, believe that your staff are very trainable - the list goes on. You choose your destiny.

I have worked on this philosophy for years. Yes it can get hairy at times but when you truely believe in what you are doing then a way will be found. Your prayers, wishes and desires can and will be fullfilled.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I'm 63 and tired

I received this today. I don't know if others are feeling like this but it sure did hit a cord with me. Maybe you are the same. If it offends anyone, then I apologise in advance.

"I'm 63 and I'm Tired"
By Robert A. Hall

I'm 63. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I've worked, hard, since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven't called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there's no retirement in sight, and I'm tired. Very tired.

I'm tired of being told that I have to "spread the wealth" to people who don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.

I'm tired of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family "honor"; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't "believers"; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for "adultery"; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and Shari'a law tells them to.

I'm tired of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and mandrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America and Canada , while no American nor Canadian group nor Australian is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance.

I'm tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate.

I'm tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off?

I'm tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor, brown or white.

I'm real tired of people who don't take responsibility for their lives and actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems. I’m tired of them not believing it could be their own fault.

Yes, I'm damn tired. But I'm also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I'm not going to have to see the world these people are making. I'm just sorry for my granddaughter.

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate.

There is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us sends it on!
This is your chance to make a difference.
" I'm 63 and I'm tired”. If you don't forward this you are part of the problem.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy New Year

Well I don't think this will be so for many who live in Queensland. I am beginning to think that I live in the lucky counntry. While we here in NZ have had our share of disasters nothing of the magnitude Queesnland is experiencing could anywhere match this. I really feel for them.

2011 is really here now and I am sure before we know it, 2012 will be here. I dont want to appear the eternal pessimist as I really am an optomist, this is the fact. Busy people notice the years flying by while pessimsts see them dragging.

This year is going to see many changes in clinical update. For one all my caregiver training programmes are going on line. It is a lot of work but all worthwhile. I promise you that you will not be disappointed with the programmes that go on line.

I will keep you updated as to what, when and how of the programmes and when I go live so to speak. Watch this space.