Seeing care through the eyes of an elder

The Housekeeping and Kitchen staff of Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre who participated in the Eden Alternative Open Hearts Open Minds training in October, were honoured at an Awards Ceremony on November 8.

Some of the feedback on the training, which was presented by Debbie Christen, Rand Aid’s Manager: Recreational Programmes, indicated that the staff were happy to be recognised and affirmed as individuals beyond their job titles, and to learn that the Rand Aid organisation valued them as domestic and service staff who make important contributions to the wellbeing of the centre’s elders.

They learnt that the Ron Smith Care Centre is not a hospital, but the residents’ home. They also learnt that wellbeing is health in body, mind and spirit and that it is important to see the whole person, not just the medical condition. They received the message that all have a role to play in bringing loving care, kindness, respect, meaning, joy, fun and simple pleasures into the lives of all who live and work in the care centre community.

Zabeth Zühlsdorff, GM Services and Advanced Division, said in her address to the staff that in the 116-year-old history of Rand Aid, one of the most important highlights in the growth of the organisation, has been the adoption of the Eden Alternative philosophy.

“Eden has revolutionised our care centre. It has changed from an institution to a home where people receive tender loving care during their last years when they need help, assistance and nursing care. Eden has shown us how important it is to see care through the eyes of a resident and to understand the person we care for.

“It also teaches and reminds us every day to treat each person, resident and staff alike, with respect, dignity and love. The housekeeping, kitchen, maintenance and gardening staff all have a huge role to play in creating a caring environment – a place that residents want to call ‘home’.  How you treat residents, how you interact with them, and how well you do your job is so very important in reaching our Eden goals.”

Ron Smith Care Centre staff were each presented with a Certificate of Achievement, followed by an ice-cream party to celebrate the learning, connection and fun that was experienced in the Open Hearts Open Minds Eden training.

The staff members who underwent the Open Hearts Open Minds Eden training.

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