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"WHO" You Get Determines the Quality of Senior Care

In Senior care, achieving the highest quality care depends on several moving parts working together to accomplish the ultimate goal of delivering the highest quality of care.

Doctors and Nurses in a huddleWe believe, to get the highest quality of care you need a team approach, but every team needs a strong leader.  That is why it is very important to know “WHO” is in the top, leadership role.  What is their level of ownership, involvement & the business? What qualifications, expertise, experience, do they possess to make them the best leader? How do they interact & communicate with the rest of the team?  Are they willing to be accountable? Does their knowledge and expertise enhance the skills and knowledge of the other team members. (see How we’re different)

Unfortunately, in large health & senior care settings (Hospitals, Nursing Homes and Assisted Livings) there are many competing agendas and incentives and very little leadership, personal involvement and accountability from the highest levels.   The people in management & administration often do not interact directly & communicate with the people at the bottom, who are actually providing the physical and emotional care or service. This apathy is contagious.  

The lack of coordination, direct interaction & communication from the highest levels between staff, patients & families makes it extremely difficult to provide continuity and a high quality of care.  It is far too easy to get brushed aside and given the run around. Everyone seems to pass the buck. Who is held accountable? When there is no solid foundation, no one to lead or take responsibility, the moving parts have no support or direction.  The wheels fall off and the system falls apart.

TLCSR is different than all other settings.  Our model of care is based on strong leadership from Geriatrics Trained, MD & RN, who have the knowledge & expertise that is required to deliver quality care to healthy seniors and seniors with Chronic Medical Issues. We utilize a team approach, working together, day in and day out, with our staff, providing support and positive feedback, ongoing education relating to many chronic care issues, as well as, consistent communication with staff, residents and their families. We are a small family business.  Our commitment to the team, our staff, residents and families over the long haul allows us to develop the trusting relationships which are especially important when caring for those with chronic diseases, like Dementia & Alzheimer’s, to ensure the best quality of care is received.

Doctor and Patient holding handsIn today’s world, the TLCSR model of care is hard to find.  Most care is offered as “quick care” or “urgent care” with little continuity of care & service.  If you go to the hospital you will see one hospitalist the first day, another the next and another the next. Hospitalists & other providers in the Acute Care System don’t often have a conversation with you or the other providers involved in your care.  They usually refer to notes left in the chart or Electronic Health Record (EHR). These providers probably have no interest getting to know, or have a relationship with you, your loved one, or the caregivers who will carry out any orders they give. There seems to be little incentive to want to know any details and no “one” provider or doctor seems willing to take responsibility either in the hospital, or after the hospital stay.  

It is the lack of leadership, communication, continuity & coordination of care, between all members of the team (doctors, nurses, caregivers, administrators) that leads to subpar care.

Again, we urge everyone to know WHO they are getting in any care setting.  Who are the leaders, who coordinates the care, who supervises and educates the staff? Who takes responsibility? Who is accountable? If those individuals have the appropriate qualifications, knowledge, expertise and communication skills need to set the tone and enhance the skills and knowledge of the entire team, it is possible to get quality care. Like the care & service that we provide at TLCSR.   

Read more … about who we are here.  – link to about us

Care and Caring-what's the difference?

There are many meanings of the word “care”.  Definitions of the noun Care are: an effort made to do something correctly, safely, or without causing damage, things that are done to keep someone healthy, safe, etc.  The definition of the verb Care is to “feel” interest in something, to be interested in or concerned about something.  

For many the meaning of caring is displaying kindness and concern for others, but the degree of caring is elevated when there is an mutual commitment to each other and the expectation of an ongoing relationship.  

In health care, the word “care” is more often used to describe the physical task of giving care.  For example, helping with ADL’s (Activities Of Daily Living) like feeding, bathing or dressing a person.  The word care is used freely in the business world and specifically in the healthcare industry with phrases like “we care”, but for many of us receiving health care services today, the genuine “feeling” of concern or interest in the person or individual is often missing.  TLCSR believes that “care” & “caring” without a sense of commitment or desire to build ongoing relationships is far less beneficial and meaningful. Promises made by the individuals themselves typically carry with them a stronger sense of duty than promises made by a third party.

At TLCSR, we provide all elements of care and caring.  We and our staff not only provide the physical tasks of caregiving, like bathing, dressing, feeding etc., but perhaps more importantly the feeling of caring.  All members of our team are committed to building trusting, ongoing, relationships with each resident and their family.  At TLCSR, the MD & RN take the time to listen to and understand issues and concerns from residents, staff and family. We believe the feeling of caring, being wanted & needed helps improve overall emotional health and quality of life. Because our staff & management are committed to the long haul (as evident by our low staff turnover) we are better able to deliver this high level of care & caring, now and in the future.  

The TLCSR model of care has all of the elements required to deliver the best care. TLCSR would be a great model to improve the chronic long-term care systems that builds on past efforts of The Eden Alternative and the Green House Project.