What’s your aspirational identity for your residents’ families?

Meeting a new resident’s family can be an anxiety provoking time for care team members in seniors’ care.

There’s the uncertainty of what the family will be like, how they feel about moving their loved one into care, and what their narratives and beliefs about seniors care is (and how much it’s been impacted by negative media coverage).

What can happen is that staff are preparing themselves to be on the defensive, anticipating difficulty, challenges, friction and complaints.

What IF you took a more proactive approach starting with mindset and figure out the answer to this question:

Who do you want your families to BECOME when they move their loved one into your community?

What do I mean by this? I would bet that all of you have watched and even been a part of helping a family to settle in to their role as a residents’ family member, and move through the 7 A’s that are outlined in my book ‘Now What?’ from Awareness through to Appreciation.

For the family and their loved one, your new resident, this IS an emotional journey, and not one they ever imagined being on.

As someone who works in senior’s care you can “see around the corner” because this is the work you do. For the family, this may be the first and only time they’ve stepped foot into a seniors’ care home, and they are experiencing a whole host of emotions they don’t yet know how to handle or process. They have no idea how their loved one will adjust and adapt in their new community/home, and how they are going to adjust in their new role as a partner in care.

Think about those families that are your advocates, your “Sweet and Savoury” families – the ones that sing your praises, buy treats for your staff, and write heartfelt letters of appreciation when their loved one passes away. I’m sure you have families you can work through challenges and communication gaps with in a productive and collaborative way. I would imagine these are the types of family relationships you appreciate and are grateful for (as are the families and residents!)

When we can imagine how we want our families to BECOME when they move their loved one into your community, you can then start to build a culture that encourages, empowers and enlightens families to step into what’s possible in your community.

Take the lead and be that guide for your families.


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OLTCA Long Term Care Today Spring & Summer 2023 magazine article


How did the family get to the point that they’re SO angry?


Are you creating a narrative for your residents’ families?

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