Ready to Take the First Step?
by Debi Tyler Newsom, OTR/L,
PAC Client Relations Director
Summer is the time when we get things moving…whether it is relocating to a new home, going on vacation, moving your body through a new exercise routine, or creating something new, it’s about energy and momentum. What are you doing to get your organization moving in a better direction for dementia care?
Living near the start of an outdoor walking trail, I frequently see folks passing by my window. I notice a variety of walkers, like the disciplined and spry young woman usually clad in a sundress and comfortable white walking shoes who heads that way daily, stretching her arms outward as she goes. Or the small groups that include children and dogs, both tugging in opposite directions at any distraction. This afternoon, I saw two fellows that might have just committed to doing this to burn off some extra pounds. Judging by their pace and the fact that they were mopping sweat off their brows led me to think this might be their first venture on the new trail.
When it comes to dementia care skills, PAC philosophy, and techniques, we often refer to individuals who get things moving first as early adopters. They are willing to try new things they have learned, eager, and spry to stretch their awareness in new directions. We estimate that 25% of those trained by PAC are early adopters.
The largest group of learners may not be early adopters but will give it a try once they see others doing it. Sometimes that group has those who attempt to tug them in a different direction based on past experiences or skepticism, but will join in with some encouragement and support.
The remaining 25% of learners are the most reluctant…they need to know why this works, why they are expected to try it, why the rules were changed. They may have some how questions as well. How often, how long, how much, how to do it? The toughest nuts might need to know what’s in it for them and what happens if they refuse. Interestingly enough, the toughest nuts can be the most powerful influencers, both before and after they embrace change.
How do you get your organization moving towards dementia care change? Commitment, small steps, and momentum. With basic awareness for all staff as a foundation and a team of identified leaders who receive more specialized training, the momentum begins. What can you expect? Expect that it takes discipline, expect that some in the group will try to pull you off the trail to chase a squirrel, expect to mop the sweat off your brow as you trudge up some hills, but also expect to see results and feel energized as the shape of your organization begins to change.
Give us a call to get your organization on a better path in dementia care and to talk about first steps. For more information on virtual training opportunities for organizations, please contact Debi Tyler Newsom at PAC Training.