Residents in one cottage at Tisdale’s Newmarket Place are getting more personal attention from care staff thanks to recent changes in the set-up process for lunchtime meals.
The continuing care aides (CCA) who work in Cottage 500 carry out a variety of tasks daily. Until recently, only just over half of those tasks involved interaction with the dozen residents who live in the Kelsey Trail long-term care facility.
In the hour before lunch, residents had limited interaction with the aides and often sat at their table waiting, for up to 45 minutes each day. CCAs were responsible for setting up lunch, which took 17 minutes and lots of walking back and forth. Washing dishes and other kitchen-related tasks took up another 25 percent of CCAs’ time.
As part of a Rapid Process Improvement Workshop (RPIW) held in June, a team of staff and residents introduced a series of changes that increased by nearly 20% the amount of time CCAs spend with residents (from 54% to 72%). These included reorganizing the kitchen and pantry (through a 5S) to ensure essential items are always available, and involving residents in tasks such as lunch set-up.
“The changes that we have seen this week in Cottage 500 are wonderful and we can’t wait to make them to the rest of our facility.”
(Dianne Lebel, member of Newmarket Place staff)
The improvement team created standard work to help CCAs get residents involved in some tasks that are part of lunch preparation, such as rolling the cutlery in napkins. Residents who are able to help are happy with their new roles, which have added more purpose to their days.
New standardized processes have reduced the amount of time and walking that CCAs spend on lunch set-up, leaving more time for them to interact with residents. As a result of the changes, residents are now involved in nearly three-quarters of the lunch tasks carried out by care aides.
The quality of the time that CCAs spend with residents has also improved. CCAs’ task lists were revised to make interaction with Cottage 500 residents a key part of their day. Ensuring care aides have information about residents’ families, likes and dislikes, and favorite activities, has made it easier for them to make a personal connection with each resident. As well, new conversation cards were created for the aides, to help facilitate interaction with residents throughout the day.
“I really like it when staff take the time to talk to me. It makes me feel like home.”
(Cecilia Frisky, resident – in photo at top)
“Making sure the CCAs know that interacting with residents is part of their job and that it’s okay to take some time to sit with a resident will make it clear to staff,” says patient and family representative Kim Kehrig.