Supportive measures at the heart of kitchen work
Nutritional-care aide/PSW underscores value of individualizing interventions
June 16, 2011
JASPER, Ont. - Rosebridge Manor nutritional-care aide Charlene Renkema says supportive measures are at the heart of dietary team members' work.
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Renkema, who also serves as a personal support worker (PSW) at the Jasper long-term care home, underscores the value of individualizing resident interventions, noting the results - namely happier residents - speak for themselves.
For instance, a resident recently approached nutritional-care staff in the morning, believing it was lunchtime. Because the resident believed it was the afternoon, she didn't want to eat from the breakfast menu — she wanted lunch.
So, that's exactly what staff members brought the resident.
"We just gave her some tomato soup for breakfast, because she was sure that it was lunch," Renkema tells the OMNIway.
"We also have residents who want to eat oatmeal for lunch and oatmeal for supper, so we provide that. . . . You have to orientate yourself to the resident's reality."
Although these interventions may seem small, they have a heavy impact on residents.
"We have happier residents (when we use supportive measures)," says Renkema, who has worked six years at Rosebridge Manor.
OMNI Health Care's website describes the importance of supportive measures and the results supportive-measures interventions achieve.
"By always listening and responding to our residents' emotional needs, we're better able to foster a comforting atmosphere for all," the site says.
While the lion's share of Renkema's work at the home is done in the kitchen, she also picks up a few shifts each week doing PSW work. No matter which duties she's undertaking, supportive measures are front and centre, she says.
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