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Rachel Stirling 10th Nov 2017
Hi all,
As a lifestyle coordinator l am noticing that some carer staff with no background in activities are doing activity shifts. I too once was a p.c.a but l did my diploma in order to do lifestyles. They are seperate roles an should not be mixed in my opinion.If you really want to do lifestyles then take the next step an do the certificate or diploma for it.I have found most carers are not interested in lifestyle at all an just do it because they are told too. Trying to train them an explain why we do the things we do is very time consuming.As we all know if you give the wrong activity to someone an set them up for failure they wont come back for more.It does not work at accredition time as most dont understand the paper work or documentation.Some companies seem to be all about there profits an not so into the well-being of our residents.What do others here think??
Solange 12th Nov 2017
Hi Rachel, I identify with your dilemma, I have also been in this position. It is so sad that some facilities allow people totally inexperienced in lifestyle work to do the job. It is not their fault; carers are usually told by superiors or management to 'help out'. It may harm the facility's reputation if residents' relatives notice the lack of professionalism of the staff. I am afraid I don't have the answer. You could try and bring the subject up at your next staff meeting. Don't lose heart, all the best of luck.
Donna 26th Nov 2017
Hi Rachel and Solange,
I agree with both of you it is very disappointing that facilities put untrained staff in the lifestyle positions.
I feel it devalues the role of the Diversional Therapist and Lifestyle staff this is one of the reasons I have just returned after a 2 1/2 year hiatus from my beloved Diversional Therapy which I am very passionate about. There are courses out there that will help these staff understand the roll of a DT, they shouldn't be made to do shifts in the Lifestyle department especially if they don't like being there. I believe that the residents pickup on the staff vibe and don't enjoy being in the activity. Staff that work in nursing and food services have to be trained in that role and do ongoing training so why do they think that staff don't need training in Diversional Therapy. I have just started where they haven't had a DT for 3 months and the staff have told me that the can see the residents are much happier doing something again. Thanks Donna
Solange 26th Nov 2017
You are quite right Donna. Staff should have at least the minimum training required to be able to fit the individual competencies and skills of clients with dementia.
Matthew 28th Nov 2017
It takes a village... EVERYONE can play a role in engaging Elders. Titles and certificates are almost immaterial. Relationships are what matters. You eluded to many of the points to meaningful activity that ALL care partners need to be aware of.
Lori 29th Nov 2017
It isn't rocket science triel and error
Julie 4th Dec 2017
I agree with Matthew. I have seen people pass through our home who have qualifications but no people skills. Needless to say, they didnt last long. On the other hand, i work with some of the most caring, empathetic people who strive to give our residents the best possible day and they dont have the 'piece of paper'! The Lifestyle/Leisure and Health course can teach you the requirements of the job but it doesnt give you a personality!
Rachel 14th Dec 2017
Doing a Diploma of Leisure and Health lets you work with and provide a higher quality of life to a variety of people from all walks of life.It is way more than just a piece of paper.Imagine if anyone could just give out medication an act like a nurse for a day there would be an unroar.Knowledge is power.
Leanne 14th Dec 2017
There are many PCA's who are not able to do further training due to distance and cost, but are excellent in Lifestyle. I have also worked with "trained" Diversional Therapists and Lifestyle staff who are absolutely dreadful. Please do not discriminate the staff because the have not done any formal training. I was only able to do my Cert 4 because the facility paid for it and it was partially on-line and partially face - to - face. If this had not been offered to me I could not have been able to do it as I work in regional Victoria (Aust). I was also working in Lifestyle before I did my Certificate and I was pretty damn good at it!!!!!

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