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Lauretta 24th Aug 2013 Diversional Therapist
Should RAOs and DTs do nursing jobs in aged care facilities especially feeding? If so, is it in the job prescription? what do other members of golden areas think?
from Lauretta
Carol 25th Aug 2013 Lifestyle and Leisure Co-ordinator
I do feeding with some of the residents in our facility and I look on it as a 1:1 time with the residents that are bed bound. Many a good conversation can be had over a meal.
Heather 25th Aug 2013
I am like carol, I do feeds as well and look at it as 1:1 time with those residents who are bed bound, I also do pass and cornell assessments when required, I find it interesting and also look at this as 1:1 time. I find this time special and able to offer quality into ones life in another form of stimulation and in return I get to learn so much more about each resident I attend.
Jean 25th Aug 2013 Recreational Activities Officer
Hi Lauretta, I am an RAO and before that an AIN. We have recently been told by our management that we are not to feed or elp toilet residents. They are trying to make a distinction between lifestyle staff and nursing staff. Whilst I agree with this to a degree, I am very aware that caring for our residents is a team effort. As stated by Carol, I enjoy the one to one time that sitting feeding a resident can offer. It is a time when your attention is only focused on them. If I am going to call on nursing staff to assist me with activities then I believe that I need to be able to assist them with whatever I can if the need arises ( within my capabilities ). RAOs will understand that a good working relationship with nursing staff is crucial to the successful outcome of a lot of your activities. If we have a "thats not my job" mentality , we will go nowhere. Its everyones job to assist our residents wherever we can.
Andrea 27th Aug 2013 AIN/Lifestyle therapist
As Lauretta, I am also a RAO and prior AIN. At my facility I am a RAO who has only 10 Dementia residents to look after and I also do some personal care. And I don't mind if a resident needs toileting, feeding or even showering, I did it before gaining my Cert IV in Leisure & Health in the facilty. By helping also builds a good working environment with other care staff and I enjoy the extra time with my residents, I just think of them as extended family.
patricia 27th Aug 2013 Recreational Activity Officer
We have the thats not my job mentality at our facility. It occurs between different sections within High care, (it's not my resident), this is from the nursing staff. I find this attitude very sad - how would they feel if it was their mother or grandmother who required help.
Unfortunately I think sometimes the attitude comes from management trying to take short cuts (to save money), or choosing to be blind to what is actually going on.
It's great when staff are able to work together to compliment each other and residents benefit. Unfortunately some AINs see it beneath them to assist RAOs but expect us to pick up the slack.
Bob Howson 8th Sep 2013 RAO
I once worked at a Catholic Health home where DT's were expected to do feeds in the high care area also help serve cuppers and stuff at tea time in the low care area. This was my last chore at the end of each day, but I didn't mind. When I was first offered the position of an RAO I couldn't believe I got paid for doing fun activities.
Peter 9th Sep 2013 Activities Coordinator
I agree with most others that have commented. Meal periods are a perfect time to conduct 1:1 activity, the entire meal experience can be heightened and made joyous by adding some humour talk about "the day so far" what's coming up on Activities calendars etc. The meal time in most people's lives is a perfect opportunity to "catch-up" sit and listen to others around the table and engage in the food/social experience. I think it's imperative that RAO's do help with feeding especially in Dementia Specific Units, I often take my lunch and eat with the residents too, being mindful of infection control and safe food handling practices of course.
Michelle 27th Nov 2013 Recreation Activities Officer
I also help with some client's feeding but have now got a new job and have been told to also collect menu choices for the next day meals. This takes me an hour. What do other centres do?

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