It’s a simple A4 piece of paper folded into quarters, but for the residents and staff at Anglicare Chesalon Beecroft it provides five minutes of magic. Placed in plastic sleeves and attached to walkers, wheelchairs or noticeboards, the tool contains key information about the resident for staff to access easily.
Known as the 5 Magic Minutes Communication Tool, it has transformed the way staff at the residential care home interact and reminisce with the residents, enabling them to communicate with them as individuals.
“We want to know what residents like or dislike, their personal stories and their music preferences. It is the simple things that often have the most impact on our residents each day. Even a five minute conversation about their past or interests can make the world of difference for them. Imagine if each resident were to receive five minutes of individualised care from each member of staff even once a day – what a better day it would be for them.” Sharyn Cumming, Anglicare Chesalon Beecroft Residential Manager, explains.
“With an increasing part-time and casual workforce, volunteers, and staff from non-English speaking backgrounds, coupled with an increasing number of residents living with dementia, we needed a system to provide tailored information about residents to enable meaningful and dignified communication. We are here to care for people holistically and reduce the sense of isolation many frail aged residents may feel.”
The home has also included the use of personalised music as part of the 5 Magic Minutes project. It proved to be successful, with many residents expressing a sense of joy and engagement. Local school groups who volunteered at the home also held “music equipment drives” at their schools which resulted in donations of musical equipment, enabling more residents to have access to their own music.
Cherie Ho, Project co-ordinator says “In order to provide a more holistic approach to care and enable residents to retain and maintain a sense of self-worth and belonging, we have demonstrated that much can be achieved in the way we communicate and enable communication opportunities for our residents. This may include the creation of a supportive social environment in which we can enable residents to continue to communicate, maintain relationships and be socially included, despite declining capabilities.”
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