Michelle Champoux is the Oasis Coach for Vermont. firstname.lastname@example.org
Because of Oasis…..
- Mealtimes were often very disruptive because one of the residents was continually fussing with utensils, knocking things off the table, stacking plates on cups, rearranging everything within reach. After spending time learning the resident’s history and learning that he’d been an architect, staff began to see his maneuvers as model building. They found building materials to use as activities and gave him a space to build without interruptions. His mealtime activity decreased and staff find it easier to view the rearranging with patience and understanding.
- When asked why this initiative was important, one of our OASIS Champions said, “I want to get to know the residents better, when they are not clouded by medications –to get to know them as people.”
- A staff member from one of our Nursing Homes reported that they had begun putting together life histories of residents as part of OASIS to create a foundation for understanding behaviors. They discovered that one of their residents had been an engineer and began exploring ways to engage his attention during his frequent periods of agitation and restlessness. After several tries they discovered that a rubic cube –at least for now- absorbed his attention and seemed to be calming. Soon after, staff found him at an exit, pulling on the handles and pushing on the door. An OASIS Champion was inspired to stand next to him and quietly explain how the door worked, pointing out its magnetic panels and push bars and concluding with, “So you see, this door is working properly and you don’t have to fix it.” The resident nodded, satisfied, and walked away. This is a great and creative example of how knowing residents’ histories may lead to responses other than labeling behaviors –in this case, possibly “elopement risk’ – in a way that may lead to unnecessary medication.
- Among the responses OASIS Champions were asked why they were taking on this additional challenge in already busy jobs: “I want us to care for the whole person with happy staff”; “I want to get to know our residents better when they aren’t ‘clouded’ with medications”; “I want to give our residents the best life now”; “I want to stop the labeling! And see residents for who they are!”