We worked on a project about narratives in partnership with Elizabeth Knox Home & Hospital this year.  The training was shortlisted for the Health Ed Trust Training Award presented at the New Zealand Aged Care Association conference at Sky City. Because Knox is an Eden Alternative Registered Home, the quality of interactions  is critical in terms of eliminating the three plagues of loneliness, hopelessness and boredom amongst residents.

For the training, we led a series of workshops with the whole care team, admin, management staff, residents and family members all about encouraging residents to tell stories from their lives.  The aim is for the whole community to know residents better and value them as people. In total, more than one hundred people were involved in the training and the project has touched the lives of many more. In the workshops, we focused on videos of Health Care Assistants talking to residents and looked at the successful speaking and listening strategies they used. We also looked at the effect of word choices in terms of how authentically stories were recorded. Stories, photos and drawings are recorded in books which are kept in kete (basket / kit) in residents’ rooms. They are used to start conversations and make connections with residents.

It was fascinating being involved in this project and we heard some incredible stories from residents’ lives. Knox are doing some amazing work – they take “person-centred” care literally and realise that relationships need to drive care rather than the other way around. It is great to be working in partnership with them.

Below is the 4 minute presentation Nena Delos Santos (RN at Knox) and Nick presented at the conference which will give you more of an idea of this project.

Thanks to Gareth Morgan for his beautiful image of woven flax which we used with his permission for this presentation. You can see his Flickr Photostream here: