Words by Mary Freer
Anyone with a heart who watched Who Cares , ABC 4 Corners last night would have woken up this morning wondering how on earth we can possibly bring compassion back into the world of aged care, social services and healthcare.
For those who missed it, or live overseas, Four Corners launched the first of a two-part special investigation into the treatment of the elderly in aged care homes. This is the ABC’s biggest crowd sourced investigation, they asked their audience to share their experiences of the aged care industry. More than 4,000 responded.
I know that not all aged care services are like this. I’ve visited some of the most caring and warm environments and I have helped my elderly relatives settle into their new residential care homes. But I also know that many older people face a reality of sloppy, cheap meals; lying awake for hours in soiled sheets, crying for someone to assist; loneliness; over medication; exhausted staff and a bureaucracy that has no idea what it means to be old and frail. This is the startling reality for too many older people and their families. We can’t pretend that this isn’t the truth. We can’t turn our head and comfort ourselves.
We need a #CompassionRevolution and we need it to start fast.
I woke up this morning so glad that Helen Sanderson is visiting Adelaide from the UK, on the 18th October 2018 to hold a half day workshop with me on Compassion at Work. It seems the timing couldn’t be any better.
Helen is developing Wellbeing Teams as a new way to support people in health and social care. Wellbeing Teams are small, neighbourhood, self-managed teams inspired by Buurtzorg. They work in partnership with the charity Community Circles. The first teams are delivering support at home to older people.
Helen Sanderson has been immersed in the development of person-centred practices in the UK over the last twenty years. She was the Department of Health’s expert advisor on person-centred approaches to the Valuing People Support and Putting People First Teams. She co-authored the first Department of Health (UK) Guidance on person-centred planning, and the 2010 guidance ‘Personalisation through person-centred planning’. Her PhD is on person-centred planning and organisational change and she has written over twenty books on person-centred thinking, planning, community and personalisation.
Together we are spending 3 hours in this special workshop looking at the ways that we are embedding compassion into our work, our daily lives, our organisational culture, and our business decisions. This is how we will change the world. We will step out a Compassion Revolution. Helen and I will launch this bigger Compassion revolution project at the workshop ( hint: I have some big news).
I don’t have many tickets left for this event. But if you want to create compassion at work – please join us.