It can be an intense experience when you have to pass along the care of a loved one into the hands of a stranger. It takes a large amount of trust and yet worry still remains. The problem occurs when that worry coupled with fear and concern escalates a situation in a facility.
Several months ago in Calgary, the media was abuzz over the story of several families who were unable to see their relatives after being removed from a care facility. I can't comment on the situation at all but use it as an example of how the family of residents and staff need to have a strong connection.
It's impossible for every staff member to meet and have long conversations with every family member of their residents. That's why having an event for residents in which family and staff are invited is a good idea.
Allowing staff and family members to connect in a casual manner builds a relationship; an important one that can help improve staff/family interactions in the future.
So what kinds of events? BBQ's are always a great way to get staff and family to mingle. Perhaps a party every couple of months to introduce the new residents and their families to the facility. Look for an event with flexibility where staff can come and go and participate even if they are working.
What are some other great ways that you've been able to connect staff with residents and their families?