At the end

 

Providing end-of-life care is a privilege that is hard to choose. It is to choose to go down into the dark with another person, down into the deepest mysteries of the human experience. It is to share in the most difficult journey of a person’s life, a journey from which only one of you will return.

A palliative diagnosis can mean that the person is sent from their home and everything they knew, to finish their journey among strangers. Sometimes this is a relief to those left behind. It is hard to watch someone die, and it is not part of the job description. It is far too mysterious, too intimate, too life-changing, too precious. It is a hard thing to choose.

But for those who can choose it, for those willing to learn how to apply the fentanyl patches and manage the morphine drips, to move a person hourly to prevent bed sores, to change their catheter bags. This is no added burden to an already heavy load, but an honor they wouldn’t miss. They see it as finishing well, a privilege they won’t share with a stranger. It brings much-needed closure to a relationship of support in some cases decades-long. It is their final act of love.

The decision to take on this last and most difficult work is not a selfless act. Those that have done it know that there are gifts to be received here that no one else can give, and lessons that must be learned that can be learned nowhere else.

At the end of life, the balance of power between the support person and the supported shifts. The people we support finally find the equality they’ve always deserved but have so rarely achieved, and more than equality. The person we support at the end of their life are learning a thing, doing a thing, that we do not know how to do, but some day must. We find ourselves the ones supported. We sit quietly by the hospital bed. We listen and we learn perhaps the most important thing a human has to learn: how to die well.

At the end of their lives, all of those careful systems that have been crafted to teach and support and control those in our care collapse. We are no longer concerned with behavioral support plans or age-appropriate activities or annual planning meetings. The person is finally, truly, at the centre. Their wishes and needs can no longer be paraphrased and ignored. Here at the end we learn what support really is, and we find that we are able to provide it, one human being to another.

 

This is where all our work comes to its final fruition. This is where all the labels drop away, and we meet one another simply as humans, sharing the joy and grief, the gratitude and regret that is the common lot of mortals at their common end.

Learn more about this and all of our modules here.

 

For a free demo and trial please email hello@openfuturelearning.org

 

 

People are growing older … help!

When we surveyed direct support staff the biggest single concern they had was their ability to support people as they age. We made this beautiful module so your staff will know how to support people as they grow older.

 

 

On successful completion of this module, your staff will be able to:

 

  • Understand the changes the people they support may experience as they grow older, and how this may affect them.

 

  • Understand how to support people to age well through staying healthy, keeping friendships and connections, and adapting their life style.

 

  • Help people to cope with challenges and difficulties they may face, particularly as they become frailer and lose some independence.

 

  • Support people at the end of their lives.

 

Learn more about this and all of our modules here.

 

For a free demo and trial please email hello@openfuturelearning.org

 

Personal & Intimate Care – NEW MODULE!

If you understand the power that direct support staff have when they provide personal and intimate care, then you will also know how important this essential training is. Watch the trailer:

 

 

Learning outcomes:

 

– Provide assistance from the perspective of the person you support that is sensitive, calm, respectful, private and patient.

– Help people to be able to make choices and be in control, even when they do not communicate by using words.

– Understand what parallel talk is and how it can be used to seek permission.

– Create and built on the boundaries between you and the person you support.

– Explain how to create and the purpose of a protocol for personal care.

 

Learn more about this and all of our modules here.

 

 

Building Valued Social Roles

Narrated by Beth Mount, this excerpt from our module “Valued Social Roles” explains the importance of helping people to build wide, deep and sustaining relationships.

This module is written by Marc Tumeinski from the Social Role Valorization (SRV) Implementation Project. Marc uses his intimate knowledge of SRV to help learners to reflect on both the barriers to the “Good Things of Life” and how valued social roles may help the people we support to have greater access to these good things.

 

 

This module includes video presentations from Marc Tumeinski, Gary Kent, Beth Mount, Steve Dymond, Jack Pearpoint, and Simon Duffy.

 

On successful completion of this module, learners will be able to:

 

    • Describe related elements of social devaluation: negative perception followed by negative treatment.
    • Describe a shared practice of human service involving vision, attitudes, and skills and actions.
    • Understand and articulate a shared practice for supporting the people you support.
    • Describe the “good things in life” and valued social roles with examples, and also explain how they are linked.
    • Describe devalued roles as wounds, how these occur, and what the consequences of these wounds may be.
    • Understand and articulate skills and attitudes which support our vision including: Stepping into the shoes of the people you support, serving one person at a time, and holding high, positive expectations for the people you support and for ourselves.
    • Describe how rejection, distancing, and communication can be potential barriers to applying this vision.
    • Explain how you can be a better listener.
    • Explain how person-centered planning can help to raise possibilities and expectations.
    • Understand the importance of, and how to enhance image and competency, and how to avoid the associated challenges that may include life wasting, lost opportunities, and society’s own perception.

 

Understanding and Promoting Rights

Gallery

Your staff can now learn about “Understanding and Promoting Rights” with either our long or new short version module. But first watch this fun music video we made about rights, community and more! Our new module “Understanding and Promoting Rights … Continue reading