Lewis Hopkins is an associate director of program development - residential. Today he shares with us some things he noticed as he drove past a home where he knew staff supported people – and how one small change influenced bigger change.
Sometimes it is easier to see things that may need to change, from the outside, and I had the opportunity to look into the window. I noticed that when I drove by, it was always staff members who were outside grilling, not the people who lived there. It seemed like an easy fix toward giving ownership back to the folks who lived there. I have to be honest. I did not know that it was going to lead to everything that came after that.
It took a year or so and a lot of work from everyone involved – including nurses, the quality assistance department, support from my supervisors, dietitians, staff, families and the individuals. In the beginning there was a lot of push back maybe due to fear or just change, or maybe both, but with each hurdle we got over, the confidence grew with all involved and it began to open more doors for everyone. Before you knew it people where doing more and more on their own and it became a challenge among each other. The families saw the happiness that independence could bring to someone and they started looking at things differently.
It was great to be part of a movement like this and to see the hard work and dedication pay off. But, at the end of the day, the most important thing that came out of this was to see voices being heard and people taking ownership of their own lives. And to think it all came from a grill.
If someone had asked me what I was going to focus on, and the answer had been the grill, some people may have looked at me like I was crazy. So the next time someone asks you what your plan is, it does not have to be this huge mind-blowing idea, it can be something small that turns out to be much more than just a grill.