Minimize Your Risk with Mindful Practices
What's mindfulness? Mindfulness is often used interchangeably with meditation. Its purpose is to ground and center someone as well as help them focus on the here and now. It helps people slow down and pay attention to what’s important at the moment.
When I first got out of college, I worked for close to four years on a psychiatric unit in a hospital. One of my responsibilities was conducting Relaxation Therapy for patients. In a darkened room towards bed time, I played relaxing music and read from a script for the patients to isolate, constrict, hold and release various muscles throughout their bodies. It was amazing to see how well this worked and helped patients relax before bed. Not only did it help the patients relax, but it helped me relax as well.
Being a caregiver can be draining and stressful. With the rise in popularity of mindfulness and meditation, I reflected on the work I did for staff at the hospital and felt this new trend could help owners of senior living facilities encourage their staff to practice mindfulness before the start of each work shift.
During a standard shift change, the charge nurse from the exiting shift shares input from all staff about the status of each patient that day. This would be an ideal time to incorporate 10 minutes of mandatory meditation and mindfulness practices for all staff right before their shift begins.
But how could a facility owner accomplish this? One suggestion is to hold group-led sessions. Set up a room with mats and a computer monitor with a meditation YouTube video to practice as a group. On the other hand, individuals could also take advantage of several different apps to do mindfulness on their own within the group setting. Apps such as Headspace, The Mindfulness App, Buddihify, Smiling Mind, Mindfulness Meditation by Mental Workout and Simply Being (courtesy of The Huffington Post, “8 De-Stressing Meditation Apps”) are great options for personal use. This way, mindfulness is still being performed in a group room setting, but on an individual basis.
The potential benefits of requiring mindfulness could also minimize risk and maximize the health of your employees and patients. If caregivers are more relaxed and focused for their shifts, this would lead to fewer workers’ compensation claims and mistakes being made with patient care. This could, in turn, result in less injuries to patients because caregivers aren’t distracted or unable to think clearly.
By implementing mindfulness practices, facility owners can show an additional level of care for employees and their well-being, leading to more longevity and loyalty amongst staff. Mindfulness practices being offered to caregivers can be a win-win for any senior living facility.
For more tips on minimizing risk while maximizing health, contact us.
- 2017 Industry Outlook Video: Senior Living
- 7 Tips for Effective Person-Centered Care
- Know It. Prevent It. Do It.
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