The following is the 4th of 6 articles that tell the story of the evolution of the Society’s vision for their new long-term care home.
The word we use to describe our innovative care model is Comfortzeit™. When translated from German to English, it means comfort time, and the idea is that residents in our home experience an overall sense of comfort during this important stage of life.
The experience of comfort while living in our home is the result of the care that is integrated in the fabric of how we operate. The fabric is comprised of all the human and non-human elements that touch residents and work together synergistically to surround them with personalized ways of caring and support that is life – real life.
Comfortzeit™ is a contemporary care approach where the physical environment and the services offered are adjusted to the needs of each resident and allow for normalcy and individuality.
Not every senior will be able to remain at home as their care needs may exceed what home care and informal care givers can provide. We believe that living in a care home can be a fulfilling developmental stage of life and a time when a person should have the opportunity to freely choose what to participate in and what is no longer appealing.
The Comfortzeit™ care approach rests on several key underpinnings. These operate in the background and always serve to support the care model rather than direct or control it. They include operational systems, the physical environment, staffing model, medical and therapeutic treatments, safety systems, risk management and quality improvement, financial sustainability, and regulatory guidelines. Staff need to ask whether what they are doing promotes comfort and contentment for residents, and at times rethink their approach if it does not. Often, residents and the staff who work most closely with them and know them best have the answers and offer solutions.
The Comfortzeit™ approach to care turns the traditional approach on its head and re-assigns the priorities and how things work together. It seeks to eliminate the tension that exists between the perceived needs of the organization and the needs, rights, wishes and dreams of the human beings who live in this community.
This transformation can be achieved with a bold vision that allows for an organic process of progressive change in our daily practice. Living in a care home is, for the most part, a person’s last phase in their life’s journey. It deserves to be lived in comfort.