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WHAT Teaching caregivers, nursing staff and volunteers how to relate to senior residents well enough to record their life stories in autobiographical albums.
WHYTo teach caregivers skills which provide improved communication between caregivers and seniors and to provide seniors with therapeutic value in telling their stories.
WHEREMany Happy Returns. Connecting the Generations. London, England.

Program Description

"I wanted my staff to realise how important meaningful conversation and listening is, especially for person-centred and relationship-centred care.
The workshops have provided a really helpful springboard to improving their standards and we are already seeing the results."

-Barchester Care Home Manager

REAL Workshops (Reminiscence, Empathic Engagement and Active Listening) teach conversation skills to caregivers, nursing care staff and volunteers who work with seniors and those with dementia. The workshops use active listening, enquiry and reminiscence to get seniors talking and engaged in their environment.

Playing cards known as the "Many Happy Returns Chatterbox Cards," contain images from a specific time era such as the 1940's or 1950's and are used to trigger memories and stories for those with dementia.

The workshops are designed to naturally lead to further reminiscence activities, such as life history gathering and other themed projects.

Workshop One - covers the topic of reminiscence as theory, as an activity and in practice, along with the "whys", "whats" and "hows" of reminiscence and its therapeutic value in older people's care; how reminiscence theory has developed and how different memories work and intergenerational issues.

Workshop Two - explores empathizing and old age ailments: participants consider not only the chronic and acute physical disabilities connected with old age but also the social, mental and spiritual issues. Enquiry and Active listening: participants consider how conversations work and the different stresses that affect them. Participants experience how relationships can be transformed when people engage more effectively.

Workshop Three- covers the direct experience of reminiscence and how it can be applied to countless other activities, to help build more meaningful relationships and nurture carers' confidence. Issues connected with bereavement and family relationships are also covered.

The "Real Communications Workshop Program" covers themes of: Reminiscence theory; reminiscence as therapy vs. reminiscence as a therapeutic activity; intergenerational exercises including Many Happy Returns Chatterbox cards; compassion and empathy; enquiry, engagement, active listening and other techniques; reminiscence for relationships between team members; applying reminiscence to other activities to achieve more connected relationships; family involvement.







Find out more about the "Real Communication Workshops" Program
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