Since 2015, the team at Evolve Care Group, (which our Devon Care Home, Sundial is a part of) have dedicated themselves to investing time and money into their people. Wanting to build upon team members’ unique strengths, they began providing specialist knowledge that promises to empower them with everything they need to develop the gifts that already exist inside of them and transform the lives of the people they support.
Evolve’s Care Academy was born, and they have been delivering innovative training to team members ever since. At the beginning of 2022, they introduced this year’s #EvolveBBB campaign, inviting every team member to be part of a new, bespoke training programme. The programme is split into 7 modules and has been designed as part of the group’s pledge to build back better within adult social care after covid.
After the success of the academy’s first module, Culture, team members at Sundial continued with their commitment to building back better by joining the academy as we moved along to a fundamental petal connected to Professor Thomas Kitwood’s flower of needs: Identity.
Kitwood strongly believed that learning a person’s life history is essential if we are to preserve an individual’s personal identity on their Dementia journey.
His theory strongly influenced Evolve Care Group’s model of care and has become a significant part of how we emotionally support our family members who live with us. Collecting the mental snapshots of a person’s life as if they are small pieces of a puzzle, we connect them together, moving them around when something doesn’t fit, observing them from different angles, until the whole picture is revealed to us. Once we have this picture, we can reflect on how we can use it to support the preservation of the character who belongs at the core of it.
Evolve’s Care Academy has developed a conceptual approach to delivering this idea in the training room which encourages team members to pursue completing the puzzle in an empathetic and person-centred way. The programme essentially teaches you how to become a detective and uncover the individual who can often be concealed within their symptoms. This important life-story work is what set the basis for our Identity training outcome.
With many family members under one roof, the discussion began with how our team will give such exclusive attention to each individual. Our team members agreed that each of them will be connected with a paired family member and use their identity training to create identity boards and detailed daily reports on their behaviours. Essential information regarding their character is then available to the entire team who are supporting them.
Throughout the day we explored how we can enter conversations and situations sensitively and effectively with our family members and emerge from them with a richer picture of their identity and life history. This creates an opportunity where we are able to meet them at the door of their current reality and compassionately support them through it into a place where a meaningful continuation of life exists, and their identity continues to evolve and be validated.
The creation of well-thought-out characters from complex backgrounds allowed us to be taken on a hypothetical life journey, pausing at monumental events in the individual’s story that are responsible for altering behaviours and identity paths. By putting the time into our team and giving them the means to interpret behavioural cues and attachment styles correctly, we can drastically improve the lives of all who live with us.
Once again, more than anything, the day encouraged growth. Believe in your own worth and be able to search for others too. One of our team members commented – “What a good training session that was, I really did enjoy it and have come away with lots of things to think about. As well as focusing on the wellbeing of family members and how we can get things better, I came away with more self-belief in myself.”
The EvolveBBB programme aims to empower team members to leave with a stronger sense of purpose and sense of who they are through their own identity work and to show them they are capable of using their superpowers to become the best social care professionals in the sector. Evolve Care Group is on a mission to improve the lives of people working and living in adult social care.
To join our next academy session and become part of a movement that aims to make a positive impact on both other people’s lives and your own, contact the team at: firstname.lastname@example.org