Respecting Personal Choice

4/4/2013
Location : Houston At Home

By Deborah Cowie, Life Care Manager, Silverado At Home Houston

At Silverado At Home, we approach home care in a way that reflects the individual needs of our clients while also promoting independence and choice. Our associates must be able to understand the fine balance between safety and personal choice.

I recently faced this challenge myself while interacting with a client who suffers from memory loss. As I talked with her, she mumbled back. I listened carefully for an opportunity to engage and connect with her, but then she suddenly stood up and walked out the front door. I followed close behind as she began to approach a young boy who was walking home from school.

As I began to think of ways to redirect her or call her back, she abruptly stopped, turned around, smiled and walked back with me into the house. In this brief interaction, I realized how challenging it can be to balance freedom and safety.

What if she would have approached that young teenager and said something inappropriate?  What if she kept walking into a neighbor’s yard and got hurt?

I would not have stopped her or tried to physically block her. Instead, I would have redirected her with a positive suggestion or joined her to ensure she was safe.

As an associate of Silverado, we are trained to engage, observe and anticipate, while simultaneously ensuring safety and preserving dignity. These are the values and training that all Silverado associates use to guide their actions. And this is why we are continuously able to enrich people’s lives.

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