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A New Look at Caregiving

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Among the many special moments at our annual Gala is our celebration of Compassionate Caregivers. When it comes time for this award category, we dim the lights, the room goes quiet, and everyone watches a truly inspiring video story about three nominees as told by the residents, families and associates who know them best.

It’s an honor to work alongside such Compassionate Caregivers. Tom Grape of Benchmark. We celebrate Compassionate Caregivers because of their extraordinary compassion in caring for residents and families. We recognize how important you are, and how some days it can seem you are on a roller coaster, with ups and downs along the way. There are times when you just want to talk about it.

A little while ago, we brought up this idea of ‘talking about it’ with our friends at The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare. Since its earliest days, The Schwartz Center has worked on ways to strengthen relationships between professional caregivers and those they care for. One way they do that is with The Schwartz Center Rounds. We liked the idea so much we gave it a try.

The idea behind The Schwartz Center Rounds is simple but so powerful. Associates from different areas in a community come together for a chance to openly and honestly discuss the social and emotional issues they face in caring for residents and families. The conversation helps to foster closer relationships and better understanding about the challenging work of caregiving.

In our pilot version, Karen Bain, a regional director of nursing, led a discussion at The Falls at Cordingly Dam that included a housekeeper, dining room server, Harbor care lead aide, Resident Care Director, and Plant Ops Director. A physician, a nurse practitioner, and a hospice care professional joined as well. Everyone had something to say about caring for residents and families, and how valuable it is to work as a team. They learned that everyone viewed their role as caregiving, no matter where they worked or what they did in the community.

I like the Schwartz Center Rounds because it gets to the heart of what we do at Benchmark, and that’s caring for people. Residents and families are our main focus, as it should be, but just as important is our team of associates. We all put our hearts into this work. We all have a role to play. When we connect and understand each other, we all benefit. That’s quite an important reminder, so thanks go to The Schwartz Center Rounds. And thank you, Compassionate Caregivers.

Until next time,
Tom Grape
Chairman and CEO, Benchmark Senior Living

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Jayne Sallerson is a warm, enthusiastic and compassionate executive with a heart for working with seniors. Jayne has been in senior care for more than 20 years and she says, “I still love what I do.” At Benchmark Senior Living, Jayne now serves as Executive Vice President. A native of New England, Jayne loves to travel, meet new people, and hang out with her favorite pug, Henry.
Jayne started this blog as a way to share the many questions she and her team get every day with other people looking for answers.