Growing Bold through Learning Circles

As we progress on our transformation into the Household Model, The Cedars is learning and evolving in many ways. One helpful tool in our process has been the Learning Circle. Staff throughout the community are finding the value of this communication method where trust and understanding are fostered and diverse perspectives are welcomed, shared and respected.

The Learning Circle begins when the facilitator poses a question or issue for the group, and then a volunteer responds with their thoughts on the topic. The person on the left or the right of that person goes next, followed one by one around the circle until everyone has spoken, without interruption. Participants are welcome to pass, at the end they are given the opportunity to respond. Once everyone has had the chance to speak, the floor opens for general discussion.

A recent Learning Circle involving staff on the Neighborhoods centered around the comparison of the social, or person-centered model of care to the institutional model. We each provided our feedback on the changes we’d like to see that will take us to a more social model. The very essence of the person-centered household places a high value on human interaction. With the right systems in place, we can better allow our residents to make choices that feel like home. The questions posed were, “How do you like to spend your mornings,” and then, “How could our residents’ mornings be more person-centered.” Here is some of what our staff said about morning routines:

What is Your AM Routine?

  • Wake up when I feel like it
  • Stay in my PJ’s
  • Linger over coffee
  • Plan the day’s activities
  • Play on the computer
  • Feed my pets
  • 10AM breakfast
  • Shower, maybe
  • Listen to the radio
  • Watch TV
  • Go to the gym
  • Get outside when it’s nice

What’s a Person-Centered AM Routine?

  • Wake up— resident choice
  • Coffee 24/7/365
  • Breakfast—resident choice
  • TV and Radio

What Isn’t Person-Centered?

  • Having to be up for breakfast
  • Only two choices for breakfast
  • Medications scheduled for me, not taking them when I’m ready
  • Having to wait my turn
  • “It’s decided”

Other topics on the agenda for the Learning Circles included the person-centered approach in dining, bathing, and relationships. The next Steering Team intensive at The Cedars will take place on May 23 and 24 and our focus will be, Changing the Way We Work: Adapting our Clinical Systems.