Educating Care Partners on Being Community Builders

 In Enrichment

For those who may not know, The Ohio Eastern Star Home is a not-for-profit Eastern Star organization. As such, the freedom to flexibly invest donations into the care of our Elders and the education of our Care Partners is so important.

Of course, our wishlist gives folks a way to donate and know EXACTLY where their funds will go to work, but there are just so many ways to empower our community that we also need general donations!

For instance, in addition to purchasing items for our Elders, we believe in continued education for our Care Partners. That’s because the trickle-down benefits our Elders get from this could not be more evident. Here’s a sneak peek.   

An OESH care partner with a clip-on badge congratulating a smiling elder.

The Pioneer Network Seminar

Our staff was recently invited to The Pioneer Network Seminar. The educational event was hosted via Zoom in The Ohio Eastern Star Home’s Gallagher Centre. Staff members were encouraged to attend sessions specific to their areas of expertise as Care Partners to our OESH Elders. 

The session focused on being “community builders” was of particular interest to many direct Care Partner staff members, including our Nurses and Aides. Care Partners who work in Culinary, Housekeeping, and Administration also found it very informative. 

Building Community

According to community psychologists, a sense of community is created through having our needs met and feeling that we belong, have an influence, and share some emotional connection with those around us. The idea is simple yet profound: “If I have influence, I 1.) matter and 2.) can help shape my community and build ongoing positive growth.”

Influence, as further described by community psychologists, means that people feel they have an impact on their community. In turn, they also feel impacted by their community. Sharing this emotional connection results in people interacting and taking emotional risks together.  

Two smiling, white-haired women in Christmas sweaters at an Eastern Star organization senior living facility.

Of course, community living can be messy. We are all complex individuals, and there are things to work out any time humans interact with other humans. Our social construct should not include pity or ageism, for instance. Focusing rather on human-to-human problem solving and conflict resolution, we can bring folks together for meaningful discussions geared toward finding solutions. 

Serving as Care Partners

Serving alongside Elders and Family as Care Partners is the person-centered modality that sets this Eastern Star organization apart in our caregiving. It’s what we aspire to daily at OESH, and we look forward to continuing to educate our staff around this topic for as long as we’re around to do so.