By Mark Romano, Co-founder Motivation Medics Inc
1. Support staff by providing a small, private space for staff to go and grieve their loss. Soon after the resident passes, a picture and memorial can be distributed and posted so all staff are aware and have the option of going to that quiet space when time allows.
2. Identify peer leaders on different shifts that can be present to support other staff if a death occurs on their shift. Having a set of eyes to monitor how the staff is managing the recent death, especially those staff that worked directly with that particular resident is important. It allows co-workers to support one another in the grieving process. If it’s a difficult death, further support may be required.
3. Create some sort of ritual to show respect to the deceased resident. One example from a facility that I once worked at had a unique ritual that I found particularly helpful with the grieving process. When a deceased resident was about to be taken out of the facility, those staff who wished to could stand along both sides of the hall at the exit doors to say goodbye. Simple, yet incredibly supportive in the grieving process.
These simple processes and others that are similar can support your staff to build emotional resilience. The more resilience they build, the less likely they will burn out and quit.