This blog post was previously published on the Redilearning blog and is republished here. Redilearning became part of Relias Learning in October, 2015.
I was on Facebook the other day…(alright, I’m human!)… and I will admit FB can be a HUGE time waster. But as we go into ALFA week, I wanted to share with you something I found there that hit me right between the eyes.
I’d love to introduce you to Alice Barker. This video about her story is 7 and ½ minutes long, but I promise you, it will be well worth your time.
Sweet Alice Barker, at 102, was seeing for the first time, her younger self dancing on video from the 1940s. She and her entire family had thought there were no existing tapes of this time until an enterprising young man found them and brought them to Alice.
I loved watching her hands begin to sway and the look on her face as she saw these old movies for the first time.
If you listen closely and read the closed captioning, you can hear Alice react to the video and recount her story magnificently. She tells the story of how she was dancing when just a baby!
Can you imagine growing up in the Harlem Renaissance or all the stories sweet Ms. Barker could tell? The things she has seen in her one hundred years upright on this earth? Think of all the technology, social changes, wars and outcomes that have transpired in her time.
I sent this video to everyone on the team the day I found it with a message to them that if I could get permission to use this clip, I would SO add it to any of our courses that help caregivers see how powerful resident and family stories can be.
Whether they are residents in an assisted living or nursing home setting, or clients of ours in a home-based environment, we should all just take a moment to find out who our “Alices” are and realize what they can mean to us. Caregiving is hard work, but it can be very rewarding work. Rather than see sweet Alice as a 102 year old set of tasks and responsibilities, we have the power to raise caregivers up to really see Alice through solid orientation and training programs that take into account the whole person. Take the time and effort to analyze your orientation and training. It’s good for your workforce…and it’s good for Alice!
Join me in congratulating our caregivers of all stripes as we enter into ALFA week.