Goals and Benefits
Objectives of the Program
- To provide an opportunity for these residents to: share with others, experience control, reaffirm a positive identity, and have respite from failure and negative feedback.
- To provide an opportunity for staff to see these residents in a positive light, as they once were: responsible, competent and affable people.
- To help staff learn to facilitate old competencies in these residents in a unique setting "away from the job" that does not threaten their sense of job competence.
- To promote the carry over of approaches and attitudes, witnessed by staff during group, into daily interactions with these residents on the unit.
For the resident
- Rediscovery of life-long social skills and competencies
- An opportunity to experience control
- Reaffirmation of positive identity
- Respite from negative feedback and failure
For the staff
- Seeing "difficult" residents displaying positive behavior
- Learning to facilitate the residents' life-long social skills and competencies in the environment of the Tea Group
- Promote the carryover of approaches and attitudes, witnessed by staff during the group, into daily interactions with residents when returning to the unit.
The ritual of the tea party: gathering to make, serve and drink tea, is almost universal. It provides the context and cues that enable even very demented residents to display competent social behavior. Staff that attend the program, see that these competencies can be supported by the environment, and can then promote them in other areas of the resident's life.
- Residents respond positively to an environment in which they feel safe, respected and successful.
- The techniques used to create this atmosphere can be described specifically, and taught to staff so they develop supportive or therapeutic programming.
- Staff who attend can carry aspects of the social relationship created in the program over into their daily interactions with these residents on the unit.
- The Tea Group protocol specifies: group membership, the physical environment, the ritual, and the roles of facilitator, members, guests, and nonparticipating staff on the unit.
- The success of the program depends on the understanding and support of all facility staff.
- All staff including primary care staff, supervisory and administrative staff attend the inservice and are consulted for input on the program.
- The training of staff to carry on the program and to later train other staff is essential to continuing the program.
- Only one staff member at a time is trained to facilitate the group. This is done by working with the facilitator to learn how to work with residents, and staff members who come as "guests." Training should be continued until the new facilitator is comfortable in that role.
- The facilitator/trainer models different approaches toward residents in the group and then discusses them with the trainee after each session. This gives the trainee the chance to see the residents' response to different approaches and then as co-facilitator, the chance to practice them.
- A new trainee/co-facilitator is assigned when the first trainee feels confident enough to assume the role of facilitator.