Hearthstone’s mission has always been “to serve with love, respect and integrity.” This includes residents, family members, guests, staff, and anyone with whom we do business. We take our mission statement seriously, and use it to guide our actions every single day.
Serving with love requires a special kind of heart, which we strive to develop in our organization and nurture in team members. As an organization “with heart” Hearthstone seeks to hire people who are kind and compassionate, and strives to create an environment where team members feel safe to express compassion and kindness in their interactions with residents, family members, visitors and each other. We have found that cultivating these attitudes helps our staff develop a strong sense of goodwill and a high level of trust which can be drawn upon during challenging times.
Hearthstone managers and staff are trained to provide “person-directed care” to each and every one of our residents. Person-directed care is a nationally-recognized model for providing services in a way that focuses on the needs and desires of the older adult, rather than what is easiest, most convenient or efficient for the organization and its staff. Person-directed care gives a voice to those being served. It embraces each individual’s values, routines and preferences. And it creates a culture that is life-affirming, satisfying and meaningful.
Person-directed care requires that we use language that is respectful and honors each individual. We refer to residents by their preferred name and avoid patronizing speech that may cause a person to feel diminished or dependent on others.
Person-directed care requires that we listen carefully without interruption, and give our full attention to the person we are communicating with. In this way we show that we value the individual and want to be in relationship with them.
Person-directed care requires that we honor each individual’s personal habits, routines, likes and dislikes. This means providing flexible dining and living options – empowering the individual to choose how to live their life each day: when and what to eat, when to go to bed and when to rise, when and how to bathe, what to wear, what activities to engage in, and who to spend time with.
Hearthstone managers and team members are held to the highest standards of integrity. There is an expectation that we will be truthful at all times with residents, family members, visitors and each other. We hold each other accountable for knowing “right” from “wrong” and, when faced with a dilemma, to choose to do the right thing even when it is difficult and goes against our self-interest. We make every effort to be reliable and trustworthy in our work and daily interactions.
As a starting point, Hearthstone managers are very deliberate when selecting new team members. We recognize that it is just as important to select people for their values as it is to select for their skill sets. In most cases, skills can be taught. It is far more difficult to teach values.
When employees are first hired, they receive an orientation that emphasizes Hearthstone values. We try hard to ensure that new personnel are clear about expectations and the consequences for not meeting expectations.
Once hired, all personnel – new and experienced – are required to complete training throughout the year in a variety of areas, such as:
- Resident rights
- Infection control
- Understanding dementia
- Fire safety
- Dealing with conflict
- Preventing accidents and falls
- Providing exceptional customer service
- Emergency preparedness
- Reporting resident neglect and abuse
- Information about the aging process
Finally, Hearthstone managers and staff know that words and deeds count, and that they will be held accountable for putting virtuous values into practice. Systems and procedures are in place to remind people of the commitments they’ve made, and to reinforce their behavioral integrity.