You can’t please everyone, but as a team member in assisted living in Jackson, MS, you want to do everything you can to make residents happy. In some cases, it’s impossible to improve a resident’s situation, and that’s perfectly fine! But how do you handle the situation when it’s out of your control?
Listen to What the Person is Saying
The first step to resolving problems is listening to what the person is saying. Listening is key to understanding, but more than that, it’s important for you as a team member to understand what your residents are feeling. Don’t just hear their words, take time to listen carefully and see if there’s more going on behind what they’re saying. For example, if a resident complains about being cold in her room at night, ask her why she is out before you begin looking into solutions or ask how much heat she requires for her to be comfortable sleeping at night. The answers may surprise you!
Ask Questions to Understand the Situation Fully
Asking questions to understand the situation is an important part of resolving complaints and can help you get to the root of a problem. Ask the person to explain their complaint, and listen carefully so you can write down what they’re saying. Then, ask them to tell you what they would like to happen next, or how they think things should be handled moving forward. You can ask them what caused the problem in the first place, as this makes it easier for both parties to resolve any issues that arise later down the line.
Put Yourself in the Other Person’s Shoes
You must first understand their perspective to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. This might seem obvious, but it’s challenging to get a clear picture of how someone else feels. To do this, use active listening techniques such as paraphrasing and asking open-ended questions. These strategies are helpful because they help you gather information about your client and show them you value their opinion by asking questions that require more than a yes or no answer.
Ignore any Personal Attacks or Insults that You may Hear
It’s important to avoid reacting emotionally to personal attacks or insults that you hear. It’s also important not to get defensive, angry, or argue back. This is especially true if the person involved is a resident with a history of making these comments in the past. If you respond emotionally, it could result in more problems for yourself and other team members when dealing with the residents who have dementia, or another mental illness along with their behavioral issues.
We outlined how to deal with problems and complaints. The key to success is understanding the nature of the problem or complaint and be able to deal with it in an appropriate manner. This will help you find the best solution. Be sure the person understands they can always speak to someone else if they’re not happy with their answer or solution.