The day started with introductions and establishing the ground rules for each session. Working in groups is like one to one clinical work, establishing good relationships and trust are the fundamentals of working well and moving learning and action, so focus is placed on “checking in” and setting the ways of working together.
A short film from Age UK on frailty was shown and then a discussion took place about what the film had brought up, what was recognisable and what was new. The group then split into pairs to do an exercise exploring our own experience of frailty. This had a two fold purpose, one to help us to understand our own experience and how these relate to learning and the second aspect of the exercise was to continually listen and not speak whist the other person was telling their story. Listening is an essential skill in coaching development. Although we spend our lives listening, how much do we truly listen; do we listen to hear or listen to respond? The focus here was on really listening and not talking in response, just encouraging. Each person took 10 minutes doing this. The group then discussed how this exercise made them feel and why it was important to listen. What people shared was that it was harder than they imagined to just listen and not interject with their own story or give advice. They also noticed how good it was to be really listened to questioning how often does that happen? Audrey suggested that if all they took away was how to really listen this will have made a difference to everyone.
We then went on to do an exercise in pairs discussing what matters to you rather than asking what’s wrong with you. Audrey shared the video on Don Berwick discussing where the campaign came from and the important shift in care and support that happens when we approach a therapeutic relationship with “what matters to you”. The exercise helped people experience that for themselves and start to look at how that will be different for each individual.
At the end of lunch the group participated in a mindfulness session. Audrey explained that offering mindfulness was about helping people develop tools for resilience which help everyone involved in the care relationship. Also mindfulness is not a relaxation technique but rather an awareness skill which the group will build on over the sessions but the sessions will be entirely voluntary to take part in.
In the afternoon the Frailty Matters Blog was introduced and since you are on it to read this you should know its at: http://frailtymatters.uws.uk
All the information on frailty covered in the programme will posted on this Blog. A new post will be made every fortnight for the duration of this phase of this project. You are encouraged to revisit the Blog and comment on any aspect of it. Suggestions for improvements, more information etc. are welcome this resource is designed to help you with all aspects of the programme.
Each participant was given a notebook for reflection to be used in whatever way is comfortable to them. This is each participants reflective book and participants won’t be asked to share it.
Each person was given a have a postcard that you have completed about what you would like to get out of these sessions. People in the main want to learn about frailty and how to work with it. Participants gave feedback at the end of the session and were asked to reflect on what they would like covered in these sessions. Prevention was mentioned as important and the group was asked to bring further suggestions to the next session.