We at Summer House Like to Whistle, Sing, Dance, and Connect with Others While We Work!
Our Summer House history tells us where we came from and how it all started, but our organization’s culture defines who we are as care partners in the social service field. Our culture is an atmosphere and a “feeling” that both team members and clients share-alike. Our culture sets the framework around which Summer House was built on and defines what we value as important, our clients. We are firm believers in creating a comfortable, safe environment where our care partners find creative ways of connecting with clients while providing quality support.
Culture first starts with how our care partners care for and support one another and how we support our clients. As a team, we must recognize that we are much more than just a group of “employees” who have similar jobs. Instead, we are a team of dedicated care partners working together for one common goal, to support our clients and find opportunities for connecting, motivating, and building trust with each one. We are a part of something exciting that has the power to improve our community, help our clients, and make a difference.
If you read some of our care partners’ essays regarding their experiences at Summer House posted in a few of our social media posts, you get a good sense of the enjoyment they all have in their roles. You also read about the creative, interactive ways they try to teach and connect with our clients, such as;
Music and songs. Musical memories are often preserved in Alzheimer’s disease because key brain areas linked to musical memory are relatively undamaged by the condition. In these situations, a song can provide comfort and help the client connect with the care partner in times of distress. It can also motivate a client to work on a skill, make the skill more manageable, interactive, and fun.
Dancing and movement is another way to connect and interact with a client, and this sometimes takes place when supporting a client with either cleaning a bedroom or their apartment.
So Why Is Our Summer House Culture Important Us?
Our work atmosphere directly affects how we relate to each other and the clients we support; it has an enormous impact on our success! Our culture fosters consistent improvement in our day-to-day practices by focusing on person-centered practices versus “task-based” accomplishments. Our jobs are about knowing how someone accomplishes a task and what motivates them, not about checking things off a list. Though progress may be slow at times, it’s is the satisfaction of genuinely knowing the people we work with and enjoying those interactions, even when they are hard, that make our work fulfilling.
Care Partners Testimonials
“Each day is unique and special here at Davis Summer House. Some days I might belt out a popular show tune with a client as we work together on laundry skills. Other days I might be glitter deep in crafting a jellyfish for the facility’s sea theme activity bulletin board. There is work that needs to be done, but the energy we create here is special.”-Julie Hunter
“I don’t know many jobs where you can play virtual laser tag, be asked to go on a limo ride for Christmas Light tour, and karaoke as a way to connect and engage with others.”
“The environment and energy that Summer House strives for are evident in the enjoyment my coworkers and I have while on shift.”
“I am greeted while high-fives, stories about how everyone’s weekend or day was, and such enthusiasm that everything that was on my mind before entering work vanishes. Work doesn’t feel like work when part of your job is about building relationships and connecting with others.”
“I enjoy the random dance parties we have when the staff are checking in on the clients, or there is a few minutes of free time during the day. It lifts everyone up, and is a fun way to get some exercise during the day!”-Sydney Ruport
“I enjoy coming into work and acting silly with our client’s. We like to “scare” each other and say “Boo!” when we turn a corner. Then the resident will say “I got you!” and we all laugh about it. Little interactions like this during the day, make our days brighter.”-Roxana Palomares