Coaching and Care Home Conflicts

In any environment where there are people interacting with one another, there will be conflict. We are naturally programmed to go into self defense mode when we feel threatened, whether it be emotional or physical. Seniors or individuals who are used to living independently are no exceptions to that rule.

They are placed in an environment where the choices were not always their own. They have lost the option of when they wake up, eat, or even go to sleep. They have lots all sense of independence and responsibility. Accidents happen, health issues arise, and the fact that they just cannot take care of themselves any longer. This is when the decisions are made for them and now they find themselves in such facilities as your own. This is when disgruntled patients come into play.

Caregivers, some more trained than others, are now faced with such patients. There will be conflicts of interest between the staff and the patients as well as between the co-workers. Many times, the administrators and managers will support their staff and will attempt to sort things out but sometimes there is just too much tension and tempers flare just a little too easy. At other times, however, outside help may be necessary to resolve the conflict within the staff so that they, in turn can ease the tension with the patients. This is where one calls in a mediator and coach.

You may ask why you need to call in a mediator coach if you can handle the situations yourself. Mediation coaching requires someone who is qualified in this field and has the tools to address the problems in a professional manner. Being familiar and having the experience with care home facilities is a major asset for it’s supports in understanding the pressure and chaos that can arise from such an environment. The largest request that we have as coaches etc is that everyone must be a willing candidate for change. More often than not members tend to play the blame game and feel that they should not be involved in such meetings. It’s not their fault, they have no issues, you get the idea. The fact of the matter is this, many of the staff members then to bring their work home with them and vice versa.

If there is conflict at home, it reflects in their work and with their peers. A grudge with a family member can easily be taken out on a patient of another employee. This may not be intentional, but it happens. Unfortunately, it happens more often than not. The conflicts that arise between the employee’s themselves is also a big factor and this cannot go unnoticed or unattended.

The main object to all of this is to clear the resentment, the anger, the fear and all the emotions, no matter where they stem from, and create a wonderful and more loving working environment for all. This ability to push through the objectivity from the staff and create open communication comes with time and experience which is a very useful technique to manage conflict in long-term care settings. This may be something that the administrators and staff managers may not have enough of.
It would also mean that you would have to be completely neutral which makes things a little trying for this conflict has been presented to you previously. You have already been jaded.
Damage control is a serious issue and working with the members to subdue the damage is not a feat that is easily handled. Sometimes it comes from a situation derived from personal issues but can also come from a simple confrontation between two employees.

One final note; every position held in a care facility is a very responsible one indeed. The patients will not always be cooperative or easy to handle but it is the staff’s responsibility to make it as easy as possible for them and for their peers to resolve any issue that may arise.

If the staff is there for the patients, who is there for the staff? You as an administrator or director can only do so much and handle so many conflicts before this too will take a toll on you. Call in some help and you’ll be happy you did!

For more information about Care Home Coaching and my services please visit:
Nicole Gruendl
Life and Success Coach



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