Retiring the Champ
About This Story l Bringing this Story to Your Conference or Community l
What People Are Saying l About Judith Black
Bringing This Story To Your Conference or Community
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Using THE CHAMP for your Community:
Retiring the Champ: Coaching Life’s Last Big Bout has been used as an enticement, educational tool, community organizing device, and for pure and joyous entertainment.
Support the Supporters
Caregivers, whether working in a facility, hired to come into a home, or caring for their own loved one, need support. Retiring the Champ has been used by by dozens of organizations as the central event of a day designed to support, educate, and delight caregivers. They have the opportunity to see the situations and issues they deal with daily shaped into a transformative theatrical event and emerge with both a honored sense of the work they do and the many possibilities that their labors generate in this world.
Retiring the Champ touches on many issues that participants will want the opportunity to explore after the performance. Break-out groups or a community discussion is an option. Following are questions that discussion often revolves around:
-Denial Is Not just a River in Egypt: As we travel from the child to the parent role in our relationship with our elders, it is often difficult to accept their increasing frailty. We cling resolutely to our image of a younger, more vital human. What is necessary for us to see, accept, and come to aid of our diminishing parents?
-Who’s Minding the Shop: In many couples one partner covers for the decreasing capabilities of the other. This is what marriage is about. When does this cooperation turn into potentially hazardous dependency?
-Discovering Individual Diagnosis: Every human being is unique. A medical diagnosis offers a general category into which your loved one fits, but cannot analyze their specific condition or abilities in the light of their past and present. Only you can help to diagnosis, adjust, and advocate for those qualities.
-Where to Now? One thing is for sure. As you age nothing remains the same for very long. How can we evaluate needs and styles, and help find the right living environment for a loved one.
-How can you determine if a specific institution will meet your needs?
-How can you advocate successfully for your loved one within that institution?
-How can you know when it is time to change institutions?
-You Can Redeem More than Green Stamps: Relationships at end of life can offer new joys and rewards. This is an ideal time to think about the relationship you always wanted with the dying person, and open yourself to the possibilities of finding exactly what you need within this journey.
Drawing Potential Clients and the Elder Service Professionals to Your Facility:
It’s one thing to advertise your assisted living or nursing home facility to the general public. It’s quite another to offer them a good reason to come and actually see and experience the facility. Retiring the Champ is a theatrical experience that will draw them into the heart and issues that your facility addresses. Benchmark Assisted Living has used the show at their facilities throughout New England, as an invitation to families considering relocation of their elders and elder care professionals to join together in appreciating this transforming comedy about end of life, share their thoughts and feelings in a post-show discussion, and have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the facility and it’s staff. It can provide an authentic invitation.
Using The Champ for In Service Training
Social Work, Nursing, and Support professionals all require continued education in order to remain vital in their work. Retiring the Champ
has been used to draw both professional and support staff together, present them with a completely different vantage point on the issues they deal with daily, allow a forum to discuss important topics, and provide the continuing education credits that are often a requirement of their work. Following is a list of the topics professionals will address through this tale:
Participants at this event will:
1. be called upon to discern the difference between a clients issues and needs and those of their extended family.
2. become aware of the holes in the medical system that can exacerbate rather than help or heal the problems of elderly.
3. have their attention drawn to the delicate weave of family and how it effects the care and condition of the elderly.
4. be made aware of the difference between personalized and systematized care.
5. be inspired to reflect upon the hierarchy of assisted living and how it effects the care delivered.
Following is an abridged list of Institutions that have used Retiring the Champ for the reasons outlined above:
Salem State College
Inland Caregiver Resource Center
Mass ALFA-Alzheimers Training Seminar
EPOCH Assisted Living at Melbourne Pittsfield, Ma
National Storytelling Festival, Jonesboro, TN
Washington DC, Storytellers Theater
Del Mar Caregiver Resource Center
Silver Lake Commons
Highland Valley Elder Services
Bertram House of Swampscott
The Memory Clinic Bennington, VT
Landmark at Monastery Heights
Wisconsin Institute of Judaism
Temple Israel, Stockton, CA
Jewish Rehabilitation Center (Worcester and Swampscott locations)
North Shore Elder Services
Taking Care on BNN-TV
New England Resident Service Coordinators
Jewish Geriatric Services
Tatnuck Park at Worcester
Ashland Farm at North Andover
The Village at Brookfield Common in Brookfield, CT
Laurel Gardens of Milford, Milford, CT
Alzheimer’s Services of Cape Cod & the Islands, Inc.
Northeastern University, Caregiver Program
Mystic Valley Elder Services