Charlesgate Is Training Its Employees in Crisis Prevention

Tara Colvin and Tracy CHuk

At Charlesgate, many of our residents, including those living with chronic health conditions and memory loss, are more vulnerable than the population at large. With this vulnerability comes an increased potential for situations to arise where a resident may feel as if they are in trouble, causing them to act out in ways that may create disharmony. To help mitigate the impact of these situations, Charlesgate is training its employees on how to manage crises. Doing so will create a healthier environment for both residents and staff. 

Charlesgate has chosen Crisis Prevention Institute’s Nonviolent Crisis Intervention training. We recognize that the philosophy, lessons, and skills taught in the program align with our organizational values. In the training, employees learn a range of preventive strategies, de-escalation skills, and communication strategies. Participants also learn psychological responses that help minimize the potential harm of disruptive and aggressive behavior.

The class is taught in a dynamic and energetic manner. The core values of the program include care, welfare, safety and security. The staff at Charlesgate is in the process of training employees to be able to be equipped to identify behavior that indicates an escalation toward aggressive and violent behavior and take appropriate measure to avoid, decelerate, and/or de-escalate the crisis safely.

Tara Colvin, Director of Social Services at Charlesgate Nursing Center and Tracy Chuk, RSC for Charlesgate South Apartments (both pictured above) have undergone intensive training in order to facilitate the classes. They do a great job helping the participants work through interesting hands-on exercises that equip Charlesgate employees to prepare to de-escalate tension and stress with people who are experiencing challenges of a behavior health crisis. It’s been a positive experience for the different departments within the company to get to network and share their knowledge and experiences.

Recent class participant Lora Varhol, an RSC at Charlesgate North said, “I was recently able to put what I learned into practice in my community and both the residents and I benefited from the training. In a real life stressful situation, I felt safe due to my training and feel confident that I can take a chaotic crisis and return it to calm.” 

Charlesgate employees have five opportunities this year to receive a free CPI certificate by attending two four-hour classes while at work.  The upcoming sessions will be January 15 and 29, March 12 and 26, May 14 and 28, September 10 and 24, and November 5 and 19.  We must also note that John Ladish, Executive Director of Dining Service, contributes to making the learning environment class more enjoyable by providing refreshment and a celebratory lunch after a class becomes certified.

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