At Sue Ryder, we strive to improve the quality of long-term care for the elderly throughout the CR. Philip Morris International, on the other hand, likes a long-term cooperation and a well-planned aid that makes sense. Denisa Sýkorová, External Affairs Executive Philip Morris CR, and Kristýna Kadlecová, Head of Residential Care Sue Ryder are talking about education and senior citizens care.

Denisa: „We have been supporting Sue Ryder for 17 years because your approach to the life at old age just makes sense. You are continually moving the care for senior citizens to a higher level. You approach each person individually and you roll out your model and philosophy to other homes.  While medical science can extend the length of time, you work to increase the quality of life. Your approach is comprehensive and backed up by a long practice. We like it!"

Denisa Sýkorová Philip Morris

Kristýna: „Thank you. On our part, we like the long „affair“ Jwith you. Philip Morris provides us with some security in the insecure life of a non-profit organisation. Knowing that you will finance such a large package, as education and staff care requires, is a great relieve and help to us. We can maintain the high quality of senior citizens care also thanks to your contribution.”

Denisa: „I must say that Philip Morris has the helping in its DNA. We have been in business for 30 years and our social program has lasted all long. But donating a randomly selected non-profit organizations and letting them do whatever they want with it is not our way. We focus on a long-term support of organizations that fill gaps in social activities of the state. It means those activities that the state does not finance. The topics that are covered by few groups or those that are not "attractive" enough...

In these neglected areas we mainly aim at education because we can reach a wide target group, areas and topics. Organisations and individuals that are continuously learning are achieving a great competitive advantage on the market, which gives them a head start on others. Or it can help them survive even in very difficult times."

Kristýna: “You are right. The ability not to get stuck is important for all of us, especially in these days. Years ago, we publicly declared that we would never stop learning and raising the bar. We are constantly improving care and increasing the quality of life for our clients and their families. Our philosophy is "person-centered care". We combine the palliative approach with elements of the psycho-biographical model of care. We know and fulfil the needs of the clients we care for - the basic physiological ones, but also their needs for self-actualization, respect, belonging, safety... Thanks to this comprehensive approach, our clients really enjoy the moments they still have at their disposal. They enjoy casual little things, make new friends and also look back at their lives.

But this approach requires training of the care team members in each of these areas. And thanks to you, we have been able to afford it in recent years.”

Denisa: “Regarding this, it was COVID that opened our eyes a lot. We now also target our support to the care for caregivers. This also applies to Sue Ryder. We know how physically and mentally demanding this work is and besides, it is not adequately remunerated as it does not enjoy a high status in society. And these are exactly the before-mentioned loopholes in the system. 

We need more people like you. They thank us for the money we provide but it is you that are the principal ones. You take care of the senior citizens and at the same time take care of the care team. We believe that if we support the care for and education of your employees, it will become a great motivation for them to keep working for you as long as possible.”

Kristýna: “This is an enlightened approach because, let's face it, the turnover in our field is quite high. I can see that my colleagues at the nursing home, who take courses, gain greater self-confidence and self-assurance in providing care. Moreover, they pass the acquired knowledge and skills on to students in the fields of nursing, medicine, social work, physiotherapy, etc. Increasingly, we are responding to those interested in internships, professional practice or excursions - both individuals and organizations.”

Denisa: “I also firmly hope that there will be sometime more facilities like yours, and we will be at ease. Our children will know that we are well taken care of and will be doing their productive work without worries.”

Kristýna: "It sounds good. I'll just go back to what you said before - that employees would stay with us longer. There is also the other side the coin. My colleagues, due to the education, become leaders in their areas of expertise. Most members of the Sue Ryder's multidisciplinary team teach in courses for professionals and the general public. They actively participate in congresses and conferences on various topics. They organize workshops and courses. 

The question is whether, with regard to the education, our employees will stay with us longer or if they will move on due to their professional achievements. Anyway, with this, we contribute to the cultivation of the entire system of care for the elderly in the Czech Republic. Sue Ryder's good practice continues to spread. So even the departures are actually good.”

Kristýna Kadlecová vedoucí domova pro seniory Sue Ryder

Denisa: “As regards this, I will offer you one more point of view. Philip Morris has a very elaborate system of training for its employees. From soft skills to demanding technical trainings that increase people's qualifications and give them an opportunity to advance their careers - between departments and internationally. And there are also other options - meeting psychologists regarding things that have been lately bothering us all (e.g. how to handle stress caused by war, natural disasters, etc.). When COVID started, we launched webinars on whom we support and how our employees can get involved. They wanted to help and didn't know how.

To make a long story short - I've been with Philip Morris for 19 years because the opportunities here are great. But sometimes people will fully get it only after they have left. Maybe also your former employees are now looking back at their time at Sue Ryder.”

Kristýna: ♡

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