If you hear the names Clark Kent, Superman, Man of Steel, Princess Diana of Themyscira, Diana Prince, Wonder Woman, Steve Rogers, Captain America, Dr. Robert Bruce Banner, or The Hulk; what comes to mind? You guessed it, Superheroes! Whether you are a Marvel or DC Comics fan or not a comic fan at all, I bet these names conjure up visions of these well-known heroes and their superpowers. This week at Signature HealthCARE, we began forming a Signature Superhero League to defeat the villains of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom that COVID-19 has left in its wake! We ask everyone to join our elders in a summer-long initiative to create your own personal superhero identity!
Identity is defined as being who or what a person or thing is. Therefore, without identity, nothing would exist. Our names were given to us at birth or shortly after. They become the very foundation of who we are, and our names are often the first exchange when we meet someone. When you think of Clark Kent or Steve Rogers, you may begin to visualize their alter egos, appearance, abilities, strengths, alliances, and so on. Just as you imagine so much more than the names Clark Kent or Steve Rogers, our identities are made up of so much more than only our names.
The traditional medical model quickly identifies people by their diagnoses, needs, and titles and often focuses on what a person cannot do well. Think how crazy it would be if Superman introduced himself by saying, “Hello…red suns, high gravity, and Kryptonite are huge problems for me.” Granted, we know right away what things we should keep him away from. Yet, we lose sight of him being the Man of Steel who is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap buildings in a single bound.
We know and love Superman for his strengths and abilities. Person-directed care is all about relationships and knowing each other well. When we value individual identity and invest in getting to know each other’s strengths and what we have to offer, we become stronger together! What are your superhero powers, and how are you using them?
Ryan Myracle, LAPSW, LNHA