Those of us in long-term care have undoubtedly witnessed incidents where residents become agitated and staff members don't have the tools to prevent or manage their distress. Unfortunately, psychologists — who could offer such tools — are largely limited in the current reimbursement model to providing individual services to cognitively intact residents.
Back when I worked in psych, one of our most effective tools to improve mental health was maintaining a healing emotional environment, or therapeutic milieu. That's why I was shocked when I first entered long-term care.
Therapy services can be a tricky business when working with residents with a history of "behavioral issues."