It was heartening to read about a study from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine Researchers that found sessions of moderate exercise can be anti-inflammatory. That matters because of increasing research linking inflammation to arthritis, which has recently hit my back and toes.
Judging recent national political events by any measure, one can come to a seemingly obvious conclusion: A lot of change is in the air. But what a lot of people aren't talking about is this: The things that aren't going to change. For long-term care providers, this is critical.
There's a question that's key to the long-term care industry but all too often — for a variety of reasons — goes unanswered: Who were your residents before they became your residents?
A recent study found that bundling Medicare payments can dramatically cut costs without sacrificing quality. But the man likely to be the next Health and Human Services secretary is no fan of this new approach
It's worthwhile to examine news from Concord, NH, involving a data breach of 15,000 patient records. On first blush, the question both providers and journalists might ask is if the compromised records were a result of a sophisticated hacking scheme. The answer is a resounding "nope" and provides a teachable incident for us all.
Chalk up another one for that disruptive New Yorker who crisscrossed the nation the last two years, speaking to big crowds, imploring change. His words are proving prophetic again. Bill Thomas, M.D., doesn't know it any other way.
My love of specific types of Christmas music is one of the reasons I was thrilled to see a new case study once again showing the positive impact of personalized music playlists for residents in long-term care facilities.
Federal lawmakers often seem to look down on aging care professionals, but it might not be long before they're looking up to them to learn how to get things done.
If you can somehow find your way to a sauna amid this harsh winter weather striking most of the country, and continue to do so even in warmer months, there's good news: Working up a sweat in a sauna a few times a week can do more than just warm you up.
Mick Jones allegedly wrote "Should I stay or should I go" in 1981 while contemplating whether to leave The Clash. The context may be different this time, but many long-term care operators can well relate to the song's sentiment.
Perhaps it's a sign of growing older when your response to a new government law is not, "That's horrible!" but rather, "Who is going to pay for that?!" Such was the case when I read about Oklahoma's Humanity of the Unborn Child Act and Public Restrooms Act.
"Take me back to the ballgame." It's not my line, nor Riverdale's, though we both wish it was.
It's very fitting, and not at all surprising to me, that a story on social media comments has stirred up some of most intense reader response I've seen on this site in a while.
If you're focusing on the so-called worker bees in your organization, you're ignoring a larger challenge: the importance of finding the best future leaders.
With an eye on offering some excellent possible gift recommendations this holiday season, I'd like to make some book recommendations for everyone in your life. The catch is, of course, that all discuss or celebrate the life of seniors.
Liability costs are expected to rise 6% in 2017 for skilled nursing operators, according to a new report. But there's a more disturbing stat than that to be reckoned with.
individuals who get involved, and stayed involved, with civic and social groups such as neighborhood watch or volunteer organizations score higher on cognitive tests once they reached middle age. Even more telling, these cognitive scores increase for each extra group an individual participates in. There's a lesson here for everyone — especially working professionals. This isn't just kid stuff by any means.
There is nothing nice to be said about nursing home fires. Yet nobody seems to be demanding an obvious way to ensure that fewer take place: ban smoking.
It's possible Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator nominee Seema Verma will lead the agency in a new direction that is positive for both long-term care residents and providers. But how you feel about this direction is somewhat dependent on your philosophical and practical views about the chronically sick and poor.
Sometimes when things go wrong, they're right. Oh, so right. That's the position long-term care professionals now find themselves in — or at least hope they do.
Memories of elementary school, where we'd glue together an assortment of foam, glitter and fake flowers until it looked somewhat like a picture frame or keychain, compelled me to do a bit of research when a study touting the effects of "job crafting" for long-term care workers popped onto my radar this week.
When a federal judge in Texas put the Labor Department's overtime rule on hold Tuesday, you could almost hear the industry let out a sigh of relief. If enacted, the measure would have placed massive fiscal and compliance burdens on this nation's 15,000 nursing facilities.
Take it from a guy who's experienced the ups and downs of being, shall we say, not normally sized throughout life. There are definitely times when you prefer to be larger than others, and then there are instances when it's certainly not as good. Some long-term care operators are finding this out the hard way.
As I set my own out of office reply last week for a quick trip to visit some college friends, I was reminded of a story I heard on NPR of a Texas newspaper editor who infuses his out-of-office replies with personal stories to placate those who might try to contact him while he's away.
Here we go again. Another President-elect is promising to trim the red tape. Will it be different this time? Believe it or not, there's a chance.
Conventional wisdom often leads us to incorrect conclusions, whether it's in politics or healthcare. Nowhere is this more true than when we discuss our nursing shortage.
I can only imagine what it's like to have your every move and outcome scrutinized. And then have a "report card" issued, one that is published where literally the whole world can see it. But that's your fate, long-term care provider, and today it's could get worse.
Achieving some form of work-life balance has been proven to improve employee productivity, reduce staff turnover, and make for a healthier, happier staff overall. But now experts are saying the wa to achieve work-life balance is to NOT actively think about it?! Hmmm.
It's interesting to see how this sector has generally responded to Donald Trump's recent presidential victory. In some quarters, demonstrators have taken to the streets. Others are predicting Armageddon. As for the long-term care sector's response? You might say the silence has been just about deafening. So was the field pulling for Trump all along?
In a historic week for the country, there's been a lot of discussion about media, most of it negative. That's why it made me feel good to talk to two administrators who saw a McKnight's article and ran with an idea.
Politics makes strange bedfellows. Another great illustration of this could be the many nursing home operators waking up to their previously unrealized love affair with President-elect Trump. That's right: Whether they know it or not, they might just get to really like this Trump guy.
Long-term care leadership has a diversity problem. Don't believe it? Travel to a national long-term care convention and look around — what do the majority of attendees look like?
If you look at America's sports-addicted dynamic from a purely logical standpoint, it defies logic. Cities and states pull funds away from needed services in order to comfort the comfortable? In what universe would that move make sense? I might have a partial answer.
As the holidays approach, it was touching at LeadingAge to hear a story about a CEO who goes out of his way to make employees and associates feel appreciated.
The youngest generation of employees entering the long-term care workforce will affect professional attitudes and policies profoundly. And that's not entirely a bad thing. Just don't take your eye off your non-millennial employees' well-being as well.
Whatever your workforce issues are, Angela Duckworth, Ph.D., might have just the answer you're looking for. And it involves a little advice from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Many organizations, including yours at one time or another, will need to through reorganization. How you go about it is as important as - and sometimes more important than - what you do.
A few years ago, I threw a fit when the American Assisted Living Nurses Association scheduled its conference during Yom Kippur. I stand by that, but also am sympathetic to how many LeadingAge members and vendors are struggling with a big holiday next week.
Nine months after landing at the top of the LeadingAge letterhead, Katie Smith Sloan makes it clear she's only getting started.
Long-term care providers need to change their mindset when it comes to hospice care. Here's why.
When it comes to measuring how well a long-term care facility is doing, we all know the usual benchmarks: revenues, profits and census levels.
While I never expected long-term care to be a serious part of discussion within the three presidential debates, the wonky part of my heart still jumped for joy when moderator Chris Wallace asked about entitlement programs during the last debate Wednesday night.
You think there are a lot of negative headlines about providers getting sued now? Just watch the floodgates open if arbitration clauses aren't allowed.
If you're among the group of providers and vendors gathered in Nashville this week for the American Health Care Association's 67th Annual Convention & Expo, and you have the bonus of absolutely not being a morning person (i.e. me), you probably got your wakeup call around 10 a.m. Monday morning during the general session.
We might soon start to see the emergence of a divestiture trend based less on undesirable holdings and more on undesirable locales. The obvious choices will be cities and states with a plaintiff-friendly reputation, where lawsuit risks can rise dramatically.
While leaving my car this morning in our office parking lot, I noticed a gray-haired man shuffling towards me. I assumed he was heading towards his car, but he stopped in front of me and demanded, "Hey, where's my hug?" while holding out his arms.
If administrators and long-term care managers were ever looking for a good time to make their mark, this is it. And they better be looking to, or start creating, high-quality compliance officers as well.
A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study noting health concerns for night-shift workers didn't exactly give the day-shift crowd a clean bill of health, either. Day-shift workers still reported experiencing insomnia and other sleep issues, with nearly 20% of all employees saying they had poor sleep quality. Women workers also fared worse.
Vendors heading into a myriad of fall conferences have plenty to worry about. Months ago, most probably had a serious debate about what swag to offer at their exhibit booths.
Some journalists are jerks or untrustworthy. Or both. There, I said it.
The stars in the workforce-strategy universe must have aligned on Thursday, because a new government report about millennials dropped around the same time that we kicked off a webcast on hiring and retaining millennial workers.
Any way you slice it, last week was a rough one for long-term care operators.
If misery loves company, take comfort in knowing many of your long-term care colleagues are doing the same thing this week.
One line, more than any other, hit home during my discussion with Carol Silver Elliott on Wednesday: "If we're really in the business of taking care of older adults, this is what it's all about."
Before you jump on the "Who paid for THAT study?!" bandwagon, know that this research wasn't borne from some scientist's Nyquil-induced fever dream.
Of course precautions have to be taken in a healthcare setting to prevent the spread of AIDS, but they are things you'd also use as a basic standard of care.
Everybody's looking for win-win scenarios, especially in healthcare. Because of such tight operating margins, that goes double for long-term care. That's what makes some of the newest palliative care research out of Brown University so intriguing.
Hollywood has a long way to go before it accurately reflects the diversity of the people who pay money to see its films. Take, for example, seniors. Research from the University of Southern California and insurance provider Humana shows the film industry is seriously lacking when it comes to depicting older adults in a positive light.
As the marketing discussion continues about what continuing care retirement communities should be called, a more subtle — and potentially more profound — change is quietly taking root.
I encourage providers to pause and pat themselves on the back. That's because 30-day hospital readmission rates have dropped in all states except one over the past five years.
Does the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services need its own Barney Fife to set its house in order? Some seem to think so.
Whenever I see a city I once lived in making headlines or trending online, I cross my fingers and hope it's for something good. This was not the case this past week.
Has it ever been more difficult to run a long-term care organization? Probably not. That's why you ought to know about this group and its big meeting.
If you're interviewing for a new job, prepare the right way. That includes being able to talk about a favored hobby, and a book you like.
Here's your long-term care "Man bites dog" story of the week.
There are some lessons providers can glean from students who have made the jump into a living situation where few in their age group have gone before. That's right, nursing homes.
The chances of the next two months involving an intellectual discussion of the intricacies of healthcare policy within the current political spectrum is nil. But those of us in healthcare media wouldn't be doing our jobs if we didn't at least try to engage with what the future holds.
It's obvious that sex symbol Mae West never had to contend with social media or the Internet. If she had, she might have amended one of her famous sayings to end " ... but when I'm bad, I get slaughtered." This is a lesson for long-term care operators.
Experts recently squared off on the use of medical websites, and whether they can help keep patients engaged in their care or run the risk of misinforming them about serious medical conditions (and annoy their caregivers in the process).
Navigating those so-called easy forms often turns out to be about as effortless as walking across the Amazon Jungle with just a machete.
As tragic as the death of a certain bagpipes-playing gentleman was, we can draw lessons from it to potentially help long-term care residents.
I'm not sure what I'll be most looking forward to on one of my next business trips — coloring in the the giant coloring book, the Gasoline Alley pub on the convention floor, the wheelchair-assembly service project or the Halloween costume contest.
I like the occasional clown — as long as they're where they're supposed to be. But when they're not? Downright terrifying. Then came this new nursing home study to put that line of thought on its ear.
Ignore the white noise over whether Hillary or The Donald will be a worse choice. There's a sleeper issue in the November elections, and it just might have a major impact on your long-term care organization.
Long-term care providers and consumer advocates were able to celebrate a victory over federal regulators on Thursday. But while the infrequent partners might feel they caught a good decision out of U.S. District Court in Vermont, they're also likely to be wincing about the ones that "got away."
There are times when a judge is right, and it makes you want to start screaming.
What if Hollywood made a big-budget movie about long-term care? Would it be about a heroic worker? Nah, too cheesy. How about a bitter resident who finally finds peace in a facility? Needs more grit and intrigue. I'm thinking of a film about powerful but threatened individuals pulling the levers at their disposal.
Did you feel the Earth move a bit extra Wednesday? Didn't think so, even though that was THE DAY that five new quality reporting measures were added to the calculations for nursing home grades.
I've written before about "mean girls" and their desire to exert control in continuing care retirement communities. But until reading an excellent new book, it didn't occur to me that a specific area for improvement in nursing homes can relate to residents bullying staff.
Over the course of my past 12 weeks as McKnight's summer editorial intern, I've covered a wide variety of stories, many of which I never expected to see in long-term care.
For as tricky as the medium of online reviews can be for the consumer, they must be even trickier to navigate for the business owner on the receiving end. Especially when a scathing review goes viral. That's the situation one Indiana provider found itself in last week.
Kaiser Health News provided one of last week's sleeper developments. The organization predicted hospitals will see payment cuts surpassing $500 million in the coming year thanks to escalating readmission penalties.
Having a positive attitude in aging makes seniors more resilient under stress, according to new research. This means more than you probably think.
From the "What if they threw a party and nobody came?" file, new study results show that relatively few seniors are buying into the idea that digital technology can help their healthcare.
A breakthrough in Clostridium difficile research could be the starting point for a treatment that may make the lives of your residents, and even your own lives, much better.
Some necessary conversations tend to be awkward and uncomfortable. They include talking to our children about baby making. Or convincing our parents to give up the car keys. Or talking to government investigators about those astronomical therapy billings.
In one of the sadder coincidences of my life, news of an FDA-approved cartilage implant made me more excited than it would have a year ago. That's because this particular synthetic cartilage implant is for those with osteoarthritis in their big toe, and I happened to be diagnosed this summer with arthritis in my toes.
How do you know you have a room with three people feeling sorry for themselves in it? Find a room with two nursing home workers. Their persecution complex levels will add up.
If you've read or watched the news at all in the past few weeks, or even just gone outside and seen groups of people huddled around their phones, you probably know about this Pokémon Go thing.
Hospitals need to toughen up. Their impending new five-star rating system isn't going to be the end of the world (at least, not for most of them). But if the experience of skilled nursing homes is any indication, many will soon have legitimate reasons to be upset.
A leader in the quest to increase long-term care insurance activity delivered a blow to its followers this week. The fallout might not be pretty.
If there's a teachable moment in the brouhaha of Melania Trump's speech Monday (for those who managed to miss it, chunks appear to have been cribbed from Michelle Obama's 2008 speech), it's in how we should discuss plagiarism with our employees.
Imagine for a moment that the long-term care industry came with a set of commandments. I'm talking carved in stone, universally accepted tenets for providers. What would rank as number one? Mine is clear.
The rise of abuse via social media simply raises a point that should have been emphasized for decades: You should do all you can to discourage workers from capturing residents in unflattering ways
Far too many of the US workforce, especially in areas such as healthcare and the service industry, have little to no paid vacation time or sick leave.
There is no question providers see a lot of Alzheimer's. They also encounter a lot of individuals whose family members struggle with the debilitating condition.
Improvisational comedy may not be among your facility's go-to lineup of activities, and understandably so. But the same reasons that make improv scary to some — I know, I've done it — may bring benefits for older adults, including (but certainly not limited to) increasing socialization and helping prevent dementia
You probably don't need to be reminded that skilled care is regulated quite severely. And if it seems like things are getting worse for your facility, well that's because they probably are.
Long-term care operators for years have been enjoying a pass when it comes to HIPAA enforcement and crackdowns. Or so it might seem.
Antipsychotics may soon lose their title as the most maligned medications in healthcare if startling headlines, clinical findings and expert opinions are any evidence.