How to do it…

How to do it: Memory care dining program


Memory care often calls for unique and innovative approaches in every facet of dementia residents' facility experience, and dining is no exception. Experts offer valuable tips on how to minimize stress and promote a safe, pleasant and healthful dining experience.

How to do it... A less painful tech transition


Mobile technology, coupled with a plethora of "apps," is creating amazing opportunities for long-term care residents to connect with the outside world. Getting residents to embrace newer technology, however, can be a challenge. Experts advise how to acquire the right tech that's safe, useful and welcoming.

Managing airborne bugs


With so much attention paid to cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and items like linens, infection control-minded facilities often over- look the source of more than one-third of nosocomial infections — the air. Long-established airborne precautions are rarely used in long-term care facilities, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Experts advise how to reverse that.

Home-like end-of-life care


As family and friends gather near a loved one in the closing days, a warm and comfortable environment can do wonders for soothing frayed nerves and troubled minds.

How to do it ... Short-term, homelike rehab


Most patients would agree they think home is the best place to recover from a debilitating injury or major surgery. That's why so many rehab therapy providers are trying to mimic all that is good about "home." Experts here offer advice on how to design for short-term rehab spaces, focusing on how to make them useful and homelike.

How to do it ... Upward mobility plans


Upward mobility is a common interest among professionals, particularly in long-term care. How to achieve it, and market oneself properly for it, are important considerations that need a deft touch. Experts here offer advice on how long-term care pros can polish their resume and present themselves in the best light.

How to do it ... Fitting rehab equipment


Right-sizing rehab equipment purchases can be a daunting task. With a plethora of buying options possible today, experts offer advice on how to avoid purchases that are too big, too small, too much or too little, in order to find one that is "just right."

How to do it ... choosing the best bath lifts


Lifts and other transfer equipment often get a bad rap with residents and reluctant staff. Misinformation can be rife, initial encounters uncomfortable. Yet these devices can be invaluable for staff and residents. Experts offer advice on how to convert combative or reluctant residents to ensure safe and efficient use.

How to do it... Partial security upgrades


As tempting as they are, full-blown replacements of personal emergency response and nurse call systems are often not feasible.

How to do it... Boosting retention


Providers are increasingly realizing they need to apply some of the "TLC" for residents to their hard-working staff, as well — or risk absenteeism and attrition. Experts offer valuable insights on how best to ensure employees are getting adequate care and attention.

How to do it ... Resident medication management


"The more the merrier" might be apropos for many situations, but a senior's medication regime is not necessarily one of them. On this page, we present experts' advice on strategies how to safely lessen the number of medications a person takes, thereby reducing the odds of adverse or unintended drug events.

How to do it ... financing in the age of Trump


The new administration has promised to relax restrictive regulations and provide a host of economic incentives to expand and improve. But providers should beware of the double-edged sword of uncertainty. On this page we've gathered assessments and advice from top financial experts on how to survive, and thrive, in the coming years.

How to do it ... Protecting safety monitors


Resident security and monitoring devices are not only ubiquitous, but they also represent a significant investment for most long-term care operators. Without internal systems in place to protect, inventory and track the devices, many of the items can simply go missing without notice or compensation. Experts weigh in here on best practices how to protect this investment.

How to do it... Evaluating and choosing IT


Information technology evaluation and selection can be intimidating. But as seasoned IT professionals advise, a thorough and thoughtful process — from developing a roadmap to vetting prospective partners — can make just about anyone into a savvy shopper.

How to do it ... Handwashing compliance


Simple handwashing is indisputably the easiest, most effective way of preventing the spread of germs and infections anywhere, including healthcare settings. Yet it is far from being a widespread practice. Here are some strategies that could help change that.

How to do it... Design for infection control


During remodeling or in between, providers must be continuously mindful of keeping environments clean. "Designers, housekeeping staff and maintenance professionals need to take every opportunity to protect against possible bacterial and infectious agents," is how Jim McLain, general manager, Eldercare Interiors Division at Construction Specialties, puts it. Here's what experts advise.

How to do it... Designing for mobility


Choosing and installing mobility aids are among the most important safety decisions a provider will have to make. This month experts discuss decision points about designing spaces that feature them, and how to maximize investment in this important product area.

How to do it... Professional development


Long-term care workers at all levels often wonder how they can take the next step in their own professional development. With strained resources, that's sometimes a challenge. Here are some insights for planning and executing solid training and education.

How to do it ... maximizing rehab space


State-of-the-art equipment and amenities attract growing legions of aging boomers to rehab. Where to put them all — the people and equipment, that is — is the challenge. Even with limited budgets and space, any facility can develop practical yet inviting spaces that restore physical function and health.

How to do it... Streamlining bath time


Bathing can present a host of challenges, unforeseen mishaps and incidents that can easily disrupt daily routines. But choosing the right tools, creating a calming environment, careful advance preparations, and above all — respecting privacy and dignity — will go far in streamlining bath time. Experts explain how here.

How to do it... Physical restraints


Since passage of healthcare reforms in OBRA 1987, the incidence rate of resident restraints has dropped considerably, to less than 5%, with a mantra to lower it further.

How to do it... Positioning techniques

In the wake of recent updates to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel's wound staging guidelines, providers are re-focusing on prevention. Wound care toolboxes include methods and technology aimed at properly stabilizing residents for effective healing. Experts weigh in here on positioning devices and best practices.

How to do it ... better med management


Adverse medication events continue to be numerous and problematic, not only for residents' health but also for financial and legal reasons. Providers continue to thirst for good ideas and best practices. Here are some recommendations from leading experts.

How to do it ... HUD LEAN mortgages


It's hard to beat the HUD LEAN mortgage program for heavily leveraged owner-operators looking for the predictability of long-term loans at fixed rates. Here are a few pointers from experts on how providers can improve their chances of attaining one.

How to do it... Summer safety and security


Now that we're in the midst of spring and warmer summer months beckon, it is time to check readiness to provide resident safety and security, especially from a host of heat and sun-related problems. As experts note here, a little common sense goes a long way.

How to do it... be 'up' on IT


Information technology can be one of an administrator's biggest and most intimidating challenges. This special How To article offers expert advice on how providers who don't typically work with IT on a day-to-day basis can best stay up to date on necessary regulations, advances and recommendations.

How to do it... Choosing hand sanitizers


Alcohol-based hand sanitizers have long been widely accepted by leading healthcare organizations as an effective method for disinfection. Experts here tell how to ensure staff members understand how and when to use them, as well as how to boost hand hygiene compliance.

How to do it... Flexible furnishing


When it comes to furnishings in senior living, the Three Bears of nursery book fame would likely share identical chairs and beds today. More than ever, providers need adjustable furniture to suit their widely varying, and often frequently changing, resident population. Here's how they do it.

How to do it... Design that appeals to family members


More and more, families are having greater influence on deciding where their loved ones will stay. And the things they're looking for are rooted in comfort and familiarity. Experts advise how to inspire residents and their relatives.

How to do it... hospice/palliative care training

End-of-life, hospice and palliative care are ubiquitous across practically every level of the long-term care continuum. On this page experts advise on getting your staff the best, most efficient opportunities for professional development in these areas.

How to do it... Short-term rehab


Short-term rehab is a burgeoning and profitable business, but it's nothing to enter casually. Attracting and retaining patients and keeping beds continuously filled requires seizing the right niche and maintaining a proper patient flow.

How to do it... EMR and billing integration


Over the years, providers have tried every trick in the book to get electronic medical records and billing systems to mesh. This is not a project for the faint of heart. But diligent homework and a reliable integration partner will go far in calming a provider's concerns.

How to do it ... Resident safety


Technological innovation is allowing needy seniors to be monitored while allowing greater mobility than ever before. Experts here make recommendations that can help providers strike a careful balance between freedom, privacy, safety and security.

How to do it ... Wound care staff education


Few issues confronting long-term care administrators are more thoroughly vetted and researched than proper wound care techniques.

How to do it ... antipsychotics management


Start with root cause analysis, says Denise Wassenaar, RN, MS, LNHA, MatrixCare. Remember that antipsychotics are not FDA- approved for behavioral symptoms in dementia.

How to do it ... Refinancing


There are many sound reasons for long-term care providers to refinance, says Chris Taylor, managing director, Real Estate Finance, GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services.

How to do it... Resident security.


All of the bells and whistles in the world won't protect your staff and residents unless you spend the proper time and resources beforehand preparing for a new security system. Transitions from old to new systems can be risky. Experts offer advice on how to do it well.

How to do it ..Better staff scheduling

Electronic staff scheduling programs have become so sophisticated, some wonder how anyone performs the task anymore with paper and pencil. When it comes to managing labor — a facility's biggest expense — choosing the best solution is critical

How to do it ... infection control

Gloves are close to the cheapest and most effective defense against infections in healthcare settings. But even the best gloves are useless without proper infection control protocols and gloving techniques.

How to do it ... Furnishing outdoors

Many facilities and communities may be overlooking an invaluable annex right under their noses — outdoor spaces that can provide a welcome and inviting place for residents to relax, reflect and commune with others. Consider these tips from the experts for furnishing and equipping these areas.

How to do it ... lighting

Lighting is an overlooked design element in many long-term care environments. Good quality illumination will make a big difference in your residents' quality of life, and in many ways that you might not at first realize. Experts give their tips here on achieving better lighting.

How to do it ... Professional development

Dementia care is an ever-changing discipline that requires a long-term commitment to training and staff development. Approached sensibly, a strong program will pay dividends far down the road. Experts give tips here on how to best prepare staff to care for residents with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias.

How to do it ... Improving readmission rates

The finest rehab care in the world is only as good as the diligence therapists display before, during and after a resident's stay. And it could make the difference between a successful transition to a lower level of care and a rehospitalization. Experts tell here what works.

How to do it ... Resident security

Resident security touches the job of every person in a long-term care environment. Facility staff are concerned with security. IT people need systems that integrate well with computers and servers. And nurses rely on systems to keep residents safe and staff productive. Here's how to spread the decision-making.

How to do it ... Diabetic wound management

Sound practices in diabetic wound management go a long way toward controlling and healing existing wounds — and preventing new ones. Although dressings are an important focal point, experts emphasize this field of care involves a lot more. Here's how.

How to do it ... medication management

Proper and effective medication management of controlled substances can save your facility thousands of dollars in needless waste and diversion. Most solutions are, figuratively speaking, right under your nose if you know where and how to look. Learn how to protect this valued asset, as well as your staff and residents.

How to do it ... Choosing a good financial advisor

The trust a long-term care organization places in a person to guide and consult on its finances is no less important than the trust the residents have in the operator. A provider must be willing to invest the time to find one who is a good fit, and willing to go the extra mile to help achieve the provider's specific financial goals.

How to do it ... Resident security

Monitoring in caregiving is getting more "personal" than ever. We live in the age of watchers, pitting privacy issues against vested interests in security. Technological advances have greatly enhanced resident monitoring, but they have also added new challenges. Solutions call for a delicate balance between automation and personal freedom.

How to do it ... Implementing an EHR system

Deciding on, preparing for and implementing electronic health records requires a great deal of time, patience and collaboration. But a carefully executed implementation will reap dividends years down the road. Experts offer providers their best personal advice for smooth, effective EHR acquisition, installation and use.

How to do it ... wound care

Wound care programs can be the bane of long-term care providers, or they can be a source of clinical pride and marketing material, as well as a strong revenue stream. This"How To" piece offers expert advice on how to save money and maximize efficiency in wound care.