From a psychological perspective, here are some ideas to prevent or reduce disagreements with residents and their family members over care, thereby decreasing the likelihood that a situation will result in legal action.
With the mandate to reduce the use of antipsychotics, many facilities are looking for alternative methods to address the behaviors often associated with dementia. There are several good resources available for training staff, including your consulting psychologist. Here's how he or she can help:
Like many, I'm taking some vacation time during the month of August. It got me thinking about the ways workers interact with residents when they take time off from their jobs. It's more important than you might first think.
According to the American Geriatrics Society, one in three adults over the age of 65 falls each year. Falls represent the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. You might be surprised to hear some of the contributing factors of falls and the psychology behind them. I also have advice on ways residents and staff can reduce the likelihood of falls.
While most psychologists almost exclusively address the mental health of nursing residents due to the current reimbursement system, we're also aware of the interactions between staff members, families, the physical setting and the organizational culture. Here are some of important things psychologists might do to address the emotional climate of long-term care.
In my recent post, "Stuff I won't do for residents and why your staff shouldn't either," I wrote about the need for individual workers to set appropriate boundaries around caregiving in order to retain the ability to give without burning out. In this article, I examine more closely the symptoms of burnout and ways facilities can reduce its likelihood — which is particularly important given the link between burnout and turnover.
In my conversations with hundreds of long-term care residents over the years, I've found money to be an almost universally sore subject among them. Financial concerns continue to be a stressor for our residents even though they're living in the mostly money-free society of LTC. With some adjustments we can — and should — reduce our residents' financial distress.
We may talk about the term "customer service" and ask our staff members to avoid public arguments in front of residents and family members. But nevertheless, volatile situations happen every day. It matters a lot, and here are the psychological implications why.
I recently focused on the benefits of recognition and key points in choosing a recognition program. Now I'd like to address how to implement your chosen employee recognition program so that it becomes an energizing and integral part of your organization, rather than a short-lived promotion that fizzles after its initial burst of enthusiasm.
I've developed a set of suggestions for working with "challenging," anxious residents, who can disrupt everyone around them. If caregivers don't have sound strategies like these, patients, caregivers and others will suffer.