Falls: A closer look

Speedy assistance should be the norm when falls occur, but the reality is that it's frequently a rarity. The staff is often stretched too thin. What can be done, aside from ensuring adequate staffing, is to reduce residents' anxiety, frustration and impatience.

The image of LTC in the arts

Playwrights continue to do long-term care no favors, so providers need to continue to share stories of the good work they're doing. It's the way to help create a more realistic picture of LTC and the value we bring to people's lives.

ElderTech: Ideas from a tech exhibit

I was at the nursing station the other day when some unusual cracking noises caused me to look up from my documentation. A very old, petite lady was sitting in her wheelchair popping bubble wrap. She wore the same contented expression that comes over virtually everyone popping a sheet of bubble wrap.

Why (culture) change is so hard and what to do about it

The team huddled around the nursing station talking in panicked whispers after the management meeting ended. "How do they expect us to do that?" a young nurse wondered. "Yeah," an aide replied, "we're stretched thin enough already!"

Promote your connections

One of the things that most brightens my workday is when I see long-term care residents hanging out together.

The "last day" protocol

I waited outside the room until the rehab therapists finished talking to Jim, who'd been admitted to the nursing home the night before.

The violent workplace

It's impossible to prevent all tragic events at a long-term care facility, especially those involving an armed assailant entering the building despite an order of protection against him like in Ohio last week, but there are ways to reduce the likelihood of workplace violence.

Opening the door for ombudsmen

I can imagine from an administrator's point of view that an unexpected interruption from an ombudsman complaining about problems is not exactly a welcome visit, but perhaps there's a way to shift the relationship to mutual advantage rather than keeping an office door closed.

Insights on family-friendly care from Dr. El — the daughter of a new resident

Due to a series of unfortunate events, both of my previously independent parents were recently injured over the course of five weeks. Here are some thoughts from someone who's seen the long-term care world from both sides now.

On power, teamwork and communication

Having enough of it at work, I tend to avoid drama in my entertainment choices unless it involves aliens or post-apocalyptic nonsense. My family and I are currently enjoying the creative spectacle of Project Runway "Teams" version from a few seasons ago.