How do they sleep at night?

Residents arrive at our doors, with sleep likely harmed by illness and pain, and changes in circadian rhythms. While we can't alter some of these factors, as care providers we can become more attuned to the importance of sleep for our residents and train our teams to create environments that are more conducive to slumber.

Disaster communication: A tale of two mothers-in-law

Both of my mothers-in-law live in long-term care communities in Florida. One lives in a place that was excellent about how they communicated with family members before, during and after Hurricane Irma. The other's facility handled that aspect of care poorly.

You and your staff are very different: Use it to your advantage

I often speak with healthcare groups, giving psychological insights about a variety of issues within long-term care. After pondering the discrepancy in reactions, I adjusted my talks accordingly and came to this conclusion: Healthcare executives and managers are very different from those they manage.

Calming fears of floods and other catastrophes

By now it's likely that you, your staff, the residents and their families have seen the incredibly disturbing photo of assisted living residents in Dickinson, TX, sitting in waist-high floodwaters. That image and others of the flood are undoubtedly causing concern in your community.

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.