3 surprising reasons to strengthen your resident council

Forget about worries of them eating up staff time or triggering something bad on surveys, resident councils can be awesome for your facility and here's why.

4 ways to find out why your aides are leaving

Once, when I worked for a managed care company, I rode down a packed elevator with the CEO, who commented drily on the crowd, saying, "It must be 5:01." What I thought, but did not say, was that there were reasons his staff members weren't staying more than a minute past the hour.

To reduce staff turnover, lead with LTC strengths

When I spoke about the challenges of staff turnover at the Louisiana Nursing Home Association convention last week, I asked the group, "If you were able to bring in the same salary you were currently making, would you want to have the job of an aide?"

What's all this about PBJ?

Why are they keeping track of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? I appreciate their concern that residents might have our lunches served late, but what about the tuna fish sandwiches? And the chicken? Doesn't it matter if those are served late as well?

Wisdom from elders

I told residents that I was writing an article on advice from elders about how to live life and their responses were immediate and enthusiastic, as if they'd been waiting for someone to ask.

'Healthwear' and other culture changes

When it comes to assistive devices such as canes, walkers, and eyeglasses, it's possible to convert something unappealing yet necessary into an item that bestows confidence, evinces a sense of humor or becomes more useful.

Racism and LTC

Given the racial tensions in the news this week, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on interactions among races in long-term care. I've observed firsthand various culturally charged interactions — both positive and negative.

Super-utilizers: LTC has them too

Reducing the costs of long-term care "super-utilizers" first requires recognizing them as such. Then proceed carefully, and with an investigative eye, to increase the likelihood of successfully meeting their needs and decreasing expenses.

From abysmal to mediocre: Encouraging hand hygiene

I've become more diligent over the years (read: paranoid) about making an effort to sanitize my hands as I move from room to room. But I wonder about those whose roles in long-term care don't specifically emphasize infection control procedures.

Full code: Discussing advance directives

Assistance in creating a "good death" is a fundamental task of any organization working with elders and may be addressed by a number of team members singly or in combination. Since these discussions are often easier said than done, I thought it might be helpful to share some of my experiences since I, as a geropsychologist, regularly discuss dying with residents and their families.