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.

Depression - AND its treatments - are fall risks

Feeling "down" takes on a wicked double-meaning for some seniors. Even conscientious providers could be unaware of it, let alone know what to do about it.

Creating a dialysis-friendly facility

There is much that can be done to improve the quality of life for dialysis patients at your facility and showcase your facility as dialysis-friendly at the same time. Unfortunately, many providers are not doing all they can to help these people, or boost their own business operations, for that matter..

Dr. El tries on the Genworth aging suit

I had a chance the other day to see what it feels like to be 85 years old, thanks to a test drive of the Genworth R70i Aging Experience suit. Talk about being transported to another world. This is a pure empathy builder.

Help for hoarders, and those who care for them

When it comes to dealing with residents who are hoarders, facilities are often caught between a rock and a hard place. Here's how to deal with it.

Clone this woman. Steal this idea.

"Trudy's here!" exclaimed the resident I'd been speaking with, excusing herself for a moment to exchange a few dollars for a bottle of lotion. "She buys me the things I can't get here. She's a real lifesaver." It was a sentiment I heard echoed by many other residents.

Using light to improve sleep, reduce agitation

Research now suggests there may be a solution for residents lacking sleep, experiencing depression or falls, or other certain conditions — and it involves no medication or side effects. The answer could be the use of light.