Eleanor Feldman Barbera, Ph.D. McKnight's Long Term Care News
Eleanor Feldman Barbera, Ph.D.

Eleanor Feldman Barbera, Ph.D.

Eleanor Feldman Barbera, Ph.D., is McKnight's The World According to Dr. El columnist.

Most recent articles by Eleanor Feldman Barbera, Ph.D.

We need staff… NOW

Last year, as the pandemic raged in New York City and sirens filled the air, a group of young travel nurses arrived to assist weary long-term care teams. They took over nursing stations that had been depleted due to positive COVID tests and allowed healthy staffers working doubles to get some rest. They gave us…

Reducing the impact of cascading collective trauma in LTC

I spent most of last weekend doing what I could to avoid the 9/11-related headlines in the news. With my Manhattan-below-14th-Street recollections of the event, last year’s immersion in the pandemic epicenter and the continuing pandemic, I didn’t have the bandwidth for it.  What I did find the energy for was a Speaking of Psychology…

How to keep working in LTC (when you’re not sure how much more you can take)

When I speak to long-term care groups, whether to those in leadership positions or to direct care staff, it’s clear that virtually all the audience members have been drawn to the industry because of their love of elders. The travails of the past year and a half, however, have likely depleted the energy and enthusiasm…

Staff‌ ‌recruitment,‌ ‌retention,‌ ‌upskilling‌ ‌and‌ ‌savings‌ ‌

As the editors of the June 2021 volume of The Gerontologist put it, “Workforce issues are the most significant challenges facing the long-term care industry.”  This special edition of the journal focuses on the long-term care workforce, examining factors that increase staff retention and mining the circumstances of the pandemic for clues to stabilizing the…

Once upon a time, before profit ruled the land, there were missions

In the old days, Young Readers, before the goal of eldercare was merely profit, nursing homes used to have things called “missions.” Missions focused on the well-being of the elders they cared for — not only their physical well-being but also their emotional and spiritual health.  Back then, facilities often catered to a specific clientele,…

My look: Forever changed by the pandemic?

For my first 20-plus years as a long-term care psychologist, I arrived on the job wearing not just clothes, but outfits. I chose garb that contributed to the sense of “expertness, attractiveness, and trustworthiness” that psychologists were supposed to engender in their patients.  Sometimes I wore pantsuits or dresses, more often skirts or slacks with…

5 strategies to promote mental health in long-term care

Last week, tennis superstar Naomi Osaka chose to forgo mandatory but anxiety-producing post-event press interviews to protect her mental health. She was fined $15,000 by tennis officials and, after being threatened with expulsion from the French Open, withdrew from the event.  This decision by the world’s highest-paid female athlete has thrust the importance of emotional…

Post-pandemic population may require higher staffing levels

Before the pandemic, residents were admitted for rehabilitation following elective surgery or a health crisis. The rehab residents either returned home or joined the group of long-term residents who had previously arrived in a similar fashion.  Now, as the threat of COVID-19 recedes from long-term care, we are left with empty beds from a reduction…

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