The first step in the process of addressing the behavioral health needs of nursing home residents is to improve staff retention.
To improve the mental health of those who live in nursing homes, my well-being initiative would first tend to the mental health of those who work in long-term care. If employees aren’t emotionally well-balanced, it’s much more difficult for their charges to be.
It might be a surprise to some, but social workers will pay for themselves — as in bring in enough revenue to cover the cost of their salaries.
Dealing with extensive regulations, reimbursement challenges, elaborate documentation requirements and a punitive environment can erode the joy of helping elders. Acclamation for accomplishments, on the other hand, can bring joyfulness back to the job.
If we shift to a system that measures staff retention rather than staff ratios, the whole picture changes.