The World According to Dr. El

The World According to Dr. El by Eleanor Feldman Barbera, Ph.D.

Addressing residents’ coronavirus fears

Despite their general calm and resilience, it’s perfectly reasonable for residents to have questions and concerns about the coronavirus and its potential spread.

And the Oscar goes to…

Rather than stew about the overdressed, self-congratulators flaunting at the Academy Awards ceremony, I’ve decided to give out my own Oscars — to the loving, deserving stakeholders in the various elements of long-term care.

A resolution to serve physical and mental health

With new options for plant-based foods proliferating, 2020 is a great time to assess your facility’s menu with the dietary and food service departments to consider substitutions and alternatives.

The Minister for Loneliness in LTC

We have recreation departments that encourage resident socialization, but a Minister for Loneliness could do so much more. The Minister also could target staff loneliness and the isolation of those in the community.

Life on the road as an LTC shrink

It wasn’t a world tour, but I did come away with some interesting observations regarding our field on a recent road trip.

What worries me about trauma-informed care

It’s a good thing to pay more attention to the emotional experience of residents, but I’m worried about how asking them about their traumas — which is mandated in a new rule about to go into effect — will be implemented in the field.

Severely mentally ill residents: Staff training, teamwork needed

Nurses and physicians can be taught to recognize health problems typical of the severe mental illness population so that they’ll be alert to the increased risk of illnesses such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity-related cancers, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, hepatitis B/C, tuberculosis, impaired lung function, poor dental status and other concerns.

Secret shoppers in LTC

While long-term care facilities might not be able to gather information easily from sham residents, SNF leaders who want to illuminate the important, human details behind dry customer service statistics might find these ideas useful.

Enhancing resident independence

As we celebrate our freedoms in the country this week, perhaps we can consider ways in which to create a better balance between the need to provide a safe environment for residents and their right to make their own choices.

What if nursing homes had a ‘well-being budget’?

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.
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