The World According to Dr. El

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

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.

Ways to increase trust, reduce hospital transfers

I’ve learned from experience that there are numerous ways facilities can address family concerns and reduce potential hospital transfers. They center on educating residents and families, and on setting reasonable

Preventing violence in long-term care

Instead of accepting aggressive behaviors as normal, facilities would be wise to approach then as anomalies that can and should be addressed.

Benefits of acknowledging success

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.

12 steps to starting a new job with serenity

You’re not imagining things. Yes, they are checking you out if it’s your first day on the job. Here are 12 steps that may make such transitions more manageable.

How to quit like a shrink

There are entire volumes devoted to the psychological process of termination, but I’ve created a quick guide based on my experiences with leave-taking in long-term care.

Sleep deprivation and pain

Despite the fact that my search for column inspiration took place at 3 a.m., I chose the topic of sleep deprivation because residents regularly tell me about their own sleep disturbances. They also discuss their pain.

Self-care, team-care and an empty well

While it’s tempting for organizations to meet staffing needs with someone who always says yes, good managers recognize that such requests can push employees to the brink.

A gift from LTC families

A study of interactions between families and healthcare providers is worth knowing about. Family members can be experts for us on their loved ones’ medical history and behavior.
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