The World According to Dr. El by Eleanor Feldman Barbera, Ph.D.
What if, instead of a system based on the notion that nursing homes should be punished for deliberately flouting the rules, the underlying belief was that facilities were trying to do their best?
As we face the gloomy prospect of a pandemic winter, I consulted some experts for suggestions on how to handle difficult periods in life — nursing home residents.
The holidays are typically a busy time for long-term care centers, filled with special activities and extra visitors. Because of the pandemic, this year will be much different.
Be sure to include inadequate emotional support of staff around pandemic-related stresses to the long list of failures regarding lack of investment in long-term care staff.
Recent calls1, 2, 3 for an increase in nursing staff levels may have providers wondering how to accomplish this. Under normal circumstances it can be challenging to find qualified individuals; the pandemic has added an off-putting level of danger to nursing home work. Two webinars hosted by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News last week offer clues…
The COVID-19 health emergency has opened a rare window of receptivity in society to recognize the needs of elders and their caregivers.
A low census caused by things like the pandemic can lead to the challenge of balancing the urgency of filling the beds with the risks of admitting residents that the team is clinically unable to manage.
Even a long-term care psychologist can fall prey to the psychological and emotional terrors of the COVID-19 pandemic, I can unfortunately report to you with ironic confidence.
Here is some advice from staff members of New York City nursing homes hit early in the pandemic.
“We can’t worry about keeping the virus out [of nursing homes], we have to figure out how to live with it.” It’s a sobering comment that rings true to me.
Returning soul to long-term care, as the system needs, should include the expansion of psychology services.
As the country reexamines long-held practices concerning diversity and areas of unfairness, perhaps long-term care will reconsider its own policies, payment structures and assumptions.
In the mental health world, we encourage people to try to learn and grow from tragedy. I hope we in the long-term care world can do the same with the current pandemic conditions.
While it would be wonderful to have a systemwide honoring of psychology, psychologists and mental health, even small gestures of acknowledgement can go a long way toward emotional repair, in these pandemic-stressed days in particular.
The more I do this work, the more apparent it is to me that mental health support is essential, regardless of whether or not there’s a global catastrophe.
Despite distressing times of late do to COVID-19, there are many reasons I continue to don my PPE to sit at the bedsides of those in need of emotional solace. Here are eight of them — I think you’ll identify with at least some.
Hopefully, facilities in other parts of the country will be spared what we’re going through in New York City, where 1 in 4 facilities had COVID residents as of last week’s reports. It is, in a word, grim.
Personal, workplace and organizational strategies are going to help us all get through this current coronavirus crisis (and others).
Despite their general calm and resilience, it’s perfectly reasonable for residents to have questions and concerns about the coronavirus and its potential spread.
There’s a lot we can learn from the German long-term care system.