Dr. Eleanor Barbera

Over the past year, I’ve been involved with several exciting long-term care-related projects that I can now tell you about. In the spirit of the season, I wanted to spread some good cheer with them*, and also offer a gift.

The first is a book entitled “Bullying Among Older Adults: How to Recognize and Address an Unseen Epidemic” by Robin P. Bonifas, to which I had the honor of contributing a chapter. This volume addresses the effects of bullying among seniors and outlines actions which facilities and communities can take to address the problem. It provides step-by-step assessment strategies and anti-bullying interventions that will increase staff awareness and improve day-to-day interactions.

In another publication, fellow geropsychologists Kelly O’Shea Carney and Margaret P. Norris have put their years of experience to paper in “Transforming Long-Term Care: Expanded Roles for Mental Health Professionals.” As I state in my review of their work, “The book will … appeal to long-term care policy strategists and facility managers looking for ways to reduce costs while improving care quality and staff turnover.” The book digs deeper into the Eldercare Method (which I earlier discussed here) and outlines ways in which long-term care can make better use of its consulting psychologists.

On the resident care side of the equation, “Connecting in the Land of Dementia: Creative Activities to Explore Together” by Deborah Shouse, is a hopeful, inspiring resource for dementia care staff and families. Shouse gathers “best of” tips from professionals in the field (including me) into a compendium of interventions that will invigorate and bring joy to your residents and workers. The book explains how to use a wide range of creative endeavors, such as movement, cooking, puppets and the arts to connect with residents with dementia.

If your team is looking for other ways in which to reduce agitation in people with dementia, you might consider donating to the fundraiser for Keep on Moving TV for Seniors. $18 will get you a digital copy of the pilot episode of LTC music therapist Marlon Sobel’s music program, which is designed to engage residents with dementia through sing-alongs, drum-alongs, dance-alongs and exercise. Its well-designed content, and upbeat and pleasant music are sure to be a hit with both residents and staff.

And finally, I’d like to offer the opportunity to download — through this Friday — a free Kindle version of my book, “The Savvy Resident’s Guide: Everything You Wanted to Know About Your Nursing Home Stay But Were Afraid to Ask.” This large-print guidebook provides essential facility-friendly information in an entertaining format for residents and family members regarding how to make the most of their time in a nursing home. (If you like it as much as I think you will, contact me here by Dec. 23 about a 20% discount for purchases of 25 or more. Use the code MCKNIGHTS upon checkout.)

I’ve met many talented professionals during my decades in long-term care and I’m grateful that some of the best have taken the time to share their knowledge with others through books and other media. Each of these works has added to my knowledge of the field, and they can to yours too.

*Full disclosure: I do not benefit financially from mentioning the resources of my colleagues or from any purchases of their products.

Eleanor Feldman Barbera, Ph.D., author of The Savvy Resident’s Guide, is an Award of Excellence winner in the Blog Content category of the APEX Awards for Publication Excellence program. She also is a Gold Medal blogger in the American Society of Business Publication Editors Midwest Regional competition. A speaker and consultant with more than 20 years of experience as a psychologist in long-term care, she maintains her own award-winning website at MyBetterNursingHome.com.