Increasing the positive visibility of long-term care

Prior to COVID-19, nursing homes were almost exclusively seen by the public as grim places to be avoided. People didn’t want to “end up” there, family members usually exhausted all possible avenues of care prior to admission, and sometimes relatives didn’t visit because they found it “too depressing.” Yet we in the field know the … Read more

Clinical considerations when the census is low

COVID-19 has negatively affected the ability of many long-term care facilities to maintain a full census. Less frequent elective surgeries, fewer rehab cases and more empty beds make it harder to be selective about which patients are admitted, impacting not just the financial case mix, but also the clinical mix. A low census leads to … Read more

The Geropsychology Podcast Interview

Did you know that geropsychology has its own podcast? I didn’t, until I was asked to be interviewed for their COVID-19 mini-series. Click on the link below to hear my conversation with Drs. Lindsey Jacobs and Rachel Weiskittle, and check out their other fascinating interviews. In this episode of our COVID-19 mini-series, we interview Dr. Eleanor … Read more

Advice from LTC pros who have been through COVID-19

One of the best ways to make meaning from tragedy is to use the experience to help others. Below, staff members of New York City nursing homes hit early in the pandemic graciously offer their advice to teams across the country that might be anticipating or currently grappling with the pandemic. Advance planning Stay calm. … Read more

Protecting residents of nursing homes from pandemics

Last week I listened to a webinar on protecting residents of nursing homes from pandemics, hosted by STAT News and sponsored by AARP. The three medical experts on the call offered a multitude of recommendations, some of which will no doubt be familiar to long-term care leaders, while others may provide new avenues for thought … Read more

Why long-term care needs psychology treatment

The severe impact of COVID-19 on nursing homes has led to calls for change in the country’s approach to eldercare. In “The American Nursing Home is a Design Failure,” for instance, author Justin Davidson describes the nursing home as a “soul-sapping institution” and argues that we need to rethink the current system entirely. In my … Read more

Reflecting on injustices in LTC

In the last few weeks, mass protests against racism have led to wider recognition of racial injustices in our country, with alterations in policing procedures, removal of Confederate statues and a rethinking of corporate norms. I’ve been reading about the systemic inequities in healthcare and reflecting on those in long-term care in particular. While I … Read more

Re-envisioning long-term care: A psychologist’s perspective

The pandemic has caused many of us to reflect on our lives, work and priorities. It’s also led to catastrophic losses and to greater public awareness of problems in our field. 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 … Read more