For Families: The Initial Transition

I recently met a new resident who demanded almost constant attention from her loved ones. Her family visited daily for hours at a time, and she’d call them soon after they’d left and tell them she was lonely. Trying to please her, they were exhausted, frustrated, irritable, and terribly sad. I reminded her tearful daughter … Read more


I’ve been treating two women who have suffered and survived with Bipolar Disorder all their lives. Sara, in her mid-seventies, has been struggling with deep depression, trying to find her way out of a depressive swing. She sits very still these days, watching the people in the hallway. From a closet full of colorful matched … Read more

‘Twas the Week Before Christmas…

And 83-year old Albertha assured me her family was planning to take her home for the holidays. “Have you talked to them about it?  Have they called the social worker to arrange a pass, and meds, and transportation?” “No,” she replied, “but they’re coming to get me.”   ‘Twas the week after Christmas, and Albertha … Read more

The Internet As Therapeutic Tool: Guest Column in   The Internet as Therapeutic Tool in LTC   On November 4th, 2008, McKnight’s reported on a study that Internet use stimulates the elderly brain. Perhaps you’re wondering what your residents would do on the Internet and whether or not it’s worth your time and investment to establish access for them. As a psychologist … Read more

For Residents: How to Talk to Medical Doctors

Talking to a medical doctor is not like talking to a normal person.  In a regular conversation, one person says, “Hi.  How are you?”  The other says, “Fine.  And yourself?” And they go from there.  If busy Dr. Shah stops by Ms. Crenshaw’s room, inquires how she is, and hears that she’s “Fine,” he’s likely … Read more

Young Adults in Long Term Care,, July 2008 Young adults in long-term care Eleanor Feldman Barbera, Ph.D. July 3, 2008 Anne Marie Barnett, in her June 10, 2008 guest column, wrote about the disruptive effects of younger residents on long-term care facilities. As a psychologist who has worked with many younger residents over the years, I’d like to offer my perspective and … Read more

Setting Boundaries with Residents, Nursing Home Magazine, March 2004

Setting Boundaries With Residents   by Eleanor Feldman Barbera, PhD   Becoming close to residents, but not too close, takes wisdom   “Can you do me this one small favor?” Estelle H. asked, looking up at her aide imploringly. “Can you get me a birthday card to send to my granddaughter?” Ms. Skinner sighed, thinking … Read more