Getting ‘hygge’ with it, at the holidays and year-round

Getting ‘hygge’ with it, at the holidays and year-round I know, I know, that’s not how the word is pronounced. But as soon as I read about the Danish concept of coziness, I got that darn Will Smith song (“Gettin Jiggy With It”) in my head and I can’t get it out. Hygge (actually pronounced … Read more

The Minister for Loneliness in LTC

The Minister for Loneliness in LTC According to researcher Julianne Holt-Lunstad of Brigham Young University, loneliness has a greater impact on health than smoking 15 cigarettes daily, or obesity, which is associated with 300,000 to 600,000 deaths a year in the United States alone. In England, the “loneliness epidemic” has reached such proportions that they’ve … Read more

What worries me about trauma-informed care

What worries me about trauma-informed care I was relieved last month when I saw that my fellow Psychologists in LTC member, Lisa Lind, Ph.D., had written an article for McKnight’s about Preparing for trauma-informed care in LTC. As McKnight’s resident behavioral health expert, I was feeling like I should write something on the subject, but … Read more

Secret shoppers in LTC

Secret shoppers in LTC Posing as customers, “secret shoppers” deliver the inside scoop to management about their experiences with various service providers. They can be invaluable to management in all kinds of situations, including long-term care, though there are special challenges there. Secret shoppers are perhaps best known for retail settings. But they’re also used … Read more

NextAvenue: What Some Nursing Homes Do to Retain Quality Staff

Thank you to author Deborah Quilter and NextAvenue for an even-handed article about nursing homes and for mentioning my work. NextAvenue is “public media’s first and only national journalism service for America’s booming older population. [Their] daily content delivers vital ideas, context and perspectives on issues that matter most as we age.” What Some Nursing … Read more

Transitioning to Long-Term Care: What Your Loved One Wishes They Could Tell You

As a psychologist, I’ve talked with hundreds of residents as they transition to living in a Skilled Nursing Care center. In the privacy of a psychotherapy session, new residents will frequently share with me things they haven’t mentioned to their families, often because they don’t quite know what to say or how to say it. … Read more

Dr. El’s Theory of Angry Activities

“Scream as loud as you can,” I encouraged my companions before we plunged down the waterslide in our rubber raft at the water park on Independence Day. “There aren’t enough opportunities for yelling in everyday life. Let’s make the most of it while it’s socially acceptable.” The shouts of our foursome pierced the air as … Read more