What I Want My Nursing Home Room To Look Like

Please: Hang my psychology diplomas on my wall, so I’m reminded of my accomplishments.   Display family photos, so I feel surrounded by my loved ones. If I have Dementia, label my photos so the staff can talk to me about my family and help me to remember. Put a quilt or bedspread on my … Read more

Guest Blogger, Rosebud, age 97

97-year old Rosebud, whom I mentioned in my 11/15/08 post, was a social worker, raised two children, and now lives in a nursing home.  She would like to share with you the following thoughts about recreational activities: “Old folks know a lot and need to have their minds stimulated.  We residents can’t speak back and … Read more

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

‘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

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

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

Managing Resident Requests for Help, Nursing Homes Magazine, Oct 2003

Managing Resident Requests for Help By Eleanor Feldman Barbera, PhD   The Shouters, the Constant Call Bell Ringers and the Complainers don’t have to be that way—you can reshape their behavior   Once, when I was new to a facility, I came up to the second floor to find a resident, named Paula, shouting “Nurse, … Read more