The Equalizer: A holiday story from the ‘Before’ time

Louise, a petite, 79-year-old woman, was the roommate of another resident I was seeing for psychotherapy at the nursing home. Louise sat by the B bed watching TV and working her needlepoint, anchoring the tapestry frame against her chest with one arm while she slowly pushed the needle through with her good hand. “Hello! Please … Read more

Managing a bah humbug holiday season

By now many of us have viewed the viral video of residents gleefully shooting soft foam balls at laughing staff members dressed as reindeer dodging through a pine-tree “forest.” It’s the kind of merriment suitable for the 2020 holidays — one that uses humor and playful defiance to release pent-up frustrations. Under normal circumstances, spending … Read more

Fostering post-traumatic growth in long-term care

The COVID-19 pandemic has been taxing for virtually everyone in long-term care, from the C-suite to direct care providers. I’ve written about my own experience with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after working in a pandemic epicenter earlier in the year. While crises often have short- and long-term negative effects, psychologists have found that there also … Read more

Nursing Home Love Story #6: The Case of the Reluctant Resident

“Hi, Mabel! Do you have some time to talk to me?” Mabel, I knew, had all the time in the world, since she refused to go to activities. She sat across from the nursing station, her hefty frame filling her extra-large wheelchair, watching the nursing staff, the other residents and the passersby. Her greeting hadn’t … Read more

Act now to avert a holiday season fiasco

The holidays are typically a busy time for long-term care centers, filled with special activities and extra visitors. Because of the pandemic, this year will be much different. Planning, collaboration, creativity and communication will be needed to create reasonable alternatives to usual events. Take action now to avoid a season of putting out the fires … Read more

Contending with employees’ pandemic-related stress

In “Keeping workers will be biggest struggle for nursing homes as pandemic persists, national policy expert predicts,” McKnight’s Long-Term Care News Staff Writer Danielle Brown reports on the staffing problems outlined by Harvard Medical School health care policy professor David Grabowski, Ph.D. He anticipates that, because of a lack of support, direct caregivers will leave … Read more