Turnover reporting: This is going to be good*

Late last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that they will begin to post staff turnover data on the Medicare.gov Care Compare website. In July, turnover will be incorporated into the Five Star Quality Rating calculations. While this is bound to cause immediate alarm among providers, in the long run this is a … Read more

The path forward for long-term care

With staffing shortages, reduced occupancy, the ongoing pandemic and other challenges, it’s a worrisome time for long-term care. A scan of trade headlines might even make one pessimistic about the future of the industry. Despite these difficulties, dedicated, thoughtful professionals — from LTC leaders to researchers to regulators to front line staff — are endeavoring … Read more

BBB Act provides opportunity to address LTC mental health needs

In my last blog post, “Boosting team resilience,” I briefly touched upon the need to recognize the pandemic-related trauma experienced by staff members and to better prepare for future catastrophes. The potential passage of the Build Back Better Act, with “roughly $150 billion to boost HCBS under Medicaid and $329 million in grant funding for … Read more

Boosting team resilience

It’s no secret that many long-term care staffers are grappling with feelings of stress and burnout following their pandemic experiences. Burnout affects workers on a personal level, and it can also impact the functioning of teams. Researchers distinguish between “brittle” and “resilient” teams. Brittle teams have drained tangible or emotional resources after a crisis, with … Read more

Reducing the impact of cascading collective trauma in LTC

I spent most of last weekend doing what I could to avoid the 9/11-related headlines in the news. With my Manhattan-below-14th-Street recollections of the event, last year’s immersion in the pandemic epicenter and the continuing pandemic, I didn’t have the bandwidth for it. What I did find the energy for was a Speaking of Psychology … Read more

How to keep working in LTC (when you’re not sure how much more you can take)

When I speak to long-term care groups, whether to those in leadership positions or to direct care staff, it’s clear that virtually all the audience members have been drawn to the industry because of their love of elders. The travails of the past year and a half, however, have likely depleted the energy and enthusiasm … Read more

My look: Forever changed by the pandemic?

For my first 20-plus years as a long-term care psychologist, I arrived on the job wearing not just clothes, but outfits. I chose garb that contributed to the sense of “expertness, attractiveness, and trustworthiness” that psychologists were supposed to engender in their patients. Sometimes I wore pantsuits or dresses, more often skirts or slacks with … Read more

5 strategies to promote mental health in long-term care

Last week, tennis superstar Naomi Osaka chose to forgo mandatory but anxiety-producing post-event press interviews to protect her mental health. She was fined $15,000 by tennis officials and, after being threatened with expulsion from the French Open, withdrew from the event. This decision by the world’s highest-paid female athlete has thrust the importance of emotional … Read more

Post-pandemic population may require higher staffing levels

Before the pandemic, residents were admitted for rehabilitation following elective surgery or a health crisis. The rehab residents either returned home or joined the group of long-term residents who had previously arrived in a similar fashion. Now, as the threat of COVID-19 recedes from long-term care, we are left with empty beds from a reduction … Read more

5 ways to reduce late-pandemic staff burnout

Most residents and workers are vaccinated and COVID-19 rates in nursing homes have plummeted, so everything should be great, right? According to a recent article in StatNews, not quite. In “As the Covid-19 crisis ebbs in the U.S., experts brace for some to experience psychological fallout,” author Andrew Joseph reports that it’s only after an … Read more