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

The last-minute guide to trauma-informed care

The last-minute guide to trauma-informed care With trauma-related F-tags beginning in less than two weeks, many providers have spent months training their staff and feel quite prepared to manage this sensitive aspect of resident mental health care. For those who might not be completely ready for the Nov. 28 start date, I offer below some … Read more

How to apply the best antidepressant — other residents

How to apply the best antidepressant — other residents Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services directives ask facilities to be more attentive to behavioral health issues such resident depression and trauma, and to manage dementia and other behavioral problems while reducing or eliminating psychotropic medications. Providers wondering how to accomplish this tall order might consider … 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

Severely mentally ill residents: Staff training, teamwork needed

Severely mentally ill residents: Staff training, teamwork needed As I discussed in Severely mentally ill residents: A ‘perfect storm’ creates a SNF wave, long-term care has a growing population of severely mentally ill (SMI) residents, with the number of residents diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder approaching 20% in some states as of 2017.1 In … Read more

Ageism of elders affects their LTC experience

Ageism of elders affects their LTC experience “There’s no one here to talk to,” a new resident, Claire, said to me, “They’re all so old!” Claire was in her early 80s but thought of herself as two decades younger. She, like most residents I’ve encountered, have their own prejudices about aging and older adults. It … Read more

Young adults in long-term care

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 some suggestions about how to create an environment in which younger residents can … Read more

What if nursing homes had a ‘well-being budget’?

Last week, New Zealand passed the country’s first “well-being budget,” with billions in funding directed towards mental health, suicide prevention, addiction treatment and combatting poverty. This development had me considering what a “well-being budget” would look like in long-term care facilities. Reducing financial hardship Combating poverty in nursing homes would have to address adequately funding … Read more

How to support depressed workers and reduce absenteeism

As a consulting psychologist, my official job is to provide psychological services to the residents of the nursing homes in which I work. Occasionally, though, I’m asked by a department head to informally assist a staff member in distress and, more frequently, a teammate comes to me for a referral for herself or a family … Read more