Saying Goodbye

“I never say goodbye,” Mr. O’Hara told me, “because that’s what my mother said when she left me as a child. Then she died and I never saw her again.” At 91, Mr. O’Hara was slim and getting slimmer. He began our next session as usual, discussing the procedures he was receiving from the doctors … Read more

Relocating to a Nursing Home? A Senior Move Manager Can Help

Many residents have shared with me the experience of leaving their homes suddenly because of a medical emergency, only to find themselves unable to return. Now living in the nursing home, it’s difficult for them to wrap up their affairs in their former home, causing depression, anxiety, and a loss of control. In this post, … Read more

“Transfer Package” Helps Make the Most of Stroke Rehabilitation

There’s an interesting article about stroke rehabilitation by Tori DeAngelis in the March 2010 issue of the Monitor on Psychology. In “New help for stroke survivors,” she writes about research showing that a “transfer package” is an essential component in maintaining the gains of inpatient rehab once the patient returns home. The transfer package includes … Read more

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

The Critical Period in Nursing Home Placement

I couldn’t wait to go to college.  I was ready to shake off the old me, and begin a brand new self.  No one would know who I’d been, and I could therefore be whomever I wanted to be.   In my Psych 101 textbook, there was a picture of animal behaviorist Conrad Lorenz, followed … 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