Here’s my latest article at McKnight’s Long-Term Care News:
“You do so much for seniors,” my friends tell me, having heard too many stories about the horrors of nursing homes. “Those places need more people like you.”
“Actually,” I respond, “there are lots of people like me out there trying to do the right thing for our elders.”
Nowhere was this more apparent than at the 50th annual LeadingAge Florida convention this month, where I was speaking about the psychosocial needs of baby boomers. I was surrounded by people who, like me, were all jazzed up about long-term care and excited about the possibilities for improving services.
My talk about the needs of baby boomers generated an exciting exchange of ideas, with members of the audience sharing innovative best practices with each other. Among the best practices mentioned:
- To address boomers’ need and expectation of being socially connected while in a long-term care setting, many of the Florida facilities have WiFi and use the Internet to help families stay connected. Skype and other video chat services are available for care plan meetings as well.
- Individual preferences for music were met at one site through an iPod program that offered an iPod for each interested resident, complete with “their” music chosen from the thousands of songs in the home’s music library.
- Lending credence to my assertion that a strong resident council is the driving force of a good home, one CCRC reported that the dynamic and thriving resident council of their independent living facility generates innovative suggestions that the administration follows to make successful improvements. For tips on how to rejuvenate a lackluster resident council, start here for the first in a 3-part blog series designed to create effective meetings that energize your community.