Here’s my latest article in Long-Term Living Magazine online:
Offering increased flexibility within daily schedules can provide opportunities for residents to have more choice in how their days unfold. They engage in the same activities such as rehab and dining, but they can arrange their days to meet their own preferences rather than subsume their desires to the nursing home schedule.
Many adjustments in scheduling can be made without dramatic shifts in the staff routine, such as offering residents their choice of shower time. Rather than incorporating a multitude of changes simultaneously, new areas of flexibility can open up sequentially, giving the staff (and residents) time to adapt and to consider other parts of the schedule that can become more adjustable.
Offering more choices for residents will be as successful as the reception from the staff. If resident requests receive sighs, frowns and obvious irritation, residents will quickly learn that the options are for marketing purposes only and that they won’t be implemented without repercussions. In that case, because their wellbeing depends on the good will of the staff, only the feistiest residents will take advantage of newly created choices.