Enhancing organizational communication improves outcomes, reduces adverse incidents

McKnight’s Long-Term Care News frequently notes stories about rogue employees engaging in illegal and disturbing behavior and then trying to cover it up after the fact. There are regular reports about intra-organizational systems that fail, leading to wrongful death lawsuits and other problems, such as this one about a resident who died from scabies. Occasionally … Read more

A gift from LTC families

A study of interactions between families and healthcare providers published in the BMJ this month sparked my interest. It showed that improving communication between the two groups reduced harmful medical errors by 39%. As if that vast reduction in medical errors weren’t enough, it was caused by harnessing the input of team members who don’t cost facilities … Read more

The keys to reducing turnover in long-term care

“They keep giving me these new aides and they don’t know what they’re doing,” a disgruntled resident commented during a psychotherapy session. “You’re not the first person to tell me that,” I replied, looking for a way to acknowledge her experience without criticizing either the facility or the new aides. “You have the honor of … Read more

To reduce burnout and turnover, improve family-staff relationships

Earlier this month, I took some much-needed time off to go on a cruise. I came home to a LinkedIn notification about “The big cost of not taking vacation,” reflecting on a CNN article regarding the vast number of vacation days forfeited by Americans. The author notes that people who travel tend to be happier … Read more

People in LTC who’ve inspired me in 2017

From the 102-year-old Hulk Hogan fan to the doting, selfless caregivers doing behind-the-scenes work, there are numerous people in long-term care who inspired me this year. Take, for example: •  The 102-year-old man, still remarkably handsome, whose favorite sport is professional wrestling and who recalls fondly the days of Hulk Hogan. •  The personal companion I encountered … Read more

Wisdom from elders

I’ve learned a lot from listening to residents over the years, but it’s rare that I request specific advice. This month, I decided to change that. In private conversations, I told residents that I was writing an article on advice from elders about how to live life and I asked them if they had any … Read more

Suicide prevention in the workplace: What employers need to know

With the high-profile deaths this month of designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain, the crisis of suicide has been thrust into the spotlight. Suicide deaths in the United States have increased 25% between 1999 and 2016, with an estimated 45,000 occurring per year. I’ve written about suicide prevention in older adults and protocols for … Read more