Editor's Pick

How Does Your Garden Grow?

May 8, 2015

Spring has sprung! The weather is gorgeous and your residents can finally get outside and breathe some fresh air. One of the best activities for your residents is gardening.

Growing a garden is a great way for residents to be active in the spring and throughout the summer. There’s nothing better than putting in a little work and seeing the fruits of your labour.

Not only that, studies have shown that gardening can help Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. It can reduce stress and blood pressure and stimulate the brain.

Plus, if you decide to grow vegetables, the kitchen can make use of them and residents can enjoy the food they grew themselves.

So what makes a perfect senior-friendly garden?

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Apr 7, 2015

Using Resident Families to Sell Your Facilities

You never get a second chance at a first impression and the biggest chance you get to make one is through a facility tour.

As the first step in future residents and their families joining your community these tours introduce them to your own brand of senior care culture and family. While staff can be great tour guides, why not take it one step further and ask a resident family member to participate in the tour.

They can offer an outside perspective about the quality of care, and share their own experiences on everything from move in to the adjustment process, food, activities, and more.

Mar 23, 2015

Helping Your Residents Make Social Connections

I remember the nerve-wracking experience that was my first day of high school. New teachers, new school, new people; it was all overwhelming.

Entering a care facility can be like that first day of school. It's hard to become acclimatized to new surroundings and many seniors find this difficult, especially since they are leaving the familiar behind, their home.

So what makes those worries dissipate? Friends.

It's important that your new residents get a chance to know the other residents. It will make them feel more safe and secure.

Mar 16, 2015

Developing Success Stories

1. Keep track of those special moments.

Success stories are important for your facility. They can be used in marketing materials like your website or shared in your annual report. They can be shared with family members and potential residents. Success stories are your way of showcasing the very best of what you have to offer.

In order to develop a collection of success stories, you must first keep track of those special moments. Encourage the staff to share any special moments either verbally or on paper. Ask your residents to share what makes them happy about living at your facility. Document special events, even if it's only jotting down a sentence or two about what occurred. And keep these all in a file on your computer for editing.

2. Develop a narrative

A good success story has a great narrative. First, you have to decide which stories work best. Read them over and determine if you can develop a strong narrative from what you've been given. Pick a story that will tug at the heartstrings and make someone smile.

Second Quarter 2015 In this issue

Mar 1, 2015

A World of Promise

In Canada we're fortunate to have an international group of researchers compiling evidence on what divides elderly caregiving around the world, in the hopes that we can learn to improve what unites us, providing the best possible care for our residents.

Headed up by Pat Armstrong, a research professor of sociology at York University, a study group was formed in 2011 to uncover the most promising practices in long-term care from around the world and how conditions of work relate to conditions of care.

Most studies have a specific theory that a researcher will attempt to prove, but this study differs in that it isn’t setting out to prove something specifically. Instead, it is a fact finding mission for good ideas in elder care with researchers seeking practices that treat providers and residents with dignity and respect, understand care as a relationship, take differences and equity into account and promote active, healthy aging.

Mar 1, 2015

Japan

Japan. A land of dichotomies, where traditional Confucian values and collectivism butt up against cutting edge entertainment and technology; where “cool Japan” is exported through fashion, design and technology.

A country where the former prime minister, and current finance minister, Taro Aso, has called for Japanese seniors to stop being so selfish and “hurry up and die” to relieve the pressure on healthcare but where elderly pets can receive private clinic care to make their last days comfortable and enjoyable.

Japan, where suicide ranks as a top ten health burden along with top-ranked lower back pain and eighth-placed Alzheimer’s disease; its elderly population vastly larger than Canada’s. What Canadians quaintly refer to as the impending ‘silver tsunami' would appear to be a ‘silver mildly choppy day’ to the Japanese.

Mar 1, 2015

Person-Centered Care

A new restaurant opened up in my town the other month and so as you do with new places, you give it a little while for the “new place” hoopla to settle down. It’s one of those new trendy places: decorated by someone from HGTV, with a locavore menu dreamed up by someone from Food Network that loves Southern BBQ; basically a vegan’s nightmare. My mouth was salivating just reading the menu online. It didn’t disappoint.