Resident Care

Mar 22, 2016

The Science of a Smile

A smile can go a long way, can't it?

Have you ever felt a little down until a co-worker or friend gave you a smile? It can perk you right up and now there's scientific evidence to prove that there's something to it.

According to a study by psychologists from the University of Wisconsin, people in social situations often simulate others' facial expressions to create emotional responses in themselves.

So a smile (or a frown) can definitely be contagious.

Dec 16, 2015

Relieving Anxiety During Admission

It can be difficult for both family members and the resident to make the transition into your long-term care facility.

Residents may feel anxious, nervous or scared. Family members may feel guilty and have separation anxiety.

These are all normal reactions and it’s up to you to assuage them as best you can.

The first step is to acknowledge those feelings. Let the resident and family member know that you understand. And then form a plan to help them work through it.

For family members, guilt is number one. There’s a sense that you are ‘leaving’ your loved one. It’s important to assure family members that they are a valuable part of the resident’s life and that your facility is not ‘replacing’ them. Family members may also feel guilty over the relief they feel, having the burden of caregiving removed.

Sep 8, 2015

The Power of Stories

Today was one of those days where story swapping occurred. We all took a break and ended up learning a bit more about each other and then went back to work 

Sep 8, 2015

Connecting Residents with the Past

Making connections between present day activities and past occupations and interests is a great way to engage your residents and learn more about them.

This is especially good for dementia patients because it can bring them a sense of familiarity.

So how do you do this?

First, you need to learn about your residents' past lives. Was someone a former teacher or a banker? Was a resident a lifelong gardener or knitter?

Learn as much information as you can so you can tailor activities to each individual. Make sure to include the families in this conversation. They'll have great insights as to mom and dad's likes and dislikes.

Jun 18, 2015

Creating a Volunteer Program

Volunteers can become a huge part of your organization and help alleviate the burden on you and your staff.

But how do you create a thriving and sustainable volunteer program?

First, you need to think about the structure of your program.

What kind of activities do you want to have? How many volunteers will you need? Think about the size of your program and remember not to overcomplicate.

You may want to have 10 new programs, but realistically you may only be able to manage one or two.

Identify your needs and create programs to suit. There’s no point in developing a program that doesn’t get any participants.

May 8, 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow?

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?

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.

Dec 1, 2014

Homelessness Among Seniors

At the end of the day, you pack up your bag; perhaps grab some files to work on later and head to your home for the evening. A home is a place for you to relax. It's a place that provides you with security and safety.

Imagine living without it.

More and more seniors are doing just that; facing incredible odds without a home to go to.

Nov 5, 2014

Implementing Good Handwashing Practices in Your Facility

As we come into cold and flu season, it’s imperative to have good handwashing practices in your facility for your staff, residents and visitors. Even with best practices in place everyone needs a good reminder now and again. The plus side? Less chance of an infection breakout with cold and flu season upon us.

There are a few simple things you can do:

1.Make hand sanitizer dispensers readily available

A visit to an assisted living facility earlier this year left me wondering if they had any sanitizer dispensers at all. I finally noticed one along a side wall of the entrance, inconspicuous and almost hidden. As a result, those who came in and out of the building didn’t bother or didn’t notice to use the dispenser. They ended up dealing with some cold and flu outbreaks over several months.

Sep 3, 2014

How the Internet Helps Depression

It's easy for someone to become isolated and depressed, even within a care facility, but a recent study showed that the Internet can be extremely beneficial to the elderly when it comes to depression. The Internet is a great way to learn and connect whether it be through Facebook, Wikipedia or a number of other sites.

The American study revealed that Internet usage reduced the chances of depression by 30%.