For my experienced long-term care folks, you know what to
expect during the next 4-6 weeks. But
does the rest of your staff? And are
they prepared? The holiday season is
here and that means a significant increase in visitors to your facility. Not simply residents’ family members, but
vendors, local organizations and agencies, volunteers, children’s groups and
more. This can be an opportunity to
shine and dispel many of the myths about nursing facilities. You know how hard your team works and the
amazing compassion that your direct caregivers have for their residents. Make
sure your visitors witness it!
yourself these questions –
- Have you held recent customer service training? If not, start reminding all staff today on
its importance. Each department can
assist with ensuring a positive experience.
- Are there group activities occurring in the evening and
on the weekends?
- Has the Activity Director confirmed scheduled
- Is the maintenance department aware of when extra chairs/tables
- Is there a readily-accessible contact person to direct
the inevitable pop-in carolers?
- Are evening and weekend nursing staff given daily reminders
of their shift’s planned activities? (And
yes, Activity Directors, I know the calendar is posted and that the nurses can
look, but do yourself a favor and remind them anyway.)
- Are the Social Service staff attempting to ‘catch’
out-of-town family members and conducting impromptu care conferences with the
family and team?
- Is all staff being vigilant to observe for new personal
belongings, reminding and assisting visitors to add personal items to the
residents’ inventory lists, and marking new items?
- Are staff aware of what gratuities cannot be accepted
- Are you taking advantage of the increase in visitors to
promote your volunteer program?
- Are your LOA policies/procedures and residents’ LOA
- Is someone keeping a
list of which residents are going out and when?
Is this information being passed on to the dietary department?
- What is your system for holiday guest meals and is your
staff aware of it?
- Does the Admissions department have an easy to process
system for admitting residents from home?
- Have you reminded your staff of the importance of the
first 24-hours of a new resident’s stay?
- Is every staff member observing (and intervening) for
visitors who are having difficulty coping with their loved one's placement?
- Is Social Service paying close attention to residents’
mood indicators and observing for signs/symptoms of depression?
- Are ALL of your staff aware of your facility’s grievance and
missing item process, where the forms are located, and when to notify the
Administrator? If not, give them a
- And finally, have you thanked your staff today?
Need assistance with your facility's customer service program? Contact SHC
and we'll schedule a visit to help you continue improving Quality of Life services for your residents.