Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC - Social Service consulting, QIDP reviews, & Activities oversight
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Indiana FSSA Division of Aging Issues Updates to e450B Process
'Why' I Originally Chose to Work in Long-Term Care
ISDH Publishes Update to Advance Directives Brochure
CMS QAPI Material Rollout for Nursing Homes
National Nursing Home Week - Team*Care - 10 Simple Ways to Work as a Team


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The Holiday Season is Here...Is Your #LTC Facility and Team Ready?

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!  

Ask 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 events?  
  • Is the maintenance department aware of when extra chairs/tables are needed? 
  • 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 from visitors? 
  • Are you taking advantage of the increase in visitors to promote your volunteer program?  
  • Are your LOA policies/procedures and residents’ LOA orders up-to-date?  
  • 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 refresher now! 
  • 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.

Diabetes and Hearing Impairment

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and World Diabetes Day is 11/14/12.  Assisting our residents with various forms of diabetes interventions is a daily reality in long-term care.  For Social Service and nursing staff, this includes ensuring that residents with diabetes are regularly scheduled to be seen by a podiatrist and an optometrist.  But are those same targeted residents being scheduled for audiology appointments?   According to the NIH (National Institutes of Health), hearing loss is twice as common in those that have diabetes than in those who don’t.  Difficulty with communication can lead to many psychosocial issues.  These issues can include social isolation, frustration, anger, resisting care, and depression.  Make sure your residents are receiving their specialty provider visits as ordered.  Need assistance with establishing an easy tracking process for your contracted providers or a QA audit of your current system?  Contact SHC and we’ll schedule a visit to help your facility continue improving Quality of Life services for your residents.