Picture of tape dispenser and note from Gresham post office.

Random Act of Kindness at Gresham Post Office

Often times the post office gets a bad rap for not being service oriented, but I’m not sure that’s fair. As the CEO of Higher Standards, I speak nationally about customer service, hospitality and kindness. I recently returned from a presentation in Seattle and found this note in my mailbox, along with my tape dispenser. It reads: A lady came in … Continue reading

Picture of co-workers with their arms around each others' shoulders

Do the People You Work with Trust You?

“One of the core elements of a toxic workplace is lack of trust between co-workers and supervisors across the organization.” –Paul White, Ph.D, Psychologist, Author Are you trusted at your job? Do people believe they can rely on your integrity, strength, and ability? If not, your working relationships are likely suffering, and so are you. Improve your work life by demonstrating: Competence: … Continue reading

Picture of students in Kind Dining class

Is Culture Change Possible When Staff Keeps Leaving?

3 Things Management Must do to Reduce Employee Turnover and Succeed at Person-Centered Dining Typically, senior care communities are plagued by high staff turnover, particularly in the dining environment. According to the American Health Care Association, food service staff has the second highest overall turnover rate, just behind nursing staff. [1] When discussing the problem, dining managers tell me: “Many … Continue reading

American Geriatrics Society: Choose Socialization Over Supplements

It’s time to change how we manage unintentional weight loss in senior communities. This year, use of prescription appetite stimulants or high calorie supplements for older adults made the top 10 list of healthcare “don’ts” for the elderly. In the second half of their Choosing Wisely® recommendations, the American Geriatrics Society said: “Avoid using prescription appetite stimulants or high-calorie supplements … Continue reading

Greetings from Pioneer Network’s 2014 National Conference

I am having an inspiring day with 1,200 other culture change leaders at Pioneer Network’s 2014 National Conference in Kansas City. What a beautiful city. Are you here? You might have already seen me carrying the banner for Making Oregon Vital for Elders (M.O.V.E.) If we haven’t talked in person yet, let’s be sure to find each other. Steve Shields … Continue reading

3 Things You Can Do to Help Residents Stay Hydrated this Summer

It is officially summer, as of last weekend, and that means we all need to take special care to drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration can strike fast on hot days and it is a serious problem, especially among the elderly. Older adults are at special risk for dehydration due to medications, lower kidney function, and not feeling thirst to the same … Continue reading

Image of Southwest Airlines plane

Do You Practice Creative Kindness?

Not long ago, during a Southwest flight from Portland, Oregon to Chicago, Illinois, I sang “Happy Birthday” to a woman named Linda.  Thing is, I have never met Linda. Here’s how that happened: In a moment of mystery, the flight attendant requested all passengers at window seats to please close their window shades. She then asked everyone to press the … Continue reading

Budget Friendly Table Tip

You’ll never guess where we found this darling table decor project! DollarTree. That’s right, the store where everything is $1. Turns out they have a website full of decor ideas. Go to DollarTree.com, then navigate to Party Supplies/Wedding Ideas. You’ll arrive on a page full project plans. If you see something you like, you can download free instructions that include … Continue reading

Ask Before Clearing

Have you ever had someone try to remove your plate from the table before you were ready? How did that feel? Like you were being rushed to leave? As if you didn’t have any say over your own dinner plate? Embarrassing when you protested? Residents also have some or all of these feelings when their plates are whisked away unexpectedly. … Continue reading

Finding Common Ground

Is your senior living community missing a key team-building tool? Working in senior care is both hugely rewarding and immensely difficult. Most of us genuinely care about the residents we serve and find it deeply satisfying to provide them with excellent service. But, workloads are heavy, there are complex emotions to deal with nearly every day, and it is difficult … Continue reading