Contemplative senior man looking into distance

Ask Yourself: “Who Needs My Empathy Today?”

The holidays are a special time, but they can also be a lonely time. Everything about this season can be a reminder of people and days gone by. Right now, it’s especially important to be aware of behavioral changes that might signal a resident is feeling sad and/or lonely. For instance, if someone who is usually upbeat seemed subdued, or even … Continue reading

Beautifully decorated Thanksgiving table with thank you card next to place sitting

Table Tip: Give Personal Thanks

Make this Thanksgiving extra special by starting a new tradition in your community: Express your gratitude for each resident with a quick note of thanks. Purchase or create small cards and ask staff members to help. Write each residents name on the outside of a note card. Ask staff members to each fill out a few cards with a heartfelt … Continue reading

Senior Couple Enjoying Meal

Foodies and Comfort Foodies in Senior Care

Are you offering menu choices that please older diners? What’s for dinner? A classic like meatloaf and mashed potatoes, a trendy new salmon dish, or both? After decades of serving relatively basic menus, many senior care communities are hiring professional chefs and serving more trendy, upscale foods. Just in time, too. As I discuss in Hospitality for Boomers, How to … Continue reading

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