Welcome to My Better Nursing Home!

The time spent in long-term care can be one of growth, emotional healing, and creativity for residents, staff, and family members.  If you’re wondering how to get there from here, please look through this site and read my blog, where you’ll find answers that will allow you to create positive change instantly, whether you’re a CEO, a CNA, or seeing a loved one in long-term care.

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"My goal is to make long-term care a place I'd want to live when it's my turn, using my training as a psychologist."

Recent Blog Posts

My Better Nursing Home

How to Talk About Dying (Ellen Goodman, NYTimes)

Dr. El - July 2, 2015 - Communication, End of life, Engaging with families, Resident care

Here’s an important article in the New York Times Opinionator Column by Ellen Goodman, one of the founders of The Conversation Project (which I’m about to investigate further). Note her comment that she expected her mother’s doctors to tell her what to do. The families of our residents are expecting the same from us. How to Talk […]

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NHWalkingManCane

The Goodbye Guide: Why and how to terminate tenderly in LTC

Dr. El - June 24, 2015 - Business Strategies, Communication, McKnight's Long-Term Care News, Resident care

Here’s my latest article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News: The Goodbye Guide: Why and how to terminate tenderly in LTC An experienced colleague was recently let go from her job to which she’d been dedicated for 10 years. “We want to take things in a different direction,” she was told by the administrator. “Pack up […]

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NHLaughingAsianWoman

Harnessing gratitude

Dr. El - June 10, 2015 - Depression/Mental illness/Substance Abuse, McKnight's Long-Term Care News, Psychology Research Translated, Resident education/Support groups

Here’s my latest article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News: Harnessing Gratitude Though it was close to 20 years ago, I’ll never forget the reaction of one of my patients to losing both of her legs to diabetes. “I’m 81 years old and I’ve traveled and danced as much as I could. I wasn’t sick a […]

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Big family together sisters and mother

Strengthening Troubled Sibling Bonds to Deal With an Aging Parent (NYTimes)

Dr. El - June 5, 2015 - Communication, Engaging with families

I’m writing to you from my hotel room in Ontario, Canada today, where I’m finishing up some last minute details before heading out to give a training program on preventing senior bullying (iron suit — check!).   This week’s post comes from Abby Ellin, writing in the NYTimes Money column about the use of elder […]

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Psychologists open up about LTC sex and dementia

Dr. El - May 27, 2015 - Dementia, Engaging with families, McKnight's Long-Term Care News, Resident care, Role of psychologists

Here’s my latest article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News: Psychologists open up about LTC sex and dementia A recent Iowa court case acquitted Henry Rayhons of sexually abusing his wife, who had Alzheimer’s dementia and lived in a nursing home. The case not only prompted national debate, it led those in long-term care to consider […]

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Free Webinar 5/20 @2pm ET: 9 Ways to Improve the Effectiveness of your Social Work Department & Increase LTC Resident Satisfaction

Dr. El - May 18, 2015 - Business Strategies, Customer service, Depression/Mental illness/Substance Abuse, Engaging with families, Motivating staff, Talks/Radio shows

Join Dr. El Wednesday, May 20th at 2pm Eastern Time (1pm Central Time) for a FREE Webinar on 9 Ways to Improve the Effectiveness of your Social Work Department & Increase LTC Resident Satisfaction sponsored by EmLogis To register: visit EmLogis Events About the webinar: Are your residents depressed, their families distressed, and your staff […]

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NHPuree

The Many Riches of Senior Living Conferences

Dr. El - May 13, 2015 - Bullying/Senior bullying, Dementia, McKnight's Long-Term Care News, Resident care, Something Good About Nursing Homes

Here’s my latest article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News: The Many Riches of Senior Living Conferences I’ve been fortunate enough to attend several senior living conventions recently and my enthusiasm for the experience has yet to diminish. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to be present for a conference (or if it’s been a […]

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ElRocking

‘Okie El’ rocks out, and then veges out

Dr. El - April 28, 2015 - Depression/Mental illness/Substance Abuse, McKnight's Long-Term Care News, Talks/Radio shows

Here’s my latest article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News: ‘Okie El’ rocks out, and then veges out Given that the bulk of my prior knowledge of Oklahoma came from a 72-year-old musical performed by my class during grade school, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I arrived in Norman for the 2015 Oklahoma […]

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Misconception on Aging 2

America has a major misconception about aging

Dr. El - April 28, 2015 - Books/media of note, Business Strategies

I’m honored to be included among the 44 industry experts asked about the future of long-term care in this informative infographic and article:           http://www.seniorcare.com/featured/misconception-on-aging/

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young-woman-wheelchair100

Girl, paralyzed for 11 days, surprises favorite nurse by walking (video)

Dr. El - April 22, 2015 - Inspiration, Videos

Here’s an inspiring video that captures how those who work in healthcare feel for those under their care: If you’re unable to see the video embedded above, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75odu9sxwEA

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