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.

Click Here for a Minute with Dr. El!

"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

NHAging Suit

Dr. El tries on the Genworth aging suit

Dr. El - April 27, 2016 - For Fun, McKnight's Long-Term Care News, Motivating staff, Technology

Here’s my latest article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News: Dr. El tries on the Genworth aging suit I’d read about the Genworth R70i Aging Experience and when I discovered the exhibit was making a brief appearance near me at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey, I headed over with my 9-year old assistant to […]

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NHClutter

Help for hoarders, and those who care for them

Dr. El - April 12, 2016 - Common Nursing Home Problems and How Psychologists Can Solve Them, McKnight's Long-Term Care News, Psychology Research Translated, Role of psychologists

Here’s my latest article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News: Help for hoarders, and those who care for them It can be challenging for long-term care providers when residents amass large quantities of possessions. Facilities generally worry about hoarding when the amount of belongings prohibits the resident or staff members from safely moving about their room […]

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Big family together sisters and mother

Are Families Ready For The Death And Dying Conversation?

Dr. El - April 5, 2016 - Communication, End of life, Engaging with families

Aging advocate Carol Marak interviewed a group of eldercare experts (including me) regarding their experiences discussing death and dying with elders and their families. Her Huffington Post piece on the topic, excerpted below, suggests that yes, families — and many healthcare providers — are ready to have these important and necessary conversations. Are Families Ready […]

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Version 3

Clone this woman. Steal this idea.

Dr. El - March 29, 2016 - Business Strategies, Customer service, Inspiration, McKnight's Long-Term Care News, Money Issues, Resident care, Something Good About Nursing Homes, Volunteering

Here’s my latest article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News: Clone this woman. Steal this idea. A few months ago, I was consulting at the Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Jamaica, NY, when a remarkable woman named Trudy Schwarz walked down the hall. Her noteworthy qualities were obvious in several ways. A diminutive woman, […]

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McKnight'sExpo

McKnight’s Online Expo, FREE, March 29th and 30th 2016

Dr. El - March 28, 2016 - McKnight's Long-Term Care News, Resident care, Technology

Once again, McKnight’s will host its annual online expo, which is a chance to attend a conference without leaving your desk. Register for the conference in advance, and then log in to hear the talks, visit the vendors, and chat with the reps and attendees. This year’s topics are: PAYMENT: MDS 3.0 Update: Get ready […]

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NHRoom

Using light to improve sleep, reduce agitation

Dr. El - March 16, 2016 - McKnight's Long-Term Care News, Psychology Research Translated, Resident care, Technology, Videos

Here’s my latest article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News: Using light to improve sleep, reduce agitation Poor sleep, reversed sleep/wake cycles, depression and falls are common problems in older adults. In addition, elders with dementia frequently experience late afternoon agitation, or “sundowning.” Because our residents live in a communal environment, a single individual’s agitation or […]

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Nurses Standing Outside A Hospital

Upcoming Quality Initiatives

Dr. El - March 1, 2016 - Business Strategies, Communication, McKnight's Long-Term Care News

Here’s my latest article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News: Upcoming Quality Initiatives Last week I was speaking about the needs of younger residents at the North Carolina Health Care Facilities Association convention and had the opportunity to hear a presentation by David Gifford, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs of the […]

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NHSadOldLady

Seeing Virginia (an anecdote): Part Two

Dr. El - February 25, 2016 - Anecdotes, Common Nursing Home Problems and How Psychologists Can Solve Them, Personal Reflections, Role of psychologists

Seeing Virginia: Part One Like many of my residents over the years, Virginia had been a nursing assistant prior to her retirement. In our early sessions, I encouraged her to discuss how it felt to be “on the other side of the stethoscope,” as I put it, but she was too focused on the plot […]

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NHiPhone

‘Just a picture of her butt’ — an analysis

Dr. El - February 16, 2016 - Business Strategies, Communication, Customer service, McKnight's Long-Term Care News, Resident care, Technology

Here’s my latest article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News:  ‘Just a picture of her butt’ — an analysis In “A potential lawsuit in every worker’s pockets?”, McKnight’s Editorial Director John O’Connor describes two of many recent incidents of long-term care workers using their cell phones to record residents in embarrassing situations and post the photo […]

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NHHatFlowers

Seeing Virginia (an anecdote): Part One

Dr. El - February 11, 2016 - Anecdotes, Common Nursing Home Problems and How Psychologists Can Solve Them, Personal Reflections, Role of psychologists

The first time I met 87-year old Virginia, it was immediately apparent why the nurses had made the referral. She spoke too quickly, words pouring out one after the other without pause. She had vague theories that a staff member was trying to steal the house she’d vacated a few months ago and attempting to […]

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