High Involvement Has UnitingCare Australia on Fire

Action Pact founder LaVrene Norton tells the story of how her grandfather used to head out in early spring to “warm the soil” for his garden. While he accepted frost as a natural part of the cycle of life, he saw no reason to let it go on any longer than necessary. He would light a large bonfire on the garden plot, let it burn until the soil had been softened, then turn the coals over into the earth. As a result, their family had peas and lettuce sprouting in their garden before anyone else. Continue reading “High Involvement Has UnitingCare Australia on Fire”

Pioneer Conference Keynote Inspires ‘Living Our Values’ at Jewish Senior Services

“…the generations must find ways to share daily life. Elders need the stimulation of young people … elders need relationships with middle-agers, whose challenges are not so far removed from their own at that age. Children and young people need first hand contact with elders so that old age is not a strange, foreign country to them.”

— Carter Catlett Williams, 2013 Pioneer Network Conference keynote address Continue reading “Pioneer Conference Keynote Inspires ‘Living Our Values’ at Jewish Senior Services”

Alarm Fatigue

The prevalence of personal alarms in nursing homes can undermine care and even induce falls, warn authors Carmen Bowman, MHS and Theresa Laufmann, RN in the Action Pact workbook, Alarms: The New Deficient Practice? Eliminating Alarms and Preventing Falls by Engaging with Life.

“Staff admit they develop a tolerance for alarms sounding and tend to ignore them or not run so fast anymore,” the authors state. Personalized care often is sacrificed to overreliance on the devices, they add.

Their warning is corroborated by a recent National Public Radio (NPR) report on how “alarm fatigue” has become a top patient-safety concern in hospitals. Continue reading “Alarm Fatigue”

“Coming Home” Is Made Possible In The Household Model

coming home

I travel for work, a lot, and so I am very familiar with the feeling of “coming home,” of looking forward to being with my family again and settling into the comfort and security my home offers. As part of Action Pact’s transformation work with clients, we explore the elements of home, one of which is “journeying.” Whether for an hour, a day or a few weeks, journeying includes the excitement of planning for the trip, the experience of being away from home and the inevitable return. I’ve been wondering if I, as a serial traveler, experience journeying the same way people living in nursing homes, assisted living and personal care do. Continue reading ““Coming Home” Is Made Possible In The Household Model”

Noise in Nursing Homes

We know a nursing home can be a noisy place and many organizations have been working to reduce the noise, especially of overhead pagers, for example, in an effort to create a calmer environment. But according to a recent study by Dr. Laura Joosse, Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, elevated sound levels can also add to the agitation of those living with dementia. Continue reading “Noise in Nursing Homes”

Vacationing Residents Seek Adventure

Why should the possibility of going on an adventure end when you move into a nursing home? One of the best ways to engage in life is by having new experiences, especially experiences that fly in the face of assumed personal limitations. With this in mind, five residents (two from the health center) and four staff from Hearthstone: A Ministry of WesleyLife in Pella, IA set off on a real vacation, prompting one resident to say, “Maybe it’s been too long since I’ve been out of town, or even my room.” Continue reading “Vacationing Residents Seek Adventure”

Vibrant Living Prevents Falls and Eliminates Need for Alarms

by Carmen Bowman

When restraints were much more common, care plans often stated, “Release restraint at meal time.” Why when we felt people needed to be in restraints all day did we feel comfortable releasing restraints at meal times? Some people say because residents were tucked up to a table. Some say because “we were there” supervising. Although both of these are true, I contend that the residents were still because they were eating a meal and engaged with life. Continue reading “Vibrant Living Prevents Falls and Eliminates Need for Alarms”