Julie Boggess

Recent Posts

How Does it Feel to Have Dementia?

Posted by Julie Boggess on Feb 17, 2022 9:05:39 AM

I have experienced moments of confusion, like being on a business trip and waking up in an unfamiliar place and needing a moment to orient myself.  One time (or possibly more than once), I forgot where I parked my car at a large shopping mall.  With so many entrances to choose from, I could not remember which one I walked through to enter the mall.  Just a few weeks ago, I went through half of a day believing it was Thursday, and it was Wednesday- an entire HALF DAY!  

Read More

Topics: culture change, Empathy Training, dementia training, employee training, attitudes, actions

Nobel Prize in Medicine: Touch Receptors

Posted by Julie Boggess on Jan 7, 2022 3:41:31 PM

The 2021 winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine has been awarded to Ardem Patapoutian. PhD, a neuroscientist at Scripps Research in La Jolla, CA for discovering cell receptors that enable people to sense heat, cold, pain, touch and sound.  The award¹ is shared with David Julius, a physiologist at the University of California San Francisco.

Read More

Topics: compassionate touch, touchisgoodmedicine, scienceoftouch

Discussion: Resolutions or Goals for Aging Services Providers?

Posted by Julie Boggess on Dec 29, 2021 1:17:46 PM

I found advice from Forbes, dated December 31, 2018, that I believe is spot on about setting 2022 new year's resolutions, and it goes like this, "This year, set goals instead of resolutions."  

Read More

Topics: Workforce Development, aging services workforce, employee retention

Lessons in Music, and Life

Posted by Julie Boggess on Nov 28, 2021 4:21:27 PM

With all due respect Len King, I never knew you were this cool!  You see, my high school band director (late 1970s) directs the Arizona Swing Kings Jazz Orchestra, and is still inspiring musicians to perform at the top of their game.   He is also the founder of the Chicago Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, back in the day.

Read More

Topics: meaning, purpose, wisdom, teacher

Staff Development and Retention: Coincidence or Confirmation?

Posted by Julie Boggess on Nov 16, 2021 10:39:47 PM

Part of my responsibility as the VP of Grant Initiatives is to track the progress of Compassionate Touch® and Dementia Live® online coach training for the nursing homes that are participating in our Civil Monetary Penalty Grant (CMP) projects.  We have amassed an impressive list of nursing home staff in Ohio , Minnesota, North Carolina and Tennessee who have completed online training to become Compassionate Touch® and/or Dementia Live® coaches.

After months of reviewing training reports, this week I noticed something other than the number of new coaches, and that is the number of coaches since 2019 who are still with their facility.  

I need to preface by saying that this information has not been confirmed by participating facilities, but each time an email bounces back to me- the name is scratched off my list.  In Ohio, 99/124 Compassionate Touch® and 76/106 Dementia Live® coaches appear to be reachable with the same email address used to enroll in coach training, indicating retention of 79% and 71% respectively.

Admittedly, there is likely a margin of error in these numbers, but assuming a -10%, these numbers are impressive, considering the massive turnover that has occurred during the pandemic.  

Employee Engagement and Retention

While the recipe for retention is far more involved than just providing staff education, I believe I am justified in believing the human resource investment that these participating facilities made in Compassionate Touch® and Dementia Live® training may have contributed to the retention of these coaches.  Many of these coaches are still in touch with me and share their excitement about starting up training again.  

 National Commission for Quality Long Term Care, 2007

 Public Policy and Aging Report, 2017

 National Institute of Health, 2021


The above studies reveal that the reasons for voluntary separation include many factors, but lack of quality training and education, feeling ill-prepared, and absence of professional growth were consistent factors. 

Compassionate Touch® and Dementia Live® coach training is high quality, relevant and fills knowledge gaps that move the ill-prepared to a place of confidence and competence.  These programs are also utilized as career ladder opportunities in many organizations, and that number is growing.

Everyone should take a moment and think of your accomplishments over this past year- I am sure there are many.  For me,  taking stock that perhaps our work at AGE-u-cate® has helped to in some way to keep employees engaged and retained is very rewarding.

AGE-u-cate   Programs Overview

 

 

 

Ready to Address your Staff Education Needs?

 

 

 

 

Read More

Topics: compassionate touch, Dementia Live®Training, retention, front line staff, dementia care training, educate

Back to Basics and Re-set

Posted by Julie Boggess on Nov 11, 2021 8:53:35 PM

This blog title is credited to a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA).  I was enlightened after attending a symposium entitled, "The New CNA Workforce:  Frontline Lessons from the Pandemic" given by NAHCA. 

Career CNA board members and thought leaders shared their passionate pleas for significant change.  It really was quite moving, and frankly, sad.  Sad in the sense that they felt compelled to give everyone a piece of their mind about how, for decades, they have been treated by their superiors and organizational leadership.  

A stern warning was delivered, "We will not tolerate these conditions much longer", and seriously, who can blame them.

Lori Porter, Co-founder and CEO of NAHCA shared this startling reality- there are 425,000 fewer nursing home workers today than before the pandemic, and if serious change doesn't ensue immediately, this number will grow exponentially.

Why must change be driven through threats?  The answer is because nothing else seems to have worked.  

Don't think that it is only about the pay.  Yes, nursing assistants need, and deserve to make much more than they do, but what they also need is to be a valued and respected member of the team.  

I reeled hearing one CNA board member describe how in the middle of rendering care to one resident, a nurse knocked on the door to say that there are two more call lights going off and could she please hurry up. Seriously?  This unacceptable and disrespectful to the nursing assistant, and the care receiver.  

Wake up to Change

Change in this realm will include everything from a long-term national strategy to reform the long term care system to immediate, organization-specific actions.  But, one CNA board member laid it out, "We need to get back to the basics, and re-set."  My ears perked up, because this exact phrase has been our mantra at AGE-u-cate for months.   

We simply must take care of the caregivers, so that they can give their best to their care receivers.  The basics include respect, dignity, and appreciation for all.  When we get back to the basics, we can begin to rebuild a healthy organizational culture. 

It will be up to leaders to work in tandem with all employees create the path to a healthy culture.  Listen to what your staff have to say- you may be surprised how much thought they are giving to the issues at hand, because they deeply care.  So many ideas were shared, but one that stood out to me is the desire for more education and training that grows skills and leads to advancement.  The lack of a career ladder for CNAs is a detriment to the future of this workforce.

I heard so many great ideas from these passionate CNA thought-leaders and I crave more conversation.  We have to give them what they need, so I am grateful that NAHCA Board Chair Sherry Perry has agreed to meet with me next week to continue the conversation.   Sherry's profile on the NAHCA website includes this statement:

"Being a member of NAHCA has inspired me to be the best CNA I can be.  It’s helped me to realize that my voice can make a difference not only for other CNAs but most importantly the elders we care for.”

Thank you Sherry and to your colleagues for speaking your voice- I hope you know that you were heard by many, and I am honored to have been included.

Ready to Address your Staff Education Needs?

 


 

 

 

 

Read More

Topics: culture change, caregiving, retention, Certified Nurse Assistants, workforce crisis, peoplefirst

Revisit Fun Memories and Find Your Smile with Flashback!

Posted by Julie Boggess on Nov 4, 2021 4:34:05 PM

 

 

FLASHBACK FLASHSALE

Use FLASH21 for a discount 

Great for holiday gifts and parties

A Reminiscence program for ALL ages

Read More

Topics: memories, Flashback Reminiscence Training, reminiscence, fun activity

Senior Living: Becoming the Best Place To Be

Posted by Julie Boggess on Oct 28, 2021 9:46:02 PM

AGE-u-cate was honored to welcome Stacy Porter from The Beryl Institute as guest presenter on our October Virtual Road Trip Webinar topic, "Becoming the Best Place to Be."

The Beryl Institute is a global community of healthcare professionals and experience champions committed to transforming the human experience in healthcare.  Many of the institute professionals are Certified Patient Experience Professionals (CPXP) who are turning more attention to the Aging Services industry.

Stacy's presentation was based on their recently published white paper entitled, "Becoming the Best Place to Be:  Elevating the Experience in Senior Living."
 
Culture and Leadership

The Beryl Institute experience framework consists of eight components, with Culture & Leadership at the top. Stacy shared that  the foundation of any successful experience effort is set on the purpose, values and how the organization is lead.  Stacy offered steps organizations can take to begin transformation:

  • Create a definition for resident experience
  • Operationalize your mission/vision statements by bridging your purpose and aligned actions
  • Ensure everyone who shows up to work has the skills and ability to execute on your purpose
Environment and Hospitality

Another component of the experience framework is Environment and Hospitality. The elders that participated in interviews indicated that they really look for a culture of home in their communities.  Warm and fuzzy words come to mind when most people think of the word home:  belonging, love, comfort, safety, relationships. acceptance.  

  • Live up to the meaning of community
  • Take care to address isolation and loneliness
  •  Create transparency around death and dying

Inclusion is an essential to make any of this work.  All stakeholders, most importantly those that live in the community, must be invited to become involved.  Stacy concluded with this:

A fundamental shift in thinking and direction is needed.  There is no normal to which to return.

 

AGE-u-cate is grateful for Stacy's time and valuable information shared on our Virtual Road Trip, and we look forward to continued collaboration.  

Ready to Ignite Change in your organization?
 
 
  
Schedule Demo
 
 
 
 
 
 
Read More

Topics: Senior Care, Well-Being, Senior Living, Patient-Centered Care, Marketing, quality of life

Future Focus: Caregiver Burnout Prevention

Posted by Julie Boggess on Oct 27, 2021 8:22:35 PM

Hardly a day goes by that I don't hear or read something about Caregiver Burnout.   The subject seems to revolve around these themes:

  • Caregiver burnout leads to turnover
  • Burned out caregivers impact the quality of care
  • Organization leaders need to pay attention to this issue

We are well beyond the stage of prevention, and it is probably something that should have been addressed very early on in the pandemic.  There is no value in would have or should have discussions. Perhaps the best we can and should do right now is work toward some level of burnout recovery for the dedicated workers who have hung in there.

There are good things that some organizations are doing right now, including but not limited to additional days off with pay, thank you lunches and flexible scheduling.  But, as we crawl our way to a place that feels more like recovery verses trauma, let's give some thought to more systemic and continuous ways to keep caregiver burnout in check.

Future Focus:  Caregiver Burnout Prevention

An effective strategy depends on understanding all of the reasons for caregiver burnout, and there are many. Coping strategies, or lack thereof,  is just one factor.  In other words, staff who are equipped with coping strategies do better- makes sense, right? 

The first step is for caregivers to know what burnout out looks and feels like.  Acute awareness before it spirals out of control is critical.  Next comes healthy and effective coping strategies.  Caregivers who are not educated on how to recognize and employ strategies to alleviate burnout are at high risk for many problems. 

In an effort to offer Aging Services organizations an immediate intervention to address caregiver burnout, we created a one-hour device enabled course entitled, "Coping with Caregiver Burnout."  AGE-u-cate is offering this time limited complimentary course audit here:

IRequest Complimentary Courses

 
 
A hard look at how this industry prepares it's caregivers for the inevitability of burnout is vitally important for the future of the industry, the health of workers, and quality of care provided.   
 
Ready to Ignite Change in your organization?
 
 
  
Schedule Demo
 
 
 
 
 
 
Read More

Topics: Caregiver Burnout, caregiver education, burnout prevention

People with Dementia Can Read? Who Knew!

Posted by Julie Boggess on Oct 21, 2021 9:35:43 AM

senior_reading

This is something that should not have come as a surprise to me, but it did.  Persons living with dementia, even in the mid to later stages, can call upon their long term memory and actually read!  Not only can they read, they can enjoy themselves!

It turns out that I was partially correct, in that people with dementia are unable to read text dense, visually overwhelming materials.  I think back to my early days working in the nursing home when we would place a National Geographic magazine or USA Today Newspaper in front a person with dementia thinking that would keep them busy and engaged.  Sheesh.

Created by Susan Ostrowski, MA, MS, CCC-SLP,  Reading2Connect® is a life enrichment program centered on books adapted for adults living with dementia. The R2C® strengths-based program enables a higher level of wellbeing through reading independently, expressing individuality, recalling pasts, sharing humor, and emotionally connecting with peers, family, and caregivers.

This works because reading is a skill that is generally preserved and intact in the procedural memory of an elderly person.  Like brushing teeth or using a spoon, the ability to read is automatic and often remains to some degree functional even in the later stages of dementia.  

Bring Back The Joy of Reading

The Barrington Area Council on Aging (BACOA), located in Barrington Illinois, recently integrated Reading2Connect® with the members of their Adult Day Program.  This testimonial put a smile on all of our faces:

reading to connect #5

"Our Adult Day Program members look forward to our Reading2Connect sessions. The highly readable print with the accompanying photos allows everyone to connect in their own way. The wide variety of themes help evoke conversation. I observe intimate connections, social engagement and expressive language within the group members".

Pam Pellizzari, CDP
Memory Programs Manager
BACOA

Reading2Connect® is a perfect program for Area Agencies on Aging searching for innovative ways to reach isolated elders living with dementia.  Memory and Nursing Care Communities and Adult Day Programs can make life enrichment programming stand out with Reading2Connect®!

 
Learn more today!  
 
 
View Reading2Connect in Action- Take 1
 
 
 
View Reading2Connect in Action- Group Activity
 
 
 
Schedule Demo
 
 
 
 
 
 
Read More

Topics: dementia friendly, Dementia Awareness, Dementia and Reading, dementia programming, Joy of Reading, Dementia-related

Content not found
Subscribe to Our Blog

Lists by Topic

see all

Posts by Topic

See all

Recent Posts