Discipline-Specific Sessions


Click on each Topic below to reveal more information.

The Art of Being a Professional

"I don't get the same respect as the D.O.N....." "I'm the bottom of the totem pole..." "The only reason we have a Social Worker and/or Activity Director in our building is because the government requires us to!" In a recent published article regarding departmental roles for the activity and/or social service director, the authors equated effectiveness as a department head with the development of a positive self-image. They assert that many activity directors and social workers do not have confidence in their abilities, and may actually contribute to a lack of approval by colleagues or the administrator by not behaving as supervisors. Tired of being considered a "paraprofessional" or "less than" another department? This session will teach participants how to establish a work ethic and environment that promotes individual professionalism. Earn the respect you deserve! Your education/training, appearance, communication and interpersonal skills say a lot about your professionalism. What are you saying?


Session Length: 1.5 hours


Intended Audience: Activities/Recreation Professionals, Social Services; All settings


Defensive Documentation for the LTC Professional

Documentation is important not only to validate the care that we are providing, but it now supports the reimbursement that we are receiving. In today's world, where everyone seems to be "sue happy," documentation becomes even more important when it is utilized to defend the actions taken by a health care facility. When involved in a lawsuit, the facility's documentation becomes a major source for the facility's defense - and not just nurses notes! Supporting documentation is necessary from all disciplines. Most seminars dealing with this topic are on such a level that only attorneys can understand the content. Your team needs to know how to document defensively! This seminar will provide simple, common-sense techniques and documentation strategies for all disciplines: nursing, dietary, social services, and activity/ recreation.

 

Session Length: 1.5 to 3 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines; Long-Term Care


Responding to Challenging Behavior

In many cases, facility staff have not been properly trained to deal with challenging behavior. As a result, staff continue to simply react to behavior, as opposed to preventing or minimizing the behavior. Effective support and treatment of residents or clients who exhibit challenging behavior depends on being able to understand both the "function" that the behavior serves for the individual and the causal factors. Often, behavior that might be seen as maladaptive, crisis-causing, or catastrophic makes sense within the context of a particular person's life (i.e., gets them what they want and away from what they don't want). This session will teach assessment techniques that identify variables that predict and maintain problem behavior, and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of behavioral support plans. Common sense, "down-to-earth" techniques for dealing with specific behavioral issues will be addressed in depth. Both federal and state surveys are now taking a closer look at behavior management programs in facilities. Will your programs and interventions stand up to that scrutiny?

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours; Session can be expanded to a 1-day intensive seminar


Intended Audience: All disciplines; All settings


Ethical Dilemmas: Which Decision is the Correct Decision?

"Dilemma" - a choice between alternatives equally undesirable. Have you ever felt caught in this position? What happens when resident choices and decisions, family desires and "directives," professional staff "protocol," and even personal staff feelings collide and conflict? What happens when emotions and policies are confronted with very real, human situations? Do you make the "right" choice or decision? This session will provide an overview of ethics and values for a long-term care professional in the provision of aging services. It will provide professionals with a framework for making ethical decisions. Participants will be provided with actual resident scenarios/facility situations and divided into small groups to: evaluate and discuss the problematic area; determine the best course of action; and determine the appropriate established ethic standard that will support their decision. We all have ethics - right?!


Session Length: 2-3 hours


Intended Audience: All disciplines; all settings


Implications of CMS Guidance for Activities, Social Services, Staff Practices & Negative Psychosocial Outcomes

The Activity Guidance and Psychosocial Severity Outcomes Guide were implemented in 2006, by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Has the guidance actually made a difference in the survey process? Have facilities significantly changed the process by which they provide activity services and meet residents' psychosocial well-being? And has this process stimulated a "total team" concept for meeting all of these needs? Surveyors have been better trained and instructed to look for individualized activity programming, and assess residents' psychosocial well-being. Surveyors are now able to link non-compliance in activities, social services, and other aspects of care with actual psychosocial harm. Cat Selman, a nationally-recognized educator & speaker who served on the CMS Panel of Experts that drafted the current Activities Guidance, will provide an overview of surveyor protocol, facility practice, and their links to psychosocial harm. She will also be providing tips and recommendations as to programming, documentation, and systemic process that should be in place to help a resident maintain or attain their highest practicable level of psychosocial well-being. This is the session to attend if you want to be fully prepared for your next survey!

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines; Long-Term Care

 


The Survey Protocol for Activity Requirements in Nursing Homes

Tougher surveys...more cited activity deficiencies than ever before...changes in the survey process...more focus on quality of life issues... It seems that the healthcare industry is inundated with major change on a daily basis, so it comes as no surprise that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has revised the guidance and survey protocol for activity requirements in nursing facilities. Will your facility be prepared for the new focus? Will your activity department be able to stand the scrutiny? This session will focus on the specific changes in the survey process that have occurred as a result of the new guidance. If you want to learn how the surveyors are being instructed to evaluate activities in nursing homes, presented by a speaker who served on the CMS panel of experts responsible for the revision of the guidelines, this is the one session to attend!


Session Length: 1.5 or 3 hours; Session can be expanded to a 1-day intensive seminar


Intended Audience: Activities/Recreation Professionals, Nursing; Long-Term Care


Activity Interventions for Challenging Behavior

CMS has placed much more survey focus on facility interventions for behavioral challenges and dementia care, as well as utilization of non-pharmacologic interventions for the reduction of antipsychotics. Alleviating the symptoms of the behavior becomes an increasing challenge for the activity and recreation professional, especially as the percentage of nursing home and assisted living residents with dementia steadily increases. Oftentimes the activity department merely becomes a "dumping ground" for residents who exhibit the more challenging behaviors for facility staff. This session will identify causal factors and provide valid activity interventions for a variety of behaviors. Surveyors have been given examples of successful activity interventions and expect to find these when they assess facility programs. Shouldn't your staff have this information also?


Session Length: 1.5 hours


Intended Audience: Activity/Recreation Professionals, Nursing, Social Services; All settings


Documentation 101 for Activities

Wouldn't you love for someone to cover the basic components of documentation for activities? Cat will do just that in this session, covering everything from accurate coding of the MDS, CAAs, completion of activity assessments, and the development of person-centered care plans to progress notes. This is a great session for new professionals beginning in the field, as well as a "refresher" course for the experienced professional.

 

Session Length: 2 hours

 

Intended Audience: Activity Professionals, Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists

 


Documentation 101 for Social Services

Wouldn't you love for someone to cover the basic components of documentation for social work in long term care? Cat will do just that in this session, covering everything from accurate coding of the MDS, CAAs, completion of social history/social assessments, discharge plans, and the development of person-centered care plans to progress notes. This is a great session for new Social Workers/Designees beginning in the field, as well as a "refresher" course for the experienced professional.

 

Session Length: 2 hours

 

Intended Audience: Social Workers, Social Service Designees

 


Programming for the Resident With Special Needs

Both federal and state surveyors are now focusing more closely on programming for the cognitively impaired, special needs resident. With the release of revised CMS Surveyor Guidance regarding the care of residents who have dementia, interventions and programming have become a focal point during the survey process. This session will teach participants important techniques regarding the assessment of the resident; development of individualized, one-to-one activity programming; and an interdisciplinary team concept.


Session Length: 1.5 hours


Intended Audience: Activities/Recreation Professionals, Nursing; Long-Term Care


Activity Programming for the Assisted Living Resident

Are individuals who live in an assisted living center different from those who live in a nursing home? Can we provide the same activities? Should we be doing anything diffferently? What about documentation requirements? And how do you develop and activity program that will meet the needs of everyone in the building? This session will address the components of developing an activity program for residents who reside in assisted living centers. Individual resident assessment, population surveys, and programming format will be addressed in-depth.

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: Activity/Recreation Professionals; Assisted Living


Surveying Social Service Requirements in Nursing Homes

What do surveyors look for when assessing social services and psychosocial well-being? What does "highest practicable" mean? The purpose of this session is to educate and inform individuals on issues concerning surveying the Social Service requirements for nursing homes. The session provides surveyors and providers with an understanding of:

  • the social service requirements and guidelines as required in OBRA
  • good social assessment and care planning techniques
  • psychosocial well-being issues
  • surveyor investigative techniques
  • how surveyors write deficiencies in the social service area

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours


Intended Audience: Social Workers, Social Service Designees, Nursing; Long-Term Care


Customer Service and Problem Solving for Environmental Services

Even when you have the best possible staff, delivering the best possible service, in the most efficient manner....something can go wrong. The difference between success and failure is determined by our ability to "problem solve" and our "customer service" philosophy. Come to this session to learn specific techniques in customer service and relations, as well as effective, "common sense" techniques/approaches to problem-solving. Learn the humorous, "moments of truth" in everyday practice that can result in a positive or negative opinion of your care, service, and staff.

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: Environmental Services; All disciplines; All settings


CATs, CAAs & Care Planning for Activities and Social Services

CATs provide a "flag" for the IDT members, indicating that a triggered care area needs to be assessed more completely prior to making care planning decisions. For the MDS 3.0, we now have Care Area Assessments (CAAs). In this session, Ms. Selman will provide guidance and instruction on the Care Area Assessment (CAA) Process, the utilization of the Care Area Triggers (CATs) and their relationship to the development of an individualized, person-centered comprehensive care plan. She will specifically address the CAAs that have implications for the activities and social service departments, as well as identify specific related care areas that can negatively impact a facility's survey. Surveyors will expect the plan of care to address identified factors with the goal of: (1) improvement where possible or (2) maintenance and prevention of avoidable declines. The RAI helps nursing home staff look at residents holistically, as individuals for whom quality of life and quality of care are mutually significant and necessary. Ms. Selman will demonstrate how the RAI process culminates in the development of an individualized, person-centered care plan that meets resident needs and survey requirements.

 

Session Length: 3 hours (Can be extended to a 6-hour stand-alone session if desired)

 

Intended Audience: Social Workers, Social Service Designees, Activity & Recreation Professionals, Nurses


CMS Surveyor Guidance: End of Life Care

CMS released more guidance for fTag 309 - Quality of Care. The revisions include surveyor guidance/protocol for End of Life Care. Everyone seems to be saying that nursing homes should play a more pivotal role in providing care and services during this time. However, the reality for many residents is that once Hospice has been elected, the nursing home seems to take a "back seat" in the delivery of certain services and care. We see situations where the nursing home thought Hospice was going to provide specific care; Hospice thought the nursing home was to provide the specific care; and as a result, the care was not given at all!! Here is the dismal fact: it is estimated that by 2020 nearly 1 in 2 persons will die in a nursing facility. Sounds like we need to figure out how to provide the very best care possible to the individual who is dying... Participants of this session will learn what the revised guidance entails; surveyor's expectations in regard to care planning; how to coordinate services between the nursing home and Hospice; person-centered care; and appropriate interventions for the interdisciplinary team.

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: Interdisciplinary Care Team Members; Long Term Care

 


Reduction of Antipsychotic Drug Usage - The Social Worker and Activity Professional's Role

In April, 2012, CMS released the "Initiative to Improve Behavioral Health and Reduce the Use of Antipsychotic Medications in Nursing Homes Residents" program. Reducing the use of antipsychotics by 15% was the goal for nursing facilities in 2012, with individual facility rates of usage to be reported on Nursing Home Compare. In 2013, most, if not all, facilities achieved that goal. CMS increased the goals of reducing the use of antipsychotic medications in long-stay nursing home residents by 25 percent by the end of 2015, 30 percent by the end of 2016, and more increases in 2017. Numerous facilities have responded to these initiatives by immediately discontinuing certain drugs and utilizing activities as a better alternative. In many cases, this has resulted in chaos; primarily because the nursing homes are relying on an already overloaded, understaffed, activity department (with no support or assistance from other departments). Activities can prove to be hugely successful in reducing the use of antipsychotics; however, utilizing this approach must involve the entire staff, not just the activity/recreation department. Both activity professionals and social workers play an integral role in the success of this initiative. Come to learn realistic approaches and techniques for the entire interdisciplinary team! You know this is a focused area for the surveyors! Don't you want your team prepared?

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines; Social Workers; Activity/Recreation Professionals; Long Term Care


Immediate Jeopardy & Psychosocial Harm - What You Don't Know Could Hurt You!

"Immediate Jeopardy" means that what a nursing home is doing has caused, or is likely to cause, serious injury or death. Since 2012, there has been an increase in citations at the Immediate Jeopardy level, with some states reporting as much as a 20%-50% increase from prior years. It is evident that surveyors are taking a closer look at the criteria for establishing Immediate Jeopardy. Often overlooked, "psychosocial harm" is beginning to play a more integral role in this equation. An IJ can be cited as much for the psychosocial harm as it can for physical harm. Does your staff know how "psychosocial harm" and "well-being" are being defined by CMS? Are they aware of the IJ "triggers" that have been provided to surveyors? Do they know the negative outcomes regarding "harm" as they appear on the CMS Psychosocial Severity Grid? And finally, do they understand the documentation requirements that can either help or harm your facility when it is under scrutiny for IJ consideration? This session will answer all of these questions and more! Cat will explain the IJ process, CMS definitions/expectations, and provide guidance for accurate and appropriate documentation.

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines; Long Term Care


Writing Activity Care Plans

CMS has stated that they will not accept activity care plans that include goals of "will attend 3 group activities a week." They indicate that the plan must be more person-appropriate and specific for the individual resident. So, what are they looking for? Do we have to have an "activity problem" on every resident? What if there are no problems? What do we do then? Where do we write and keep the plan? This session will teach participants how to formulate an individualized activity care plan for the residents in their care. Utilizing the MDS 3.0 and Activity Assessment as a foundation, Cat will share guidance as to the identification of needs, issues, strengths, and the development of person-centered, individualized goals and interventions that will be truly reflective of the care and services we are providing. Participants will get a chance to actually develop plans during the session.

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours; Session can be expanded to a 3-hour intensive. Session can also be combined with "Writing Social Care Plans" for a joint session, if desired.

 

Intended Audience: Activity/Recreation Professionals; Long Term Care


Writing Social Care Plans

It seems that when we begin to write or develop social care plans, we get so caught up in "textbook terminology" that no one really understands what the Social Worker has written. The plans seem to be so generic that they could be applied to any and all residents in the building. In many cases the plan is not reflective of the actual care and service that is being provided to the resident. And let's be honest, most Social Workers write more when less would be so much better. Surveyors are being asked to determine how the care plan links goals to psychosocial functioning/well-being. So what are the components of a well-developed social care plan? Utilizing the MDS 3.0 and Social History/Assessment as a foundation, Cat will share guidance as to the identification of needs, issues, strengths, and the development of The person-centered, individualized goals and interventions that will be truly reflective of the care and services we are providing. Participants will get a chance to actually develop plans during the session.

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours; Session can be expanded to a 3-hour intensive. Session can also be combined with "Writing Activity Care Plans" for a joint session, if desired.

 

Intended Audience: Social Workers; Social Service Designees; Long Term Care

 


Choices, Ethics & End of Life Care

Technical advances in the care of advanced illness have created ethical challenges for physicians, residents, families at the end of life. In the effort to survive longer, they are often confronted with difficult choices regarding medical advances that may inadvertently prolong suffering and the dying process rather than bring healing and recovery. Four major principles of medical ethics assist in making meaningful and morally acceptable choices with respect to end of life care: nonmaleficence, beneficence, autonomy and justice. The nature of these principles and their application in decision making and communication during end of life care will be addressed. Here is the dismal fact: it is estimated that by 2020 nearly 1 in 2 persons will die in a nursing facility. Sounds like we need to figure out how to provide the very best care possible to the individual who is dying...

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines


Transitions in Care - BE Successful!

It is common for residents in the long term care continuum to be transferred from one care setting, level of care, or caregiver team to another. It is also all too common for adverse events and avoidable complications to occur as a result of poor communication and coordination among caregivers, health care professionals, and the resident during such transitions. Poorly executed care transitions increase hospital readmissions, duplication of services, and waste of resources. Poor transitions are the leading cause of medication errors, which frequently result from lack of coordination between prescribers across settings. It is often unclear which practitioner is responsible for the resident in the interval between discharge from one setting and admission to another. Some older adults are at particular risk for transition problems following a hospitalization. Those with multiple medical problems, cognitive deficits, or depression or other mental health problems are especially vulnerable. When we ensure continuity of care for older residents during care transitions, we can improve outcomes, and the rate of avoidable rehospitalization can be reduced. Come and learn the barriers we face in those transitions, and discover successful strategies for more effective practice, resulting in positive outcomes. As always, Cat will address these issues in a down-to-earth, common-sense manner.

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines; All settings


Winning Activities - Beyond the Basics

Cat is often asked, "Do you ever run out of activity ideas?" And the answer is a resounding "NO!" How does one continue to discover "new," individualized activities and assure their success? Thinking "outside the box" simply means being creative; approaching everyday situations and activities in new ways. Many facilities have embarked on a journey to improve their activity programs, and the way residents, families, and communities view them. Most programs strive to be more engaging, interesting, satisfying, and stimulating, providing innovative activities that go way beyond bingo; while keeping in mind the individual interests and preferences of residents. With limited budgets and limited staff resources, how can providers offer daily activity programs that are individualized and designed to promote the highest level of independence for each person? Come and join Cat as she shares exactly HOW we can solve "old" problems in "new" ways...

 

Special Note: Participants are asked to bring at least one "really unique" activity idea, or a "different take" on an old activity idea, to this session. Again, be prepared to share and learn!!

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: Activity/Recreation Professionals


Thats a GREAT Idea!! Successful Activity Strategies for Persons with Dementia

The concept of individualized intervention has evolved over the years. By necessity, and response to a changing population, most activity/recreation professionals have abandoned generic interventions and large-group activities that include elders with different levels of strengths and needs. In their place, individualized interventions and programming have been developed. This concept results in a total facility, total team approach to the delivery of activity services. Come and learn as Cat shares the benefits and mechanics of person-centered activity programming; dynamics of program implementation; and offers suggestions/insight for successful programming ideas.

Special Note: Participants are asked to bring at least one successful activity idea designed for residents who have dementia to this session. Be prepared to share and learn!!

Session Length: 1.5 hours

Intended Audience: Activity/Recreation Professionals; All Interdisciplinary Care Team Members


Activities & Reduction of Antipsychotics - Its GOT to be INTERDISCIPLINARY!!

When CMS began their Initiative to reduce the use of antipsychotics in nursing homes, many facilities simply discontinued those medications, and began involving the affected residents in activities. Good idea, unless you have only one or two activity directors, and absolutely no help or support from the rest of the staff! This is a deficiency waiting to happen!! Can we reduce antipsychotic usage utilizing activities? Yes, but it involves a facility-wide commitment and responsibility. Come and learn how to use activity interventions appropriately!

Session Length: 1.5 hours

Intended Audience: All disciplines; All settings