Plenary/General Sessions


Click on each Topic below to reveal more information.

Working With Conflict and Difficult People

Every day the health care professional faces conflict and difficult people in the work place. The conflict or difficult person could be a resident, family member, fellow employee or manager. This session takes a very humorous approach in teaching individuals how to identify specific personalities and conflict situations. Come prepared to laugh a lot while learning coping strategies to deal with specific "problematic" people and issues.

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines; All settings


Re-Sensitizing Our Desensitized, Sensitive Staff

"What do you mean I forgot to knock on the resident's door?" "I'm sure I spoke to Mrs. Jones when I passed her in the hallway..." "He's always hollering for help - it doesn't mean he needs anything..." "Yes, I got her fed and she ate over half her meal. Did I talk to her? Yes, I told her to eat her food..." Did you know that facilities are receiving more citations for quality of life issues than ever before? Did you also know that it is our most efficient, solid, caring staff members (even department heads) that are getting these citations for us? We have become so de-sensitized to what we see, hear, and work around each day, that we no longerreally see our elders as individuals. We're just "getting the job done." Attend this session for a very much needed "wake-up call!" Learn how to reacquaint yourself and your staff with the appropriate methods to meet resident needs and comply with federal/state mandates for the provision of quality of life. Learn how to put the "caring" back into "caring staff."

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines; Long-Term Care


Did You Hear What I Said? - Effective Communication Techniques

Our lives are based upon relationships with other people, and these relationships depend upon communication. Interpersonal communication is the most important process in our lives, yet little time and attention is given to the personal development of this ability. We no longer live simply as a result of the products of our own hands, but through our dealings with others. Just how well can you convey your thoughts and desires to others? Does your staff understand your guidance & direction? Are you persuasive? Do people listen to what you have to say? Do you feel as if no one really listens to you? Attend this session to learn the techniques of effective communication and persuasive speaking.

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines; All settings


Dealing with Change - It's a New World Every Day!

Health care professionals deal with change on a daily basis: more requirements, different survey issues, new admissions/residents/families, new employees/coworkers, change of ownership or company leadership, and even personal changes as we grow older. For some, change can become the "enemy" and actually debilitate an organization or individual. There are others; however, who seem to make the adjustment and deal with change quite successfully. What is the determining factor? How can some adjust and adapt effortlessly, while others struggle? Participants of this session will learn coping techniques for dealing with change.

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines; All settings


Handling Complaints

Even when you have the best possible staff, delivering the best possible care, in the most efficient manner...something can still go wrong. You get a complaint! No one individual, staff, or facility can be absolutely perfect. The difference between success and failure is determined by the manner in which we handle complaints. Is it possible to please everyone? Every time residents and families come in contact with a health care professional, they make a judgment about the quality of care or service they receive. This session will address techniques and protocols for dealing with complaints and service recovery.

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines; All settings


Motivating Your Staff for Quality Care

Do your employees indicate the feelings of "I LOVE my job!!"...or the feelings of "I showed up...what else do you want?" Motivation is "what drives you" to behave in a certain way or to take a particular action. It is your WHY! What motivates you? Is it possible to motivate others? This session details specific, common-sense techniques to motivate your staff. Discover techniques for giving praise and guidance on constructive criticism. Learn ways to determine individual employee needs and motivation techniques that meet those needs. Be the motivator in your organization!

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines; All settings


What Do You Mean, It's Time to Go home?? I'm NOT Finished!!

Most health care professionals believe that there are not enough hours in a day to get everything done. And even more of us truly believe that we are organized. Just take a look at our desks and offices...! Can you accomplish more in a workday? Is it really possible? The answer is a resounding "yes!" This session takes a humorous look at how the "organized" professional loses more time every day; and offers time management techniques that are realistic and easy to implement.

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines; All settings


Residents Rights, Choices & Preferences - Whats the difference, and WHY am I being cited?

Residents Rights are guaranteed by the federal 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law. The law requires each nursing home to care for its residents in a manner that promotes and enhances the quality of life of each resident, ensuring dignity, choice, and self-determination. Each person is guaranteed those rights. Choice is the act of making a selection; liberty or freedom to choose. Preference is a greater liking for one alternative over another or others. Sounds like a lot of gobbledygook when you start making the comparison between the words. At times it sounds like they all mean the same, and other times, it appears as if they are all three, truly, different. Is it important for us to know the difference? You had better believe it!! During surveys, facilities are being asked about their policies regarding choice and preference. Your staff is being observed to determine if preferences and choices are being honored. The MDS 3.0 is filled with data regarding what is important to a resident, and if they have certain preferences. It gets more confusing, and we continue to receive citations for not getting it right. In this session, Cat will 1) explain the differences between the terms, 2) share information as to how surveyors are assessing this area, and 3) offer successful staff practices and strategies.

Session Length: 1.5 hours

Intended Audience: All disciplines; Long Term Care


What You Said is NOT What I Heard!

Effective communication is about more than just exchanging information. It requires you to also understand the emotion behind the information. It enables you to communicate even negative or difficult messages without creating conflict or destroying trust. Cat conducts a lot of staff training in facilities. In these situations, prior to the direct-care staff training, management will "brag" on their teamwork and good communication skills. However, once management leaves the room, the direct care staff will always state that "management" never tells them anything and they feel uninformed. So, how does this happen? How can two groups see something so differently? Why the "disconnect?" Most of us feel that we are great communicators, but in reality, it is usually not the case. We talk, but it doesn't mean people listen or even hear. In this session Cat will teach participants four very necessary skills for effective communication. Participants will also get a chance to assess their own communication skills, and identify areas for improvement. Cat will discuss the various communication styles and how to determine the most effective techniques for your needs.

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines; All settings


She's NOT a Resident...She's My Mother!

Approximately six years ago, Cat's mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. She lived in a nursing home for over one year, before her death in 2013. Having conducted dementia training for thousands of professionals throughout the United States for over 30 years, and considered a top expert in the field, one would think that Cat was the most prepared individual to deal with this situation. However, you would be wrong! It has been one eye-popping, eye-opening event after another. Come and learn as Cat shares some very personal experiences of lessons learned, skills reaffirmed, and techniques validated. Perspectives from both the family member and the professional will have you laughing (and crying) as we discuss techniques that will improve the care we provide our elders who have dementia, while making their world more comforting with less anxiety. This is one special session that should not be missed!

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines; All settings


Sexuality in Nursing Homes - Myths vs. Reality

Some of the most difficult situations for nursing home staff involve the sexual activity and sexual desires of residents. This difficulty is compounded when nursing home administration, staff and families do not have candid discussions about these issues. Most situations related to residents' sexuality are handled individually in hushed voices without making it a learning opportunity for staff. Sexuality of older people is rarely addressed in staff training. The subject of different sexual orientation is rarely considered for staff education or discussion. In the last decade, there has been a strong movement to increase nursing home residents' quality of life. Even though sexual health has been known to be an important part of quality of life for many people, it has not been easy for staff to encourage older people to express themselves through sexual activities or even accept their needs in this area. In most cases, it is considered a "behavioral issue."Consequently, sexuality is another loss for elders. This session will provide some "talking points" to begin these discussions and increase staff awareness and sensitivity related to residents' sexual needs.

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours (Could also be an intensive session - 3 hours)

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines; all settings



Whos the Leader? (and do they know where theyre going??)

At the most basic level, a leader is someone who leads others. What makes someone a leader? What is it about being a leader that some people understand and use to their advantage? Can you become a leader? Do you want to?A leader is a person who has a vision, a drive and a commitment to achieve that vision, and the skills to make it happen. If you are the leader, do you know your vision? Do you know how to create a cohesive team that will attain your vision and organization goals? If you are not the leader, have you evaluated or assessed the ones you are following? Are they leading you in the right direction? And if not, what can be done about it? Lots of questions for the leaders, and the individuals following the leaders....Come to this very interactive session to learn:

  • How to gain power & influence
  • How to use influence/persuasion strategies
  • How to diagnose poor performance & enhance motivation
  • How to effectively utilize empowerment & delegation
  • How to diagnose the need for team building

Session Length: 1.5 hours

Intended Audience: All disciplines; All settings


You Know My NameNOT My Story!

Lets take a different look at how we deal with behavioral symptoms. What would it be like if our staff would not correct a resident, or be confrontational, or actually talked with them as if they could understand? If an elder thought that a staff person was their Mother, then staff would BE their Mother! Consider that for every behavior, there is an unmet need, a true reason for the actions. If someone is wandering, it could be because they are looking for the bathroom, looking for a job, looking for their children, looking for something to do... We need to know who our elders are (were), what they did in their lives before entering our community, and what their interests are (were). Once we discover their real story, the story of their lives, we can begin to meet needs, preferences, interests on a more individualized basis. The key is for staff to know those personal stories, because when you lose your memory, you are not able to find them on your own. You need help from someone who knows your story. Come and learn as Cat teaches us the role that Social Services and Activities play in developing an elders story; a process that ultimately helps staff better meet the needs of elders who have dementia. By doing so, we can truly impact an elders quality of life in a positive way. Together we can learn the real story!

Session Length: 1.5 hours

Intended Audience: All disciplines; All settings


Quality Initiatives - Increasing Customer Satisfaction

Just like any other business, nursing facilities must ensure that the customer comes first. Research shows that centers with the highest rates of satisfaction also perform better in other organizational indicators including staff stability, staff retention, survey results, census and cash flow. A few years back, CMS began withholding 1% of its payments to hospitals, in part related to "patient experience." It is anticipated that, at some time in the near future, this same payment process is going to be utilized with skilled nursing facilities. Would your residents and families recommend your facility to someone else? If not, why not? Cat will be sharing recommendations on staff training, marketing strategies, and discussing resident/ family satisfaction questionnaires.

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines; All settings


Quality Initiatives - Reducing Nursing Staff Turnover

Staff turnover rates in long-term care and senior living are at a crisis level. In nursing facilities, employee turnover is 35%, while CNA turnover is at 43%. Social Services and Activity staff fall at 23%, and Food Services is at a rate of 34%. These figures are just "averages." Many facilities are experiencing a much higher rate of turnover. Often facilities are "left in the lurch," attempting to fill those positions, either temporarily or permanently. The amount of time, money, and training lost due to staff turnover runs into the thousands. Excessive turnover rate is not something that our industry should have to accept and live with. Join Cat as she shares proven strategies and techniques to improve staff "satisfaction and retention."

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: Administration, Nursing, Department Heads - All disciplines


CMS Surveyor Guidance: Quality of Life

Does your staff know what surveyors are looking for when they assess Quality of Life regulations? Surveyors are now looking at "quality of life" on the same level as "quality of care." There are approximately 10 Ftags that provide specific instructions to surveyors when assessing this one aspect of care. Cat will address the guidance for Ftags: F172 - Access and Visitation Rights; F175 - Married Couples; F241 - Dignity; F242 - Self-Determination and Participation; F246 - Accommodation of Needs; F247 - Room & Roommate Changes; F252 - Environment; F256 - Adequate & Comfortable Lighting Levels; F461 - "...Closet Space;" and F463 - Resident Call System. This session will address the interpretive guidance, with specific instruction as to: surveyor investigative protocols; determination of compliance; deficiency categorization; specific discipline responsibilities; and examples of compliance and noncompliance. Cat Selman was involved in the revision of language and guidance for each of these regulations. Come and hear what your facility needs to have in place to meet the survey focus in these areas!

 

Session Length: 1.5 - 3 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines; Long-Term Care


CMS Surveyor Guidance: Advance Directives & Advance Care Planning

CMS interpretive guidance is extensive in the area of advance directives and advance care planning. Traditionally, questions of care were resolved at the bedside through decision-making by an individual, his or her family and health care practitioner. As technological advances have increased the ability of medicine to prolong life, questions have arisen concerning the use, withholding, or withdrawing of increasingly sophisticated medical interventions. Legal developments have influenced standards of professional practice in the care and treatment of individuals in health care facilities. Several decades of professional debate and discussion have simultaneously advanced the thinking on these matters and promoted implementation of pertinent approaches to obtaining and acting on patient/resident wishes. In this session Cat will be covering all of the changes/revisions, and the implications for facilities. Cat will also provide examples of deficient practice and determination of compliance (scope and severity).

 

Session Length: 1.5 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines; Long-Term Care


CMS Surveyor Guidance: Care & Services for a Resident with Dementia

There is no specific investigative protocol for care of a resident with dementia. Surveyors may use the checklist titled, "Review of Care & Services for a Resident with Dementia" to assist in investigating the care and services provided to a resident with a diagnosis of dementia. This checklist includes items such as assessment, root-cause analysis, individualized interventions, use of antipsychotic medications, activities, psychosocial well-being, care planning, etc. The list goes on and on...resulting in over twenty pages of CMS revisions to surveyors for ftag 309 - Quality of Care. During this session, Cat will review the checklist, and break down the guidance into understandable, common-sense language that everyone can comprehend. Cat will be covering actual case studies and examples of deficient practice that have been provided to surveyors. (Included in the State Operations Manual - SOM). Determination of compliance and Immediate Jeopardy issues will be addressed. The instruction will also focus on the surveyor's evaluation of a facility's systemic approaches to deliver care and services for a resident with dementia. Quality Assessment & Assurance (QAA) in this area will be investigated thoroughly by surveyors.

 

Session Length: 1.5 to 2 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines; All settings

 


CMS Surveyor Guidance: End of Life Care

Along with all the other interpretive guidance for ftag 309 - Quality of Care, CMS released detailed surveyor guidance 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 a resident's end of life. 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 supposed 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! When do you make the decision to move from "active treatment" to "end of life" or "comfort care?" Who makes that decision? And what does CMS have to say about all of this? 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 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: All disciplines; Long-Term Care


CMS Surveyor Guidance: Reduction of Antipsychotic Usage

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 then 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, with further 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; Long Term Care


CMS Surveyor Guidance: Activities

Tougher surveys...more cited activity deficiencies...changes in the survey process...more focus on quality of life issues...care being provided to residents with dementia...end of life care...reduction of antipsychotics...It seems that many of the areas of survey now involve activities. Will your facility and activity department be prepared for this concentrated survey focus? Will your facility and 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 revised CMS survey guidance, and offer strategies as to how a facility can meet those expectations. 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 to 3 hours

 

Intended Audience: All disciplines, Long-Term Care