May 2, 2022

Understanding Our Nursing Home Residents

U.S. regulations require a long term care facility to be “home like,” but what can employees and professionals really do to make sure their residents feel at home.

Jennifer George M.P.T. explains that in order to make residents feel at home, employees and professionals must strive to give them as much independence as possible. To recognize their opinions and decisions and abide by them.


Jennifer has been a practicing physiotherapist for 14 years, and shares about her experiences and what she has learned in this space, as a podcaster, author, and speaker.

She served as her dad’s caregiver for many years while he was housebound and through this experience can empathize and understand the struggles of residents and their families.

Most times, going into long term care is no one’s choice and therefore its essential for residents to feel independent and at-home.

Jennifer approaches every interaction with residents with the understanding that she is in their home and in their space as opposed to them being in her space because she is the therapist.

As a physiotherapist her job is to assess patients mobility, balance, and strength and she strives to enable and empower their independence while also minimizing their fall risk. 

She advises physicians to try and tailor their sessions and treatments to the resident and their goals rather than rushing through and only thinking about the problem, not the person. 

In order for an at-home environment to be established, residents must feel trust and rapport with their physicians and caregivers. 

This rapport can only be gained if caregivers and physicians stay present with residents and remember that their role is to guide and inform, not to be authoritative and make decisions against the resident’s desires. 

Jennifer states that compassion and empathy only takes moments and even small gestures can go a long way towards making residents feel comfortable in their surroundings. 

 

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