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Improving Quality of Life in Long-Term Care

It’s all in the details
Improving life in long-term care

When new residents first come to long-term care, we spend a lot of time asking questions about their past experiences and interests. Specifically, we hope to learn who they are and what brings them joy. This is the most authentic version of themselves – and the one we want to cater to and welcome into our community. This includes incorporating who they are into their physical space and making their new home, truly a home.

As I walk through Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Roslindale, I’m always amazed at how distinctly different the rooms of residents are and how small details make a big impact. Whether, it’s rows of carefully lined up CDs, or framed art work hung over a favorite desk, I love the glimpses into our resident’s personalities offered from small details. While the change of moving a loved one into long-term care can be daunting, I recommend not overlooking these small details and decorating the new space to represent who they are and what they enjoy in life.

Consider the following ways to make their space personal and comfortable:

  • Choose favorite pieces of furniture from home (a desk, chair, end tables) to make space feel more personal. While not practical to take everything, we certainly recommend taking a favorite piece or two that will be well used.
  • Bedding from home can make residents very comfortable and also set a color palette for the room.  
  • Interests (past or present) can give inspiration for resident’s rooms. Photography, art work and music are great places to start. 
  • Technology can be a nice perk for any room including CD players, iPods, speakers, cameras or iPads. 

Learn more about long-term care at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Roslindale.

Tammy Retalic, RN's picture

About the Blogger

Chief Nursing Officer & Vice President, Patient Care Services

Tammy Retalic is the Chief Nursing Officer & Vice President, Patient Care Services for Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, Boston. She has nearly 25 years of health care experience and spent the past eight years at Hebrew SeniorLife working with the organization’s leadership team, employees and seniors as the Director of Professional Development, Infection Control and Occupational Health. She works closely with the Quality and Regulatory Affairs team to guarantee HSL’s clinical quality standards are achieved. Prior to joining HSL in 2004, Retalic worked at Marlborough Hospital in Marlborough...

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