Monday, October 11, 2010


Diana has presented this dynamic and fun seminar across the USA to scores of long term care professionals.

As expected, Diana offered many practical and immediately useable tips to assist staff members in talking with each other. When communication is effective the quality of the resident care skyrockets! The basis of person-centered care is grounded in successful staff to staff communication.

Although each recommendation is priceless (just ask Diana!), here are a few that Diana would suggest you commit to memory:

1. When you see a behavior, don't play amateur psychologist. Your first thought needs to be "I don't know what they are thinking". Then stating the behavior you see allows the other person to tell you what they are thinking.

2. Success in dealing with a negative co-worker requires the implementation of a simple 5 step approach.

3. Talking behind a co-workers back is acceptable ONLY AFTER you have first told the person that you plan to talk behind their back!

4. Be a role model for the negative person, by eliminating negative talk in your communication.

5. When giving another person directions, assure they got your message by stating "Could you please repeat back to me what I told you to make sure I GOT IT RIGHT." Not "to see if YOU got it right."

What would you do if....

1. A co-worker says "We never have enough linen."

Diana suggests that you assist the person in gathering facts to support their position prior to taking the issue forward to the person who can truly assist you.

2. A co-worker gives you information and requests your assistance.

Diana suggests that you follow-up after the issue is solved you value their involvement and to demonstrate that you cared about their efforts.

Diana's DVD TALK TO ME! is entertaining but oh so valuable in teaching additional simple and effective communication techniques.

Want to ask Diana a specific question? Visit her CONTACT US page and ask away!


Diana Waugh has presented the VISITS WITH VAUE program more than 35 times to over 3000 enthusiastic long term care providers in 13 states.

One of her rewarding events was when she traveled with the Alzheimer's Association of the Great Plains speaking at four locations across Nebraska and Wyoming to over 150 family members and 240 long term care healthcare professionals.

She was also interviewed by Cathy Blythe of KFOR in Lincoln, NE. It was energetic and helpful. Here's the link to listen to a portion of that interview.

As expected, Diana offered many practical and immediately useable tips to assist staff members in teaching residents' families and friends how to have successful conversations with their loved one with cognitive loss. Maintaining a calm contented atmosphere during visits leads to increased resident and family satisfaction.

Although each recommendation is priceless (just ask Diana!) here are a few that Diana would suggest that you commit to memory:

1. Empower families by explaining that short-term memory questions often lead to increased anxiety for the resident.

2. Encourage families to refrain from the use of the words "NO" and "DO YOU REMEMBER?"

3. Help families explore the remaining strengths their loved one possesses. Often the focus is on what's missing not on what strengths the resident still exhibits.

4. Teach families through demonstration of successful conversation techniques utilizing the resident's long term memories.

5. Assist family members with their homework to capture the stories and likes of their loved one.

What Would You Do if....

1. A resident continues to ask for their husband who is deceased.

Diana would suggest you teach them to say "Tell me the neatest thing about your husband." Reminiscing with good memories about their loved one will fill their five minute concentration span with pleasant memories while the hope is they will leave the topic contented.

2. A family is distressed because their mother doesn't remember the new grand child.

Diana suggests that you use the phrase "I was thinking about my new grand child, Tommy." If their mother recalls the child they will join in the conversation. If not, the story belongs to the family member and does not demand that their mother "remember."

Diana's DVD VISITS WITH VALUE gives additional tips as you demonstrate your knowledge as a dementia expert with family members.

Want to ask Diana a specific question? Visit her CONTACT US page and ask away!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Diana believes that the key to behavior and falls management lies in the ability to determine the resident's motivation for their actions. Only when healthcare providers understand that motivation and then see their role as assisting the resident to reach their goal will success in reducing challenging behaviors be realized.

As expected, Diana offered many practical and immediately useable tips for behavior management as it relates to quality care for residents in long term care facilities.

Although each recommendation is priceless (just ask Diana!) here are a few that Diana would suggest that you commit to memory:


2. A fall is nothing more than the result of a motivated behavior.

3. Unless and until the staff focus in on "Why they are getting up", managing falls and challenging behaviors will continue to be seen as a failure to staff members.

4. The five hundred pound gorilla in the room is the percentage of residents in a facility with Cognitive Loss. The national average is approximately 80%. There is no diagnosis, syndrome or symptom that affects any where near that many residents. Long term care staff members must become dementia experts if care is to meet the unique needs of this population.

5. Knowing a resident’s cognitive functional age is vital. Two standardized and validated tests are: ALLEN COGNITIVE LEVELS and RCCT For more information on these tests, please visit these two websites.

6. Freedom from the use of both physical and psychological restraints as devices to manage a resident behavior will occur only when there is a facility policy in place requiring that these devices are not utilized. By having such a policy in place a precident will be set to focus on the resident's need rather than using external devices to change an internal motivation.

7. With the "no devices" policy in place, the staff must determine the resident's motivation for moving and then HELP THEM REACH THEIR GOAL, not to stop them - which has been the practice.

What Would You Do For These Residents?

1. A resident likes to sit on the floor instead of sitting in a chair. She does not have cognitive loss. There is a faction at the facility that believes she should not sit on the floor and have instituted restraining shoulder harnesses to keep her sitting in a chair instead.

Diana suggests let her sit on the floor! Care plan it. Have a Physical Therapist perform an assessment on her ability to get on the floor and then get back up to determine where she will need help. Then outline a plan to help her to meet her goal successfully.

Diana's DVD HEY HELP ME HERE! will provide you with other alternatives.

2. A resident gets very upset when we try to bath her. Currently we have quite a "battle" with her. Not only is it challenging for her, it is very challenging for staff.

Diana suggests several alternatives. Consider rinse-less soap; changing the words you use from "shower" to "bath"; reducing bathing from a total bath to washing body areas that cause odors such as hair and perineum; involving her is an activity where she gets "dirty" such as kneading bread or replanting a plant.

Diana's DVD BATHING MADE EASY can give you additional possible interventions.

Want to ask Diana a specific question? Visit her Contact Us page and ask away!