Webinar Lets You Step into Residents’ Shoes for Better Behavior

by Joanne Kaldy - Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Imagine this scenario. A certified nurse assistant (CNA) gives Mrs. Jones a cup of coffee. Mrs. Jones takes one sip, then throws the coffee at the CNA. While this behavior is upsetting, it may not be as mysterious or as difficult to address as one may think.

Barbara Speedling, quality of life specialist and presenter at an upcoming AHCA/NCAL webinar on “Toward Better Behavior: Yours, Mine, and Everyone Else’s,” suggests looking at it from Mrs. Jones’ perspective. “If you bring your own coffee to work because you don’t like the facility’s coffee, maybe Mrs. Jones doesn’t either, and this could explain her behavior,” she says. In this case, the solution might be to find a way to get her coffee or other beverages she will enjoy.

In her program, Speedling will provide a framework for developing an assessment process that results in a deeper understanding of what motivates someone to do what they do. “With greater understanding comes a more focused, personalized plan to accommodate the complicated needs of every individual,” she says. “I help people go away from the webinar thinking more about putting themselves in the place of the people they care for.”

To understand someone’s behavior, Speedling says, “You have to distinguish whether behaviors qualify as symptom, reaction, or personality.” For instance, if some behavior is part of someone’s personality—such as he or she is judgmental or sarcastic—that isn’t likely to change, and it would be a waste of time to try to change the person. Instead, she suggests, learn ways not to trigger negative behaviors that are related to the person’s personality.

It’s important to imagine what life in a skilled nursing center would be like for you, says Speedling. “Consider never being alone, never being able to do exactly what you want, when you want. No one can be fine all the time. No one can be expected never to be angry or get upset,” she says. “We have to realize that and address behavior accordingly.”

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Dr. Donald Margouleff, MD, FACP

Barbara is an outstanding expert in the field of health care. She is a lecturer and writer. Her recently published book is a must read for caregivers. The quality of care of the elderly would be much improved if medical staff read and followed her guidance. July 1, 2014

Nancy Babis, Director of Nursing at Briody Health Care Facility

Barbara provided an expert presentation on caring for residents with dementia focusing on their individual needs. She provided thought provoking options for difficult situations. Attendees to the program left with ideas, concepts and concrete actions. She accomplished her objectives with dignity and humor. Highly recommend her. May 20, 2013

Tim Foristall, Administrator/C.E.O. at Greater Harlem Nursing Home & Rehabilitation Center

Barbara is an excellent quality of life consultant who brings experience and expertise to the table, and has a passion for improving the lives of our residents. I highly recommend Barbara Speedling.  November 7, 2012

Michael Karash, Administrator at Fort Tryon Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing

I have known Barbara for almost 20 years. Her knowledge & expertise are top notch. She is creative and very passionate. She makes the facility a better place for the residents and their families, as well as staff. When residents are happier, they participate in more programs, including rehab!  November 7, 2012

Nancy Leveille, SR Director at NYSHFA

Barbara is an excellent presenter and educator on the topics of person centered care and creative activities for persons with dementia and other cognitive impairments. She is engaging with her audience, highly knowledgeable on her topics and creative in her practical ideas to improve the quality of life for elders.  May 25, 2011

Felicia Johnson, Geriatric Social Worker

Barbara has proven herself to be very passionate and well informed on the subjects of long-term care and NYS regulatory issues. I have worked with her in at least 3 different facilities, and she has always brought to the table professionalism, a wide knowledge base, and understanding ear, and a passion for the seniors that she is representing, and helping others to represent. She has expertise in the SS and TR areas of long-term care compliance. She would be an asset to any organization seeking to improve their quality of life issues within their respective facilities.  May 16, 2011

Mary Jane Blaney, Healthcare Consultant Group

Barbara encompasses everything one looks for when hiring a consultant: field experience; personable; trustworthy; inventive and can always find the perfect solution for any situation you present to her no matter the time constraints. Staff that Barbara works with have nothing but platitudes to state when questioned in regard to their experience working with such an exceptional professional. When you’re looking for a healthcare consultant call Barbara and you will not be disappointed. Some consultants just hand management a weekly report detailing what else they need to do whereas Barbara rolls up her sleeves and works with management and staff to effectuate the changes needed which results in the improvement in the quality of services rendered. What more can one ask for? Thanks Barbara.  May 16, 2011

Meg Collins, Director of Member Services at Tennessee Health Care Association

I've had the pleasure of working with Barbara Speedling twice when she spoke for our group at the Tennessee Health Care Association. She is always prepared, gives expert and timely advice, and uses great examples because of her work in the field. The audience related well to her because of her hands-on background and because she loves what she does. What a pleasure to work with her! May 16, 2011

David Siskind, MD, Medical Director at Our Lady of Consolation

I have worked with Barbara for many years in various settings and locations. She is very knowledgeable in all areas of continuing care and Skilled Nursing Facilities but possess superior expertise in Quality of Life and Culture Change. I highly recommend her for any position or opportunity she is seeking. May 12, 2011

Eli Grinspan, Regional Director of Operations for Sentosa Care

I have worked with Barbara on numerous occasions over the years. She is knowledgeable, energetic and very creative in developing plans that can assist her clients. She is great to work with!  May 9, 2011

Gerry Brooks, MA, CCC, CBIST, CMTTR, Director of Brain Injury Programs at Northeast Center for Rehabilitation & Brain Injury

Barbara knows long term care inside and out and is an expert in the area of program development for individuals suffering from dementia. She is high energy, delightful and persuasive, smart as they come, extremely knowledgeable, has highest integrity and an effervescent personality. Could you ask for more? I recommend her unequivocally.  May 8, 2011

Education Sponsors:

Alzheimer’s Association

American College of Healthcare Administrators
American Health Care Association Affiliates:  CT, DE, ID, IA, MA, MD, ME, MS, MO, NE,

          NJ, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, SC, SD, TN, VT, VA, WA, WV, and Washington DC

Black Long Term Care Executives Group
Broad Reach Health, Massachusetts
ChemRx Pharmacy
Conkling Center
Empire State Association of Assisted Living
Foundation for Quality Care
Greater New York Health Care Facilities Association
Health Care Compliance Group, LLC
Health Care Seminars, Inc.
Health Systems, Inc.
Inter-County Health Facilities Association
Iowa Association of Activity Professionals
LeadingAge NY
L/S Gerontology Seminars, Inc.
Massachusetts Council of Activity Professionals
Marquis Health Services, Massachusetts
MDI Achieve
National Association of PASRR Professionals
New York City Catholic Archdiocese
New York City Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association
New York City Office for the Aging
New York State Adult Day Services Association
New York State Association of Consultant Pharmacists
New York State Center for Assisted Living
New York State Department of Health
New York State Health Facilities Association
New York State Recreation and Park Society
Northfield Retirement Community, Minnesota
Oaknoll Retirement Community, Iowa
Oklahoma State University
Omnicare/MedWorld Pharmacy
PASRR Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)
Peak Resources, North Carolina
Partner’s Pharmacy
Responsive Management Group, Canada
SEIU/1199 Labor-Management Project
Southern New York Health Facilities Association
Specialty Rx
Therapeutic Recreation Association of Long Island
Therapeutic Recreation Association of Suffolk County
WI Director of Nursing Council

ChemRx Pharmacy in September 2014 with Stephen Edmundson, former ChemRx Marketing Coordinator.

The 3rd Annual Caregiver Conference hosted by Genser, Dubow, Genser and Cona, LLP, Elder Law Counselors and Hofstra University in June 2015.

Idaho Health Care Association's Spring Conference in 2014.

Creating Meaningful, Satisfying Lives One Person at a Time