Conversations with Carmen: Upcoming events

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JUNE 18, 2021

Registration Closed


JULY 16, 2021 - Topic to be announced


AUGUST 20, 2021 - Topic: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood





All shows are broadcast at

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Join our very own culture change pundit Carmen Bowman, MHS, on her monthly web talk show. Actually, it's even better than a talk show because you too can join the conversation by asking questions of Carmen and her guests. Carmen's smart look at culture change focuses on a wide variety of topics. She brings an insider's view of regulations, and reports on little changes happening in government, in attitude, in practice. Each month she will share culture change news and updates, amusing and heartwarming stories, and interview a guest on a relevant and timely topic. Check back regularly as we announce new topics.



Most of the shows listed below can be viewed at your workplace for the same cost. 
Learn more here


MAY 21, 2021

The Artifacts of Culture Change (ACC) 2.0 and ACC - Assisted Living - Part 3

Presented by the developers of the Artifacts, our Host Carmen Bowman and her guest Karen Schoeneman
An Artifacts 2.0 version for nursing homes, and a first-ever Artifacts for Assisted Living are now available, thanks to the Pioneer Network. The ACC is an internal self-assessment tool -- inspirational and educational, reflecting concrete practices that change institutional culture or “artifacts” of culture change. Walk through each of the over-130 items with the developers Karen Schoeneman and Carmen Bowman in three sessions (March 19, April 23 and May 21) and be inspired to learn culture change practices you may have not considered - to shift the focus from institutional to individual, and institution to home.
These detailed and in-depth sessions build on the overview provided during the Pioneer Network's webinar (Feb. 18, 2021) introducing the Artifacts. (The recording of that webinar will soon be offered for free on the Pioneer website.)

APRIL 23, 2021

The Artifacts of Culture Change (ACC) 2.0 and ACC - Assisted Living - Part 2

Presented by the developers of the Artifacts, our Host Carmen Bowman and her guest Karen Schoeneman
An Artifacts 2.0 version for nursing homes, and a first-ever Artifacts for Assisted Living are now available, thanks to the Pioneer Network. The ACC is an internal self-assessment tool -- inspirational and educational, reflecting concrete practices that change institutional culture or “artifacts” of culture change. Walk through each of the over-130 items with the developers Karen Schoeneman and Carmen Bowman in three sessions (March 19, April 23 and May 21) and be inspired to learn culture change practices you may have not considered - to shift the focus from institutional to individual, and institution to home.
These detailed and in-depth sessions build on the overview provided during the Pioneer Network's webinar (Feb. 18, 2021) introducing the Artifacts. (The recording of that webinar will soon be offered for free on the Pioneer website.)

MARCH 19, 2021

The Artifacts of Culture Change (ACC) 2.0 and ACC - Assisted Living - Part 1

Presented by the developers of the Artifacts, our Host Carmen Bowman and her guest Karen Schoeneman
An Artifacts 2.0 version for nursing homes, and a first-ever Artifacts for Assisted Living are now available, thanks to the Pioneer Network. The ACC is an internal self-assessment tool -- inspirational and educational, reflecting concrete practices that change institutional culture or “artifacts” of culture change. Walk through each of the over-130 items with the developers Karen Schoeneman and Carmen Bowman in three sessions (March 19, April 23 and May 21) and be inspired to learn culture change practices you may have not considered - to shift the focus from institutional to individual, and institution to home.
These detailed and in-depth sessions build on the overview provided during the Pioneer Network's webinar (Feb. 18, 2021) introducing the Artifacts. (The recording of that webinar will soon be offered for free on the Pioneer website.)

JANUARY 15, 2021

Offering Goal Setting, Organizing, Planning - Helping others be who they want to be in the New Year

Guest: Lori Halbach, Square One Organizing
Join our exploration of new year’s topics for yourself and those you serve. Inquire about setting resolutions/goals/commitments and/or a word for the year. Offer organizing for those who want it. See practical ideas for small spaces. Recognize that we cannot label people as “hoarders” anymore; there is a kinder approach to go deeper with people to discover reasons for holding onto things – there are many. Learn facts about emotional clutter, chronic disorganization disorder and how to avoid inadvertently harming a person/triggering trauma. Learn what it means to give things away purposefully as well as purposeful keeping of items. Be reminded to not always tidy up everything if it holds purpose or offers meaningful engagement for an individual.
Approach the idea of helping others to do more planning for their future. Consider identifying dreams and/or a “bucket list” – intentionally talking about who they want to be in the new year. Learn how to have conversations about all of this.



NOVEMBER 20, 2020

CHOICE: New Ideas to Enhance Resident Life in Tough Times

Guest: Linda Bump, MPH, RD
As we all struggle to get through these tough days, we each turn to things that give us comfort - in all areas of our lives. We relive great memories, try to maintain rituals that have meaning to us, and of course food is always on the list. That’s what “comfort food” is all about, and it’s different for each person. All of this is just as true for your residents. The simple approach of knowing specifically what brings daily pleasure to each resident and honoring true choice for them, can brighten their day -- and brightening our residents’ lives is what brightens every committed caregiver’s day, too.Perhaps the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting isolation has awakened in us something primal and universal: a deep interest in food. We see it everywhere. The explosion of cooking and culinary shows on television, Netflix and the internet, food blogs, recipe and cooking sites... We can bring that interest in food into our communities. Food is fascinating, so let's find ways for residents to experience the food conversations happening everywhere, and perhaps add some new flavor to their days.

OCTOBER 16, 2020

Sleep Matters - Now more than Ever

Guest: Restorative Sleep – Dr. Linda Shell
How well did your residents sleep last night? According to the latest research, there is a direct correlation between sleep deprivation and the incidence of pain, falls, anxiety, depression, and the use of antipsychotics. Traditional practices such as "turning and repositioning," "checking and changing", and increased noise disrupts sleep. COVID-19 restrictions limiting physical activity and increasing social isolation also contribute to sleep problems. Use this time to your advantage to change systems to support sleep, thereby promoting health and combating sleep deprivation - which actually makes people more vulnerable to the very maladies we are trying to prevent!

AUGUST 21, 2020

Meaningfully Engage Individuals - In their Rooms - Especially Those Living with Dementia

Presented by Carmen Bowman, with Guest Host Megan Hannan
Join us for oodles of ideas to meaningfully engage individuals with their surroundings, especially those living with dementia. Perhaps we are in our biggest challenge ever, to provide meaningful engagement to persons alone in their rooms. What a great opportunity to be creative! Institutionalized, isolated people need the gift of our intentionality to be able to engage naturally with their surroundings, even when there is not a pandemic. We can help to overcome boredom. Get a long list of ideas, contribute to it, and allow it to inform your work into the future.

JUNE 19, 2020


Guest: LaVrene Norton
Household model organizations are best suited to Stay At Home practices.  Typical skilled nursing households have a front door that can literally be closed to all who do not live or work in the household. They have private rooms, and multiple rooms in the living center (often a living room and a formal lounge, a den, a sun porch, family dining room, private back yard) - all can contribute to the continuation of a good life!  Households have a fully functioning kitchen and a large pantry that could accommodate a week's food.  Couple that with the practices of cross-trained consistent staff (including a house nurse), self-led team skills and strong critical thinking skills!  And wonderfully, these self-sufficient households are surrounded by all the resources they will need close at hand, and yet able to be kept at arms' length!
What can your organization do to move closer to this ideal?  Creativity, enthusiasm, upbeat attitude strong action planning, and an empowered resident, staff, family community can make this happen. Get started NOW!

MAY 15 2020
LEADING THROUGH COVID-19: Controlling Your Story During Crisis
GUEST: Dr. Linda Shell, MA, RN - "The Leadership Doctor"
We are living in unprecedented times. The world as we know it is rapidly changing. Just a few short weeks ago, none of us would have dreamed we would be where we are today. We are navigating unknown waters with the COVID-19 virus. Research indicates that those with increased levels of resilience not only survive in such environments, but often THRIVE, resulting in increased work performance, job satisfaction and reduced turnover. Increased quality and customer satisfaction also correlate to higher levels of resilience. Dr. Shell will lead the conversation about the concept of resilience, providing practical tips for building resilience in both self and others… and learning to THRIVE!
Join Carmen and Dr. Shell for an hour that could rejuvenate your resilience!

APRIL 17, 2020
GUEST:  Megan Hannan, Action Pact Consultant
Healthy social engagements are never more important than during troubling times like these. But how do we encourage them in our care environments? Our two experts, Megan and Carmen, have much to share on the subject.
Megan, creator of Action Pact’s PersonFirst® program, will discuss how to strengthen relationships with those living with cognitive loss by always putting the person first. She also will advise us about some unique Action Pact offerings, including soon-to-be released videos of elders sharing their experiences in surviving hard times that can help us through the current crisis.
Carmen, co-author of Action Pact’s book, Vibrant Living, will share ideas for “creating an expectancy of engagement,” getting to know each other better, discovering that everyone is famous for something, and creating a “Wisdom Book”.

MARCH 20, 2020


GUEST:  Sonya Barsness, Gerontologist
Unfortunately, the language of long-term care can be institutional. Even CMS notes this by encouraging the elimination of labels at Tag F550. Are institutional words like these heard in your culture?
Facility, beds, frontline, work the floor, toileting, non-compliant, behaviors, difficult, activities, dietary, resident, elope, expire, feeder
Consider a personal and community-wide commitment to use softer, more dignified language. The great news is that changing language costs no money yet does wonders to shift an institutional culture to a natural, normal, culture of home instead. Join Hostess Carmen Bowman as she shares from the paper of the same title, which she co-authored.
Non-institutional language raises the bar: it drives practice, improves life satisfaction, and is required by CMS requirements.

FEBRUARY 21, 2020


GUEST:  Sonya Barsness, Gerontologist
Starting with "Something is better than nothing" is backwards. We have to start with the person and with real. Rather than starting with what people can't have, i.e. "We can’t have a real baby 24/7," start with SHE LOVES BABIES. Leaders in the culture change movement have cautioned, "What is lacking is real life. Real life is not found in programs. Real life is in the give and take of everyday life," and that our goal should be "rampant normalcy." Hear how real life leads to less depression, less need for medications, fewer falls and great quality of life. Together we'll think through how to become facilitators of real life. We'll consider the gamut of possibilities from disingenuous to authentic. Do you offer true choice or just token choice causing elders to "settle," and think, "Well, it’s better than nothing."? We can do better. Join us in realizing it’s not that hard to get real.

JANUARY 17, 2020


GUEST:  Sonya Barsness, Gerontologist
Carmen and her guest Sonya Barsness think through this question. Not presuming to have the answers, they examine the question through a range of common practices and. Building on former work together, we will look at customs such as folding towels or baby clothes that serve no purpose, fake animals and babies, fake plants, door covers, murals that disguise doorways and more. What are the pros and cons of fake life offerings and real life? Is something truly better than nothing? Are there unintended consequences?
We seek only to raise the issue, and we invite everyone to think about what you will take time, energy and resources to promote. Is something truly better than nothing? And is that the best we can do?



NOVEMBER 15, 2019

Shedding Light on Dementia for Family, Friends and Care Givers - 3rd show in our series

Continuing the conversation on how we can stay in relationship, even when we must “give care” as a family member, friend or caregiver.
We’ll discuss approaches to support daily activities from self care to eating to pursuing leisure.In our last conversation we detailed the five human needs of comfort, identity, inclusion, attachment and occupation. This show will have a special focus on the human need of occupation. We’ll discuss specific ways and techniques to help persons living with dementia continue as much of their normal, daily occupation as possible.

OCTOBER 18, 2019

Shedding Light on Dementia for Family, Friends and Care Givers  –2nd in series on creating a good life for persons living with dementia

These are things that help any of us have a better moment, hour or day, and often help persons living with dementia feel heard, included, competent and less isolated. That can be huge!
We invite staff, families and friends of persons living with dementia to join us for this "illuminating" conversation. We'll discuss the five basic human needs: comfort, inclusion, identity, occupation and attachment, and how understanding those can help us be present and in relationship with persons living with dementia. We’ll also talk about simple communication techniques and approaches that have been shown to help ease agitation or confusion.
For this show, we encourage communities to invite family members and friends of your residents living with dementia, to join you for this webinar. Make it a party!
For those who support someone living at home with dementia, gather family and friends for this webinar.As always, registration for the webinar allows you to attend the live show and/or to watch the recorded show. Learn at your convenience!

SEPTEMBER 20, 2019

The Validation® Method - Moving Beyond Therapeutic Lies and Redirection

HOST & PRESENTER: Carmen Bowman
Learn how the Validation® method developed by Naomi Feil gives a means for successfully communicating with persons with dementia, something desperately needed by them, their caregivers and family members.  Validation replaces the outmoded and person-devaluing methods of redirection, diversion, reality orientation, and the therapeutic lie.  Validation teaches how to “exquisitely listen,” empathize, “move into” the disoriented person’s world and validate feelings.  Using Validation® boosts self-esteem, builds trust and rapport and often eliminates the person's need to live in the past by creating a warm and welcoming present. Learn about the basic Validation® techniques and the potential they hold to help persons living with dementia, even when there is a history of trauma.

AUGUST 16, 2019

Community Meetings - The Way to be Proactive

GUEST: Barry Barkan
Join Barry Barkan co-developer of the Live Oak Regenerative Community - a nationally recognized model for transforming institutions into loving and empowering communities. The Barkans accomplished this by gathering daily to build community, discuss matters of importance, celebrate, remember and mourn. Hear how homes use daily Community Meetings to include residents and team members in discussing grievances and making decisions regarding budget, supplies, vendors and more. Truly the way to be proactive rather than reactive.

JULY 19, 2019

Real Babies and Children; How to Welcome Children All the Time

GUEST: Angie McAllister, Director of Quality of Life and Culture Change Operations, Signature HealthCARE
This month learn how to successfully incorporate children into the life of a nursing home from Angie McAllister. She will also share ways to to welcome employees' children and host camp all summer long. Join Angie and Carmen for this illuminating discussion about adding more Real Life to the care environment.
You can contribute to the discussion, too, with your questions and ideas for bringing in more real babies and real children -  Real Life for true companionship!

JUNE 21, 2019

Can Birds and Other Real Animals Improve People’s Lives More Than Meds?

GUEST: Brenda Hancock, NHA, Cheyenne Healthcare
Birds have been observed to “bring people back to life” by leaders in the culture change movement. Brenda Hancock is one of those who has seen positive outcomes and supported birds and other animals for residents. She has witnessed improvements that are often more significant than the outcomes of medications. In this show we’ll share the benefits of animals in general, birds in particular; how you can begin to pave the way for birds in your home and the nitty gritty details of caring for birds - including what can go wrong, while making the case for birds as companions. Let’s learn from Brenda and consider whether it’s time to set aside personal staff biases and add birds to the mix as we continue to move forward in supporting residents – their wishes, their choices, and their quality of life.

APRIL 19, 2019

Sparking a new Culture of Self-Directed Learning at Work

GUEST: LaVrene Norton, Founder Action Pact
Really - who in their work wants to be told what to do?  To be handed an 'assignment sheet' with your tasks lifelessly written out for you?  No time for thought.  No time for talk about your own creative insights.  There’s a better way, and it’s all about new opportunities for learning.  Everyone likes to learn, and the internet has made learning more accessible now than ever before.  Discovery excites us and we reach for more - through inquiry we initiate learning.  We make friends with online dictionaries, Wikipedia, and Google.  And who among us hasn’t used YouTube to learn how to change the oil in our car, measure for kitchen cabinets, bake yeast bread, or coach our child how to calculate the area of a trapezoid?
We relax by playing online games and puzzles that teach us to look in all the corners, watch for opportunities, and calculate dangers. As we become increasingly knowledgeable and competent, we relish working in a warm, open environment that offers online learning, nurtures self-direction and critical thinking, and rewards new skills.Join Carmen as she hosts LaVrene Norton in discussing mindful learning including small group learning, shared leadership, and mobile learning with courses focused on person-centered care, household life and neighborhood communities.

MARCH 15, 2019

REAL ANIMALS - How to Make it Work

GUEST: Elizabeth Dowden, DON, Many Healthcare and Rehab
The Animal House Club at Many Healthcare and Rehab in Many, LA
Formed and run by residents, The Animal House Club works with the local humane society to shelter orphaned kittens and puppies. Residents serve as foster moms and dads, make mats, promote adoption in the community, raise money and also "sit"for animals in need. The team at Many supports residents who bring their cats and dogs to live with them, even providing a dog park in one courtyard. Demonstrating another way of promoting real life instead of fake, Director of Nursing and animal lover Elizabeth Dowden will share the many ways they make it work.

FEBRUARY 15, 2019

Fake Life and Real Life - Let's Talk!

GUEST: Sonya Barsness, Gerontologist
How much of what is offered to people living in long term care communities is fake?
Much is at stake with fake. Let's call it out and consider why we think it’s okay. We’ll talk about examples, like using fake pets and babies, mock tails and near beer, the folding of fake towels and whether we are asking the right questions in thinking about if and when to use them. Let's compare it to real and what each says about how we care for and treat older adults. We’ll be honest, our bias is to encourage all to move more in the direction of real life rather than fake. Let’s compare what our goals are when we are fake and contrast it with what we want for people - real living.

JANUARY 18, 2019

Weaving the Eden Alternative Domains of Well-BeingSM into LIFE 

GUEST: Schlegel Villages of Canada Team
Schlegel Villages takes their culture change journey, initiated in 2010, very seriously. With three years of transformation work behind them, they began incorporating Eden Alternative's seven Domains of Well-Being into their organization in 2014. In this show, the Schlegel Villages team will share:
  • How they introduced the domains to the larger team
  • How they use the domains
  • Their ME form, and
  • How they use the Wellbeing tool developed by Dr. Al Power, Eden Educator and Board Member.
Did you know the seven Domains of Well-Being made it into the new CMS regulations?



NOVEMBER 9, 2018

KNOW BETTER, DO BETTER - PART 4, Behavioral Expressions and ResoLute

GUEST: Sarah Brown, E.D. Empira
Empira has been working to better understand the wants and needs of older adults, given the following:
  1. The primary reason for many behavioral expressions centers around the lack of support for “work of aging”
  2. The ultimate success of inevitable aging is the ability to maintain integrity with a sense of closure and completeness and accept death without fear.
Based on these understandings, an approach called ResoLute (Resident Empowered Solutions on Living Until The End) is currently in development to support conversations about life and mortality - to identify and uphold what matters most.

OCTOBER 12, 2018


GUEST: Sarah Brown, E.D. Empira
The status quo had to change.
Consider these facts:
  • Restorative sleep is vital to the overall wellbeing of humans
  • Sleep fragmentation is a primary contributor to some of the most challenging issues facing long term care (e.g. falls, behavioral expression, pain, incontinence, skin breakdown, unnecessary use of antipsychotics, function decline and the list goes on)
Empira recognized the challenge and is now making a "night and day" difference for the residents they serve through a culture of restorative sleep. For this, the 3rd show in our series, Sarah Brown will share what Empira has learned, how they transformed their culture and the impact of this on residents.

SEPTEMBER 21, 2018


GUEST: Sarah Brown, E.D. Empira
The second show in the series will share Empira's findings regarding what really causes falls, i.e. noise -- and meaningful ways to reduce falls other than alarms.
Empira is a consortium of Aging Service providers who are committed to improving the aging experience by knowing and doing better. Collectively, the organizations that make up Empira challenge the status quo by understanding the root cause of problems and outcomes. By understanding the root cause, they are able to create meaningful and sustainable culture change. They have created a signature series on
  1. Falls
  2. Restorative sleep
  3. Behavioral expression
  4. Work of aging
Hear about their approach to quality improvement that focuses on human needs and behavior.

AUGUST 10, 2018


GUEST: Sarah Brown, E.D. Empira
Empira is a consortium of Aging Service providers who are committed to improving the aging experience by knowing and doing better. Collectively, the organizations that make up Empira challenge the status quo by understanding the root cause of problems and outcomes. By understanding the root cause, they are able to create meaningful and sustainable culture change. They have created a signature series on
  1. Falls
  2. Restorative sleep
  3. Behavioral expression
  4. Work of aging
Hear about their approach to quality improvement that focuses on human needs and behavior.

JULY 13, 2018

Become a Community Developer: Champion of an Elder-Centered Culture

GUEST: Barry Barkan, Director Live Oak Institute
Learn from Pioneer Barry Barkan how to be a community developer who is a champion for:
  • elders
  • culture
  • the highest possible good
  • one’s own learning and growth
  • the organization of which he/she is a part.
Be challenged as a community developer to assist elders to be active participants in their home as well as the wider society, to live in the present, draw from the past, and prepare for the future. Learn to be a community developer who stands up for the individual who has no one else and attempts to have an even hand, loving each person – even those whose behavior and beliefs we might disagree with or find difficult.

JUNE 8, 2018

The Value of Hosting a Kids Day Camp

GUEST: Beth Irtz, Administrator Shalom Park
Learn how a day camp can easily be made part of life in your community, from lessons learned in three day camps during the summer of 2017.  Outcomes for both youth and residents were so powerful that you may wonder why every nursing home doesn’t host a summer day camp!
Guest Beth Irtz and Hostess Carmen Bowman received a CO CMP grant to offer the camps. Together they will share how you can make such a meaningful week happen in your community.

MAY 11, 2018

BLACK BALLOONS OR A RAINBOW OF COLORS: How Our Perceptions of Aging Affect the Care We Provide

GUEST PRESENTER: PENNY COOK, MSW; President/CEO of the Pioneer Network
We’ve all done it—sent an “over the hill” card to someone, purchased “anti-aging” products, refused to say our age and maybe even given the dreadful black balloons on a milestone birth celebration.  It’s part of our culture, right?  It’s meant to be funny.  It helps us cope with the fact we’re getting older.  But how does it really affect us?  More importantly, how does it affect the care and support we provide to Elders?  In this conversation we’ll explore how our own perceptions of getting older as well as those of the general society affect our long-term care system as well as our specific care practices.  Let’s be the change we want to see!

APRIL 13, 2018


PRESENTED BY: MEGAN HANNAN - Action Pact Consultant, Developer of PersonFirst® program
We have been exploring resident health and well-being holistically, and in March we were inspired by The Transformative Power of Purpose, when we learned about and heard from residents of Rockport Healthcare Services' 70 communities in California who serve the homeless in their respective communities every month. In keeping with our theme, the show in April will look at the connection between engagement and cognitive health.  Megan will share the most current research in cognitive science, brain health and engagement. We’ll discuss types of engagement and suggestions for ensuring meaningful engagement, as well as outcomes of engagement on well-being, quality of life and staff satisfaction.

MARCH 9, 2018

The Transformative Power of Purpose: Residents Serving their Communities

PRESENTED BY: Matthew Lysobey, MPH, LNHA, Rockport Chief Community Integration Officer; Peggy Fraricks resident founder, and Bonnie Jacobs, CTRS, Rockport VP Recreation and Social Services
Residents of 80 nursing and assisted living homes regularly prepare meals and serve the homeless in their communities. We are impressed. Matthew Lysobey, developer of A Heart to Serve; Peggy Fraricks, resident founder and participant for 15 years, and Bonnie Jacobs, operational leader, will explain how Rockport Healthcare Services offers residents of their 80 homes the opportunity to volunteer on teams that give back to their communities. Regardless of their physical and cognitive challenges, all willing participants have a role in preparing and serving at the local homeless shelter, resulting in a renewed sense of purpose within themselves. Purpose reduces depression and symptoms of chronic conditions, and a National Institutes of Health study reveals that “having greater purpose in one’s life reduced the symptoms and progress of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.” Wow -- with those results why wouldn’t every nursing home and assisted living community do this? Moreover, it takes a home even beyond compliance with CMS’ new focus on interaction in the community in the requirements and Critical Element Pathway for Activities.

FEBRUARY 9, 2018

Even When Care and Compliance are Nearly Perfect, What Kind of Life are Residents Living? And - The Artifacts of Living Well

PRESENTED BY: Sonya Barsness, Gerontologist, Consultant, Blogger
Imagine a nursing home that has “good care.” It has good outcomes. Maybe even the care truly reflects the individualized needs and preferences of people who are living there. But beyond the day to day services that are provided, how are people living? Are their days revolved around care? Or does their care support them to live well? Let’s talk about more than care, and more than care plans. Join us to be pushed to the next level as we discuss LIVING plans and the idea of Artifacts of Living Well.

JANUARY 12, 2018

RESIDENT CHOICE BEYOND REGULATION: Sunny Hill’s Resident Staff-Hiring Committee

PRESENTED BY: Becky Haldorson, MS, LNHA, Administrator & Jamie Wesley, Resident of Sunny Hill
Since 2007, Sunny Hill Nursing Home of Will County's residents have served on an employee hiring committee, hiring their own care givers. Managers review applications and conduct initial interviews but then applicants must meet with the resident committee which votes to accept or reject each applicant.  Of almost 400 potential employees interviewed, the committee said no to approximately 50 and their opinion was honored. Learn how you too could honor resident choice to this degree. Administrator Becky Haldorson and resident Jamie Wesley, who serves on the committee, will share lessons learned, how to do this successfully and, in the end, inspire your community to live up to “this is your home now” - going beyond new CMS requirements for increased resident choice



NOVEMBER 17, 2017


PRESENTED BY Carmen Bowman, Host
Phase 2 of the new CMS requirements are to be in place by Nov. 28, 2017. In this quick, one hour review, we will look at most Phase 2 requirements in detail. Let this be a moment for your team to gain a solid understanding of what is required and together assess your community’s compliance. Culture change wins, and practices that contribute to compliance will be highlighted.

OCTOBER 20, 2017

Improving the Dining Experience for Residents; Honoring Choice, Exceeding Regulations

GUEST:  Suzanne Quiring, RD, CDM, SuzyQ Menu Concepts
Want to provide a great dining experience, preferences and choice and be in compliance with new CMS requirements? Learn how to work within budget & time restrictions, tackle cold food, high food waste, endless food preference list issues and how to move away from tray and pre-plate service to self-determined meal delivery that honors resident choice while saving money. Photos, real examples and many ideas will be shared to help communities implement practical culture change ideas with the confidence of the literature, best practices and federal requirements to back them up.

SEPTEMBER 15, 2017

WHAT LIVING LIKE A RESIDENT CAN TEACH LTC STAFF – The Power of Empathy to Transform Care

GUEST:  LESLIE PEDTKE, LNHA, Educator for Quality Improvement, King Management Company
What happens when real caregivers become “real” residents?  How will their experiences change how they think about being a resident?  How will the care they provide to residents change in the future?
Through the Looking Glass is an experience developed at Aviston Countryside Manor in IL.  Staff members move into the nursing home, live the role of real diagnoses and accept daily “challenges” residents experience every day.
From learning the importance of communicating more with residents to encouraging meaning and purpose, the resulting insights of these caregivers sensitized other staff members – new and veteran – to practical and effective ways to immediately improve daily care and life for residents.
Hear the incredible outcomes such as the now required Elder Shadowing - all newly-hired staff live with a resident for 24 hours before they are able to begin their new job - the Resident Hiring Committee and Pedkte's new book with the same title.

AUGUST 28, 2017


GUEST:  ANGIE MCALLISTER, Director of Cultural Change, Signature Heathcare
Signature HealthCare is an organization that has committed to a changed culture in many ways. Join us for an immersive look at Signature HealthCare’s recently published research - and even more recent unpublished research - revealing positive outcomes in all aspects: satisfaction of residents, families and staff, decreased turnover, financial and clinical.

JULY 28, 2017


PRESENTED BY:  CARMEN BOWMAN (switching roles for the day), Author, Consultant, Regulator turned Educator
Hopefully you recognize that the QAPI requirement is a gift from the government
  • Are you utilizing QAPI to its fullest potential?
  • Do you focus on being proactive and preventative?
  • Have you taught your staff and colleagues how to “be your own surveyor”?
  • Do you personally know the regulations -- the new regulations?
Your community is held accountable to them. Common culture change practices are the key to QAPI; in other words, Culture Change is QAPI.

JUNE 16, 2017

THE HIDDEN RESTRAINT: Secured Living Environments

GUEST SPEAKER:  DR. AL POWER, Eden Board Member, Author "Dementia beyond Drugs"and "Dementia beyond Disease"
When looking at the CMS definition of a restraint, it can be viewed that locked doors also fit the definition. And yet they are almost a given in "memory care" environments. Is that something we must accept, or is it possible for people living with dementia to live in unlocked environments? This webinar will discuss the steps that organizations can begin to take to support everyone's human right to be able to walk and move about their home freely.

MAY 19, 2017


GUEST SPEAKER:  DIANE HALL, RD, LNHA, Author of "The Inside Scoop on Informed Choice"
Now is the time to be a VOICE for CHOICE in your community’s food and nutrition services. Those of you who have lobbied for change to a more person-centered focus now have something tangible to back you up. Person-directed dining is no longer a nice idea. It’s a mandate. The new CMS requirements can be the megaphone that you will use to make person-directed dining a reality in your community. We will explore these CMS changes in food and nutrition services and explain their intent. We will also discuss the top three dining citations and what you can do to avoid them.

APRIL 14, 2017

FROM ANNOYANCES TO CONFLICT: What might miscommunication be costing your organization?

GUEST SPEAKER:  RAY RUSIN, Quality Training Associates, Certified Workplace Conflict Mediator, retired RI Survey Agency Director
Day-to-day petty annoyances are experienced by each of us and are a fact of life. Without a strategic focus on recognizing and dealing with natural annoyances early, many grow into costly conflict events negatively impacting residents’ quality of care and quality of life.  We will discuss how ordinary annoyances interrupt the smooth operation of any organization, how to best prepare team members for coping with annoyances and ways to wisely handle any resulting conflicts. Find out what conflict may be costing your organization.
Pre-webinar prep work includes access to the Mediation Training Institute Cost of Conflict Tool which Ray will refer to. Link will be sent to you in confirmation email. You should enter in basic information regarding an actual conflict situation you are handling.

MARCH 3, 2017


GUEST SPEAKER:  MEGAN HANNAN, Action Pact Consultant
PersonFirst® is a proven train-the-trainer process for creating and sustaining a culture of person-directed life. Although its goal  is to include anyone, it focuses especially on how to engage those living with dementia. In a PersonFirst® culture, people who live  with dementia are valued as unique individuals who still have a need for purpose; to bring meaning to their lives and those around them. As we learn to recognize and nurture the identity of the person hidden behind the fog of dementia, a new vitality takes hold within the organization as those with cognitive loss come out of the shadows and join the care home’s circle of community and sharing. PersonFirst®, a nationally-recognized benchmark for person-centered culture, meets the CMS required guideline for a program to support person-centered service for those living with dementia. Join us and learn how PersonFirst® can take your dementia care culture to the next level.

JANUARY 6, 2017 and FEBRUARY 10, 2017

The New CMS Dementia Care Focused Survey, Parts 1 & 2 – Create a Proactive, Preventive Culture

PRESENTED BY: CARMEN BOWMAN, Host of "Conversations With Carmen," Regulator turned Educator
GUEST HOST:  MEGAN HANNAN, Action Pact Consultant
This CMS survey ascertains a community’s compliance with Care and Services for a Resident with Dementia, Unnecessary Drugs, Assessment and Care Planning. Become familiar with the survey, surveyor worksheets and how both have been integrated into the survey process. Most importantly, ensure you know best practices both recognized by CMS and the culture change movement. Learn to view “behaviors” as communication; recognize dementia-related communications; be individual-centered, not institution-centered as CMS requires; offer meaningful engagement by all staff all day to reduce antipsychotics. It’s time to create a proactive, preventive, individualized, resident-focused dementia care culture.



NOVEMBER 18, 2016

Vibrant Living for Men, Compliance for Communities

GUEST:  Glenn Blacklock, LNHA, Action Pact Consultant
Known nationally for his work bringing normal life pursuits to nursing home residents, Glenn will guide us in exploring options to help men live more vibrant and satisfying lives. As we know, men tend to get “lost in the shuffle” in the myriad of activity offerings that often seem to be geared toward women. We will discuss how meaningful engagement can’t just be left to activity/recreational professionals anymore. When all individuals in a community share their passions and interests, relationships flourish and spontaneity happens. As we all rethink what we can make happen for men, they often find new purpose and meaning in their lives, and their once-vibrant spirits will rise again. And although we are focusing well-deserved attention on men's needs here, the principles discussed apply to everyone.
* The discussion will include the new CMS regulation for Activities which goes into effect Nov. 28, 2016.

OCTOBER 21, 2016:


PRESENTED BY: Carmen Bowman
With GUEST HOST: Glenn Blacklock, Action Pact Consultant
Last summer this same duo discussed the 403-page document of CMS’ proposed changes. A year later, trusting that CMS will follow through with the promised September release of the new regulations, they are seizing this opportunity to review the all-new CMS Regulations.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2016

Getting Residents out of Wheeled Chairs

GUEST: Diana Waugh, BSN, RN, CDP  |   Waugh Consulting, LLC
We all know that wheels were put on chairs for transportation. That certainly makes sense and provides people with any limitation on their ability to get from point A to point B. How is it then that individuals who reside in many communities dedicated to caring, spend the vast majority of their time awake sitting in a wheeled chair? Something has gone awry with the application of a very specialized piece of equipment. Wheeled chairs were never meant as seating devices. But then we all know that. We can also state all of the negative effects of having people sitting in a wheeled chair… but there are still way too many people doing just that. There’s a mismatch between what we know and what we practice. We will look at the underlying change in belief that must occur to move to a new culture where wheeled chairs become simply a mode of transportation, and are unoccupied most of the time.

AUGUST 23, 2016

Inspiring Environments for Mobility

GUEST: Lorraine Hiatt, PhDEnvironmental Gerontologist, Planning, Research and Design for Aging
With a flair for design for aging, environmental gerontologist Lorianne Hiatt will get us focused on what mobility is and why it matters to older adults. She will share best practice in assessment of individual mobility as well as of one’s life space with inclusion of direct care givers/partners and the resident him/herself. Be challenged to be creative in using whatever exists in your environment as well as new ideas to encourage movement every day. Learn considerations for persons living with dementia, ways to mitigate risk, and take a look at the MDS data points for personal movement, life-space mobility and reimbursement potential.

JULY 22, 2016:

What Kind of Culture Does Your Language Create?

PRESENTER: Host Carmen Bowman
It is not news that the language of institutional care could use some work. Even CMS notes a needed language change by encouraging the elimination of labels such as “feeder” in its interpretive guidance for Tag F241 Dignity.  Do these institutional words still abide in your culture? Facility, beds, frontline, work the floor, toileting, non-compliant, behaviors, difficult, activities, dietary, resident, elope, expire? Have you personally and community-wide adopted language that is softer, more normal, dignified? The best news? Changing language costs no money. Yes, changing language is a no-cost practice that does wonders to shift from an institutional culture to a home/natural/normal culture instead. Join us to learn more about the unintended consequences of traditional institutional language; word replacements to consider; and ideas on how to change language. Join our host Carmen Bowman as she shares from the paper she co-authored The Power of Language to Create Culture.

JUNE 17, 2016:

Reducing Unnecessary Wheelchair Use

Guest: Leslie Jarema, LNHA, Director of Health Services, The Forest at Duke CCRC
Approximately two-thirds of nursing home residents are in wheelchairs the majority of the time. Although not talked about much, the negative, iatrogenic consequences of overuse of wheelchairs are many: accelerated loss of muscle mass, pressure sores, significant discomfort and physical strain from operating chairs which increase risks for falling, injuries from falls, depression and pneumonia. Older people's health, mobility and self-image can suffer from too much time in wheelchairs. They are treated as less able, even spoken to differently, promoting a cycle of helplessness. The Forest at Duke is part of a movement that gives priority to the well-being of residents and their caregivers - above the functions of the nursing home or convenience of the staff. Join us and our guest Leslie Jerema to learn how she led her community to use wheel chairs for transport only and helps residents be as active as possible.

MAY 20, 2016:

Improving Mobility the Advancing Excellence Way

Guest: Carol Benner, Advancing Excellence Campaign
For years we have talked about preventing and reducing falls, searching for the right solution. We even tied people to their chairs to keep them from falling, not yet realizing that the key to preventing falls is to improve mobility. Then we “alarmed” them, which only resulted in increased immobility. Mobility is the key to maintaining both physical health and quality of life. The Advancing Excellence Campaign has selected Mobility as one of its nine goals. With an expert panel, it has prepared a full set of quality improvement tools to help assess, measure and improve mobility for nursing home residents. In this conversation, we’ll focus on:
  • What mobility is
  • Why maintaining/improving mobility is important
  • How to measure mobility using an evidence-based tool
  • How to incorporate mobility in your QAPI efforts
  • How to use a root cause analysis to help you identify areas for improvement.

April 22, 2016

Dignity-Based Approach to Incontinence

GUEST: Susan Fry, Retired Culture Change Nurse Leader
Guest Susan Fry will report out on a multisite research study regarding a dignity-based approach to incontinence management. Join us to hear both the change steps and the exciting improved outcomes realized:• Disturbing residents less often increases comfort and dignity and respects natural sleep patterns, which improves alertness, appetite and nutrition while reducing confusion.• Reducing the risk for falls by supporting residents to sleep naturally through the night without the need to get up to use the bathroom.• Higher quality products keep skin dryer and promote skin health.• Better leakage protection encourages resident confidence and security.• Individualized care respects residents’ dignity and voiding patterns, and improves the level of participation in daily activities.

MARCH 18, 2016

Alarms: The New Deficient Practice? Replacing Alarms with Better Practices

Presented by Carmen Bowman, co-author of  Alarms: The New Deficient Practice? Eliminating Alarms and Preventing Falls by Engaging with... Life
Join the discussion to ponder the use of alarms. Could it be that alarms actually fit CMS’ definition of “convenience,” which is not to be a reason for restraints at Tag F221? Hear how the use of alarms could be deficient practice on/for at least seven tags. 
Although no research shows that alarms prevent falls and there is evidence that alarms cause people physical and psychological harm, they are still used widely. Eliminating alarms has actually reduced falls in the homes that have done so, committing to the better practices of
  • proactively checking in with residents
  • focusing on mobility
  • anticipating needs and
  • engaging residents with real life
Based on the book Alarms: The New Deficient Practice? Eliminating Alarms and Preventing Falls by Engaging with... Life co-authored by hostess Carmen Bowman, published by Action Pact.

FEBRUARY 19, 2016

Facing Risk: Care Planning for Resident Choice

GUEST:  Karen Schoeneman, Retired Deputy Director CMS Division of Nursing Homes
Are you holding back on offering true choice to residents, even though you want to - for fear of deficiencies being cited, possible legal action or other negative outcomes? We challenge you to think again. It is possible to hone our skills in order to honor resident choice.
Everyone deserves the right to:- Eat food that might be considered a choking risk, 
- Go outside when one wants to
- Decline "alarming" alarms, etc.
Karen Schoeneman, a member of the steering committee of the Rothschild Person-Centered Care Planning Task Force, will teach the six steps of the new "Care Planning for Resident Choice" process, as well as the CMS requirements that mandate homes to honor resident choice.

FEBRUARY 5, 2016

The ROI of Using the Regulations to Promote Highest Practicable Quality of Life

GUEST:  Ray Rusin, Retired Director, Rhode Island Survey Agency
Meeting basic needs should be a given. When they are, one can reach their highest practicable level of well-being.  Yet health systems -- including the survey process -- tend to stratify efforts on the bottom tiers, focusing mostly on safety.  Culture change outcomes are in our favor: improved quality of life and clinical outcomes, higher profit and better regulatory compliance. Learn how to use the existing and proposed regulations to promote highest practicable quality of life.  Achieve the best ROI by having a thorough understanding of the CMS regulations.

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Carmen's sessions are held the third Friday of every month at 12 noon Mountain time (11 am Pacific, 1 pm Central and 2 pm Eastern) and run about an hour each. To sign up, just click on the "To Register"  button and pay online with your credit card through Paypal.  Be sure to provide a valid email address so you can receive instructions on how to join the webinar. You can also register by calling our offices at (414) 258-3649.

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