One overarching challenge in the long term care world is keeping people free from social isolation. Many factors play into isolation, including visual or hearing impairments or balance problems leading to a fear of falling, reports Contributing Editor Joanne Kaldy in this month’s cover story. Plus, many residents may arrive at a facility or community grieving the death of a spouse or depressed by the move. Many providers suggest that finding out all they can about each resident on admission is the first step to take to promote inclusiveness and personal relationships.

To be successful on Capitol Hill, an association needs a strong lobbying system as well as strong and viable policies, AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson tells Senior Writer and Editor Patrick Connole in an exclusive interview. He adds that the most effective lobbying of all comes from members who invite their lawmakers into their facilities to see what they have to work with.

While residents with dementia have experienced the same illnesses and injuries as other older adults, they are less likely to verbalize their pain and as a consequence have received less pain medication. To counter this trend, staff need to become fluent in the individual nonverbal signs of pain residents offer, says Caregiving author Cathy Haines Ciolek.

In a final feature, Managing Editor Amy Mendoza interviews achievement award winner Rosemary Oldham, RN, who tells her story as a staff nurse who goes on to become a MDS coordinator and infection preventionist. Oldham also talks about the one resident who bound her to nursing for life.