Articles by: Coach Nicole

U.S. Life Expectancy at All-Time High


September 7, 2009


Care Home

U.S. Life Expectancy at All-Time High

As seen in the New York Times! I thought it was such a great article and didn’t want to alter it! Enjoy!
Americans are living nearly two-and-a-half months longer, according to new life expectancy statistics released today. In 2007, life expectancy in the United States reached a high of nearly 78 years, up from 77.7 a year earlier.

Life expectancy in the United States has been on the rise for a decade, increasing 1.4 years — from 76.5 years in 1997 to 77.9 in 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The life expectancy data, compiled by the agency’s National Center for Health Statistics, are based on nearly 90 percent of the death certificates filed in the United States.

Doctors say that not only is lifespan increasing, but more important, the “active” lifespan is increasing as well.

“The most noteworthy aspect about all this is not just that people are living longer but living better,” said Dr. Gary Kennedy, director of geriatric psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y. “At the same time, people are living a longer active lifespan. Seniors are healthier, more active and economically better off than they ever have been.”

Despite the good news, Dr. Kennedy warns that the data are from 2007, before the economic downturn, which could take a toll on health and life expectancy.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we see differences in the future because of the economic stress people are under,” he said. “It’s good news now, but there could be some painful realities ahead.”

The report found that both men and women are living longer, although a gap of five years remains between men and women. In 2007, average life expectancy was 80.4 years for women, but 75.3 years for men. Although men still die younger than women, the gap has narrowed slightly. In 1979, women outlived men by nearly eight years.

Despite the gains, U.S. life expectancy still lags many other countries. According to the World Health Organization, 14 countries in 2007 had life expectancies of at least 81 years, including Japan (83), Australia and Italy (82) and France, Israel, Singapore and Spain (81).

In the U.S., African-American men also tend to die younger than men overall, but for the first time life expectancy for black males has reached 70 years.

The C.D.C. also reported a 10 percent drop in death rates related to H.I.V./AIDS, the biggest one year decline in mortality since 1998. H.I.V. is the sixth leading cause of death among 25 to 44 year olds.

Overall, the United States death rate continues to drop. In 2007, there were 760.3 deaths per 100,000 population, down from the 2006 rate of 776.5. And 2,269 fewer people died in the United States in 2007 than 2006.

Nearly half the deaths in 2007 (48.5 percent) were due to heart disease and cancer. However, fewer people overall died from heart disease-related problems like stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Among the 15 leading causes of death, mortality rates dropped for 8 of them. In 2007, fewer people died of influenza and pneumonia (8.4 percent decline), homicide (6.5 percent decline), accidents
(5 percent decline), heart disease (4.7 percent decline), stroke (4.6 percent decline), diabetes
(3.9 percent decline), hypertension (2.7 percent decline) and cancer (1.8 percent decline).

Nicole Gruendl
Life and Success Coach

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How to Beat the Recession and Take Control of Your Money


August 31, 2009

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Communication and Relationships

How to Beat the Recession and Take Control of Your Money

How is the recession affecting your household finances? Are you struggling to make ends meet? Are you living from pay check to pay check and wondering if you will ever get out of this endless cycle of financial stress? If this is you, then you are not alone.

Financial stress is one of the most common forms of stress that people experience and is one of the major reasons behind the huge number of divorces each year. Being “broke” is not pleasant, and almost anybody would do what they could to change their financial situation – if they knew how.

The good news is that you can take control of your finances, and it all starts with making the commitment to do so – and the decision to do whatever it takes to get to where you want to be financially.

To get out of your financial mess, the first thing you need to do is put together a budget that works for you. Remember it is pointless setting up a budget that is too restrictive because you will never stick to it, but on the other hand you don’t want one that is not restrictive enough. Otherwise you will never get out of the financial hole that you’re in.

Here are 7 simple and easy ideas on how you can save a few extra dollars:

1-Create a Budget that works for you
2-Set Goals and Live by Your Values
3-Review and Evaluate Your expenses
4-Avoid using your credit card and pay cash
5-Create a vision?
6-How much money do you REALLY make?
7-How you too could make some extra money?

Of course, in order to get anywhere in life, it is important that you set goals. This goes for financial goals too. If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know you’re on track or when you have reached your destination? Your goals must be in line with your personal values too. So sit down now and establish your financial goals. This step alone is extremely powerful when it comes to changing your financial situation for the better.

It is now time to be really conscious of what you are spending your money on, including your wants versus your needs. If you don’t really need a particular item, should you be buying it?

If it seems as though you are constantly going backwards and you can’t cut back your expenses any further than you already have, then you may need to identify any other ways you can make more money.

You could do this by taking up a second job, starting your own online business, or even having a garage sale or selling some unwanted items on an auction site such as eBay. The ways in which you can bring in more money are limited only by your imagination.

Ok, so you’ve established what you can do to help ease your financial situation, and now it is really important to work out what got you into this situation in the first place. If you don’t want to find yourself in the same situation again, then you want to avoid the actions or situations that got you there.

But no matter how you got into your current financial situation, it will be comforting to know that once you have committed to doing what it takes to alter your financial situation, then you will begin to see improvements once you begin to take action.

Taking control of your finances and beating the recession is most definitely within your reach, and once you have the right tools and strategies to use and follow, your bank balance will begin to show positive changes.

For more information, you can click on beat the recession to continue your financial growth and have access to more great tools and ideas!

Good luck and remember:  Now is the perfect time to take control of YOUR money!

Nicole Gruendl
Life and Success Coach

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The Healing Touch of Pet Therapy

The Healing Touch of Pet Therapy


As Seen in NW Retirement Magazine!

Truth is our emotional and physical well-being is closely linked. Does it not make sense that people who are ill or disabled would recover faster or be more at ease if they had something to look forward to, to laugh about or to cuddle with? It is a well known fact that the patient’s emotional state often takes a back seat to standard medical procedures.

As a pet owner, you know that animals can have a positive effect on the physical and psychological well being of individuals of all ages.

Having a pet brings out feelings of comfort, love and excitement. Your pet is there to comfort you when you are sad and greet you when you come home. Nobody else can show you the level of unconditional love and loyalty like a pet can. So it is not surprising to know that having a pet can offer great health benefits.

Imagine how you would feel if you and your pet are forced apart? The feelings of sadness, frustration and concerns are the result of when an individual is required to move into a nursing or care home where they will be separated from their pet. They may experience distress knowing that the pet is no longer a part of their lives. Wouldn’t that be devastating to you? This is why Pet Therapy is so important to their well being.

Nursing and care homes can quickly become a very lonely and boring place to be Residents become withdrawn and can even suffer from depression. The introduction of pet therapy means that these people have something to look forward to. Knowing that today is “pet therapy day” brings joy to these people.

“A little boy was lying in his hospital bed, staring at the ceiling. He shuffled over and the dog jumped up on the bed next to the boy and snuggled against him. Tears started streaming from the child’s eyes as he reached out to pet the dog. All he needed in that moment was a hug.”

Interacting with therapy pets brings on a significant improvement to the resident’s health. Their quality of life improves, as does their sense of well-being.

Improvements shown may include:

* Lower Blood Pressure
* Reduced Cholesterol
* Reduced Stress
* Reduced Anxiety
* Improved Self-esteem
* Improved Quality of Life
* A Better Sense of Well-being
* Improved Dexterity
* A Sense of Belonging and Connection

In fact, research has shown that patients who owned a pet were most likely to be alive a year after a heart attack than those without pets.

Also, it was determined that only 6 percent of heart patients who owned pets died within a year compared with 28 percent of people who did not.

Would seeing changes and results like these not make your heart swell with love and amazement? By bringing pet therapy into your facility, you can create these changes.

Specially trained Therapy Pets can either take up residence in nursing and care homes, or they are taken to visit to a facility. The patients and residents are encouraged to stroke, play, and cuddle the animal. Interactions such as these often result in the improved physical health and mental well-being of the patient – and the animals enjoy it too!

During a pet therapy session residents might be asked to do such activities as brushing the animal’s fur, or giving the dog a command. Such tasks allow the residents to exercise their physical, emotional, cognitive and social abilities. But most of all, a pet therapy session gives the residents someone warm and fuzzy to cuddle – a loving recipient of their affection.

A well organized pet therapy program benefits everyone. It gives volunteers the opportunity to provide a well-appreciated service to the community, the animals enjoy getting out into the community, and of course the patients benefit both psychologically and physiologically. They feel loved and special for that is what comes naturally to the animals. They have an intuitive nature and it reflects upon everyone around them. Animals make people smile and feel better…period.

Although dogs are the most popularly used pets in these programs, other animals may also be used. Pet owners or any pet program may include cats, guinea pigs, birds and rabbits.

So why not give it a try? Become a volunteer or suggest such a program in your facility. The results will be amazing!

For more articles on Senior and Care Homes please visit my webpage at or for more information on how I can support you and your facility

God Bless all of our furry friends;

Nicole Gruendl
Expert in creating a harmonious and peaceful workplace

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10 Tips in Creating a Strong Team

10 Tips in Creating a Strong Team


Having a strong team and work foundation in today’s society is imperative for success in any business. Conflict of any sort creates chaos which leads to dysfunction and breakdown. What is worse than communication breakdown within a team that is working with patients and seniors? Get the picture?

Here are so ideas on how you, as the Team Leader, Administrator or Manager can create that calm and easy going work environment that benefits not just you but your staff and all that you come in contact with.

1. Be a role model.  Remember; you are in a position of authority and your staff looks to your for guidance and direction. They will often reflect what you are doing so always to treat them how you would like to be treated.

2.  Maintain open communication.  Open communication is key. Asking questions, talking to your staff and genuinely be concerned about how they are doing. Listen to what they have to say and make them feel and know that you care. Hear their concerns; ask their opinions about how they see things working and let them have input.

3. Share information.  Having weekly meetings is imperative in having a smooth running facility. Keep your employees well informed, not only of your expectations, but what is going on in your environment.  Let them know what the expectations of the entire organization are, not just your own.

4. Don’t be a micro-manager.  Instill trust in your employees. You hired them because you believe they could handle the position that they applied for. By giving them space they will feel the trust and handle the pressure and do a better job. Now they know that you are not hovering around every corner.

5. Give positive feedback.  We know how easy it is to criticize a person’s actions. How much more productive would it be to focus on what is going well and not just the pitfalls of the every day activities? Would this create more positive feelings and fewer frustrations? Remember to always remember to let your employees know how much their efforts are appreciated

6. Encourage personal development. Create projects at work for team and personal development. This enhances the team building and they get to create and set goals not as individuals but as a group that will grow together.

7. Offer professional development opportunities. Providing continuing education, seminars and workshop opportunities expands their knowledge and personal skills. Have them work as a team in discovering new ways to improve and explore in their work environment.

8. Be a team player.  Create a cooperative environment where everyone’s suggestions are welcome and heard. Reflect upon these ideas at the staff meetings and mention them for projects and creative aspects where they work.  Remember that there is potential for growth and change in every idea that is revealed.

9. Consider mediation. If there are issues and concerns in the work force, offer your employees the chance for a professional to mediate their dispute.  Their productivity will rise and the conflict will cease to exist.

10. Keep smiling! Being a supervisor brings with it much stress and responsibility. But it can also be a source of joy and satisfaction.  Communicate to your workers that you enjoy your job and they will more likely do the same for you.   Reflect upon others what you want to be reflected upon you!

Remember, a Happy Staff creates a Happy Work environment!

For more information about Care Home Coaching and my services please visit

Nicole Gruendl
Life and Success Coach

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6 Ways To Survive Being Laid Off

6 Ways To Survive Being Laid Off


With the economy the way it is, many companies are downsizing. It’s not a news flash that we are in an economic crisis. If you suspect your job is in jeopardy, here are six tips to help you thrive in the event of a layoff. But even if a layoff is not in your future, though you many not know it, take the time to follow these simple steps to enhance your life!

1. Collect what is owed to you. File any outstanding expense reports, and collect any remaining vacation or overtime pay that’s owed to you. It’s important that you tie up any financial loose ends before your departure. Remember, you worked for these benefits and are therefore rightfully entitled to collect them.

2. Don’t take it personally. Unlike getting fired, a layoff is usually not related directly to poor performance but rather to lack of business, or even budget cuts. You may be quite proficient and an asset, but if you are the company’s most recent hire, or if your department is being cut out altogether, your position may be at risk. Keep in mind that you’re being laid off because your employer is having trouble in a tough economy, and not because you aren’t a great at what you do. 

3. Make job searching your full-time job. Create a project and set goals for yourself that’s built completely around job hunting. Schedule time for updating and sending out your resume, tailoring cover letters, scheduling information interviews, networking, and attending events hosted by trade organizations. This will help you to maintain the structure you need to propel you forward in finding a job and will give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day. 

4. Manage your finances wisely. Be frugal and plan for the worst case scenario. Try to stretch out your severance pay (if you received any) or your savings for as long as possible. Save money by cutting out nice-to-have but unnecessary expenses such as cable TV and dining out. And even if money is very tight, resist using your credit cards for purchases. If you have outstanding credit card debts, make it a priority to pay off as much of the monthly balance as possible by the due date. 

Warning! Don’t tap into your retirement funds unless you absolutely have to. Dipping into your RRSP savings (money which you’ve worked hard to save) can have serious financial consequences that include paying taxes and penalties of up to one-half of any withdrawal you make.

5. Start your own business. What do Wikipedia, Microsoft and MTV Networks all have in common? All three of these businesses were started during an economic slump. Perhaps you have an idea that you’ve been waiting to turn into a business. If you have the financing, tenacity and passion to start your own business, this may be the ideal time to do it. Many successful entrepreneurs attest to the fact that starting a business during a recession forces them to focus more and take a harder look at whether or not their ideas are feasible. If your business turns out to be profitable during a recession, once the economy bounces back you’re likely to be even more successful. Remember to take the opportunity to thrive and move forward when others are hiding under their shell.

6. Stay positive. In addition to putting your energy towards returning to gainful employment, it’s essential that you also make time to do the things that interest you and alleviate stress. Exercising, working on home projects and volunteering are all things that you can do to remain upbeat. Keep a healthy and positive attitude and you’ll be back in business in no time! Think about all the things you can get done that you couldn’t get done before…because you were working so much. Take this time to smell the roses, regroup, breathe and enjoy your family.

Time to move onward and upward and not wallow in your self-pity for this will keep you down and non productive! This too shall pass.

Nicole Gruendl
Life and Success Coach

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Coaching and Care Home Conflicts

Coaching and Care Home Conflicts

In any environment where there are people interacting with one another, there will be conflict. We are naturally programmed to go into self defense mode when we feel threatened, whether it be emotional or physical. Seniors or individuals who are used to living independently are no exceptions to that rule.

They are placed in an environment where the choices were not always their own. They have lost the option of when they wake up, eat, or even go to sleep. They have lots all sense of independence and responsibility. Accidents happen, health issues arise, and the fact that they just cannot take care of themselves any longer. This is when the decisions are made for them and now they find themselves in such facilities as your own. This is when disgruntled patients come into play.

Caregivers, some more trained than others, are now faced with such patients. There will be conflicts of interest between the staff and the patients as well as between the co-workers. Many times, the administrators and managers will support their staff and will attempt to sort things out but sometimes there is just too much tension and tempers flare just a little too easy. At other times, however, outside help may be necessary to resolve the conflict within the staff so that they, in turn can ease the tension with the patients. This is where one calls in a mediator and coach.

You may ask why you need to call in a mediator coach if you can handle the situations yourself. Mediation coaching requires someone who is qualified in this field and has the tools to address the problems in a professional manner. Being familiar and having the experience with care home facilities is a major asset for it’s supports in understanding the pressure and chaos that can arise from such an environment. The largest request that we have as coaches etc is that everyone must be a willing candidate for change. More often than not members tend to play the blame game and feel that they should not be involved in such meetings. It’s not their fault, they have no issues, you get the idea. The fact of the matter is this, many of the staff members then to bring their work home with them and vice versa.

If there is conflict at home, it reflects in their work and with their peers. A grudge with a family member can easily be taken out on a patient of another employee. This may not be intentional, but it happens. Unfortunately, it happens more often than not. The conflicts that arise between the employee’s themselves is also a big factor and this cannot go unnoticed or unattended.

The main object to all of this is to clear the resentment, the anger, the fear and all the emotions, no matter where they stem from, and create a wonderful and more loving working environment for all. This ability to push through the objectivity from the staff and create open communication comes with time and experience which is a very useful technique to manage conflict in long-term care settings. This may be something that the administrators and staff managers may not have enough of.
It would also mean that you would have to be completely neutral which makes things a little trying for this conflict has been presented to you previously. You have already been jaded.
Damage control is a serious issue and working with the members to subdue the damage is not a feat that is easily handled. Sometimes it comes from a situation derived from personal issues but can also come from a simple confrontation between two employees.

One final note; every position held in a care facility is a very responsible one indeed. The patients will not always be cooperative or easy to handle but it is the staff’s responsibility to make it as easy as possible for them and for their peers to resolve any issue that may arise.

If the staff is there for the patients, who is there for the staff? You as an administrator or director can only do so much and handle so many conflicts before this too will take a toll on you. Call in some help and you’ll be happy you did!

For more information about Care Home Coaching and my services please visit:
Nicole Gruendl
Life and Success Coach

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Changing Employee Behavior

Changing Employee Behavior


As supervisors and team leaders of your facility, you are often dealing with staff issues. A conflict within employees, a certain individual who is not performing up to par or a task that’s been missed or just completely forgotten. It’s a sensitive area and you need to be able to handle these situations with care and concern. In the care industry, staff often become like Family and they take pride in their work. Of course, there is always an exception to this rule.

For many, they began working in your facility because they care for their patients and are genuinely concerned about what they do. Yet for the selected few, this is just a “JOB” and a means to pay their bills.

This attitude reflects in everything they do and say at work and this in turn begins to reflect in their performance at work. Then you get notices that this certain individual not pulling their weight in the team, coming in late, not completing assignments, causing distractions on the job, irritating co-workers How do you deal with this? You are now in a situation where there in a kink in your teams’ chain and it’s beginning to cause concerns within.

As the lead and let’s face it, you sometimes wish it would just go away and work itself out. They are adults they can handle this can’t they? Why do I need to get involved? You do not want to be portrayed at the “bad guy”. But will you putting off that heart-to-heart discussion with the person who’s driving you crazy, hoping they’ll have a miraculous recovery solve the problem? Well you may have to wait for a long time. For whatever reason, these behaviors work for them, so they are unlikely to change them on their own.
You see, it’s likely that they can be taking your lack of interest in the matter as an approval of the way they do things. That it’s alright to continue with their way of doing things, their manners and how they treat other employees for there is nobody there who is stating or requesting change. It’s their way and they are quite happy in doing so.

Remember, the rest of the staff is also watching this transpire. No involvement from the managers or directors means that you approve of all of it. In which case, they might also assume that such behavior is OK for them as well. Can you see how this can escalate into bigger and more complex issues?

Most likely, your non-action will cause them to begin questioning your credibility. You are in the supervisor position to enforce the high standards of performance and ethics of the company. So if you allow such actions to go without discussion, then there is a double standard. Most people want to work for someone who has high standards. They want someone to look up to and strive towards and make them happy so everyone can be happy. It’s called team effort.

So here are some actions to correct the problem behavior.

1. Approach the situation with respect and care. Remember what you bring to the table will be reflected back to you.
2. Be specific with the problem. If there are more than one issue be sure to address them one by one
3. Discuss each of your concerns and be clear and precise
4. Reflect what they contribute to the team
5. Ask them their opinion and LISTEN to their response
6. Take notes and acknowledge their concerns and statements
7. Be specific about company policy, rules and expectations
8. Come to a mutual agreement without “the I said so” concept
9. Be sure to follow up with your employee and if you feel that YOU need more support then you can always rely on me.

To support you in making this conversation less stressful, here are a few ideas to get you in the right frame of mind.

–Pick the right time to talk. You are aware what their schedule entails, so pick a time when it’s not so chaotic. For example. You wouldn’t take them away from their duties when it’s time to serve lunch or when you or they are under pressure. The tension will be increased and the emotions will be affected which could lead to a very unproductive meeting.

–Have your meeting in a private location where their peers can hear the discussion. Do not make this meeting an open topic of discussion. Letting others know of the meeting or involving everyone is not a powerful action.

–Be sure to have all of your facts in place before the meeting. Keep a record of the events and transactions that describe their unacceptable behavior and actions and ask yourself “Why am I keeping this person instead of just hiring someone to replace them?”

–Remember you are requesting this meeting from a powerful and caring role. You are there to coach them, discuss the situation and listen to their concerns, yet reflect to them about their responsibilities as part of the team. If things become heated, remind yourself and your staff member that this meeting is to facilitate and support and not chastise.

–What you discuss with the individual will reflect in their work. So speak of their possibility, their greatness and how much they mean to the team. Treat them like a winner and they will perform like a winner. Boosting their confidence changes not only their performance but their behavior as well. You have to BELIEVE this person is worth coaching and keeping on your team.

–And again, never forget to follow up. This shows that you care and are concerned not just for the facility but for the individual as well. See how they are managing the change and how the other employee’s are addressing it. This may not come easy or instantly, so be patient and recognize their efforts and progress.

Remember, you are the person that your staff looks to for guidance and leadership. If you want them to perform their tasks and love their job, then you must lead the way and reflect the same feelings.

Your staff members are not just employee’s they are family. That loving and caring feeling that you show to them reflects all the way down to the patients. And in reality, why are you doing what you do? Why do you care as much as you do? Think about how your facility would benefit with incredible leadership and coaching. Everyone benefits, ESPECIALLY the patients! Think about it…

Nicole Gruendl
Life and Success Coach

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Best Practices for Care Home Safety

Best Practices for Care Home Safety


Living longer or needing extensive support can be a mixed blessing. Sometimes the chronically ill or frail individuals who may need assistance with the basic functions of living are led to reside in a facility such as a care, nursing or rehabilitation home. Many dependent elderly or not so elderly become extended care facility residents, where their physically demanding needs are both a challenge and a hazard to nursing aides and other caregivers.

Care home staff are caring individuals and often place more emphasis on patient safety issues than their own. Such circumstances have led to employees sustaining frequent and often severe workplace injuries, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Nationally, care home workers have experienced injuries and illnesses at an alarming rate. BLS reported in 2006 that for Standard Industrial Code 8050, the extended-care facility injury and illness incident rate was 9.8 in comparison with a private industry incident rate of 4.4. This fact is largely why BWC’s Division of Safety & Hygiene and numerous federal agencies have focused on the extended-care facility industry for accelerated hazard-control activities.

There are many reasons for the high injury and illness rates in such facilities. Injuries occur due to the high incidence of resident transfers. According to the BLS:

• Nursing home workers suffer most injuries when handling residents (51.2 percent);
• Fifty-eight percent of their injuries were strains and sprains;
• While back injuries account for 27 percent of all injuries in the private sector, they account for 42 percent in nursing homes;
• One of the 10 occupations with the highest number of injuries and illnesses,

In addition, according to BWC statistics, back injuries average more than $23,000 in workers’ compensation expenses.

In some facilities, residents are completely dependent on staff members to provide for their daily living activities. Recent hospital trends indicate these facilities send older, more dependent patients to extended-care facilities for care in an attempt to cut rising hospital costs. The nurses’ aides are those workers who primarily assist residents with their daily needs which in turn creates repetition in actions, movement and more strain.

Care facilities dedicated to quality resident care, and maintaining a quality and stable work force, have risks inherent to the business that have been controlled. Attention to risk factors and controls, a strong management commitment, involvement of the employees, strong and regular safety awareness training, and progressive claims management are commonalties in these institutions.

Here are some ideas on how you can help create a better and safer work environment for your staff:

-The administrator advises safety with coaching and mentoring with visibility being the key. By being in a group program it reduces strain and pressure on everyone…Everyone helping everyone

-Administrators need to be out helping staff to gain the opportunity to see the problems of staff members.

-Senior managers must personalize the work environment and get to know their employees, and treat them like family;

-Get people involved and take injury prevention seriously

-Team-lift policies prevent individual handling by any one employee.

-Regulations are not a terrible imposition; accept them and build for these minimum standards. Try to reach excellence in daily operations. Make everyone feel like a part of the team and be genuine in your efforts

-Be sure to show injured workers that management cares about them

-Management values employee suggestions and acts upon them in a timely manner

By working with your team this way it shows them respect, concern and your the ability to lead a team in a powerful and caring manner. This leads to several positive changes in the work environment as well, such as:
“Reductions in injury frequency and severity Improvements in employee/management communications, Heightened safety awareness, Employee morale, attitude and productivity improved and they share common accomplishments.”

All of this needs to begin from the top. The team leaders, administrator and managers. Your commitment gives you in return a commitment from them which then reflects upon the safety and patient care. By you providing a visible and active voice in all the process, this gives them the opportunity to follow a great example. Regular meetings for staff moral and support, with a team lead and a coach is more productive than any book one can read. It’s hand on and they feel included and they feel more important. They are being heard.
You are giving them the assurance that they are someone and not just another “employee” and that your being a part of a healthy team means so much to them.

Be sure as a team lead to compensate them when possibilities arise.
This does not necessarily mean that they should have an increase in pay, some programs offer recognition for a job well done with awards ranging from simple praise to monetary incentives for completion of goals.

It is your responsibility to maintain a mission that includes quality care for residents and workers.

Be safe!
Nicole Gruendl

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No BS Quick Cures for Crankiness

No BS Quick Cures for Crankiness

Beat a bad mood with some feel-good solutions that will work in minutes flat.

angSure, there are days when you’d like to hang a sign on your door that says, “Leave me the heck alone!” But whether you’re stewing because of a tight deadline, a bad hair day, raging hormones or a sleepless night, you don’t have to spend the day gnashing your teeth and spitting venom at everyone that dares approach. Soothe those prickly feelings in a hurry with some remedies proven by science, and get on with your day in a more positive way. Here are 8 ways to cure your crankiness right now.

1. Listen to your mom
Save favorite voice-mail or answering-machine messages from people you love so you can listen to them anytime — or simply dial up a friend or family member. The voice of a loved one can quickly dissolve crankiness. That’s because pleasant sounds can decrease the tension that triggers irritability and distract you from annoyances. On the flip side, unwanted noise raises blood pressure, cortisol (the stress hormone) and, over time, even your risk of cardiovascular disease.

2. Order the suicide-hot wings
Spicy or hot food or drinks (think Thai, Hunan) can raise your body temperature and relax your body. So if you’re starting to think that AC is short for Arctic Circle at work, grab some hot ginger tea, wear a wool or fleece top or take a sauna or longer shower at the gym and the No BS Exercises will also warm you up. Increasing your body temperature can help calm your mood by reducing muscle tension, changing brain wave patterns, inducing hormonal changes and causing vasodilation (relaxation of blood vessels), which increases blood flow to extremities and circulation in general. when you’re comfortable, you’re automatically less cranky.

3. Get rocking
Ever wonder why Grandma looks so serene in her rocking chair? Rocking yourself is a natural anti grouchiness mechanism.. The rhythm allows the brain to relax and your heart rate to slow. If you don’t own a rocker (or want to), try this rocking yoga move: Sit on the floor, draw your knees up to your chest, join your hands under your knees and tilt your head forward toward your knees — now rock forward and roll backward onto your rounded back. Find any calming rhythm to shake your bad mood — literally — such as a mantra, humming, rocking or dancing in a swaying fashion. The clincher is that any music you listen to should be slower than your heartbeat — just think slow, soft rhythms.

4. Use powder
Sprinkle on some baby powder after your shower to chill your mood before you step out, or choose baby-powder-scented antiperspirant, car fragrance or drawer liners. Why? The smell of baby powder can quell a bad mood by evoking feelings (and memories) of safety and comfort.

5. Pause four times a day
Pause a total of 20 minutes a day, five at a time, to exorcise your inner grouch, That’s the magic number, research showed that’s what it took to reduce stress, including irritability, by 50%. Whenever you pause, your brain takes your body off high alert: your breathing returns to normal, which slows your heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormones and reduces the adrenaline overload that tension creates. The most important five-minute downtime is when you wake up: “Your body undergoes the biggest change in blood pressure and heart rate in the morning, so avoid hitting the ground running.

6. Telling  jokes
Learn something from men: Study findings show that they typically open conversations with a joke or at least something not serious, whereas women start off by asking or telling someone what’s wrong, and the seriousness tends to escalate. “We can learn something from men about stress. “The more you can do to smile and laugh, the tougher it is to hold on to to bad feelings.” Laughing stops hyperventilation and reregulates our breathing pattern. And just smiling sends feedback to the brain that positively affects heart rate, blood pressure and digestion.

7. Wear pastels
Choose the peach top instead of the red one today. You may think that bright colours such as orange, red and yellow are cheery and energizing, but they can actually trigger aggression because they’re overstimulating. Consider that traffic signs usually capture these colours to send us into alert mode: watch out, danger and stop. Warmer tones have a nurturing, caring feeling, and the less bright and saturated the colours, the more soothing they are.

8. Get your heart racing
Do 10 minutes or more of aerobic exercise to douse grumpy feelings, 10 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise improved people’s mood the most. Working out at a higher intensity or longer won’t make you any cheerier either. Exercise has proven strong, calming effects that can last for several hours. But we’ve also found that it’s aerobic activity that seems to improve mood the most.

Chris Sine
Fitness Trainer

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Bullying and Your Personal Power

Bullying and Your Personal Power

Being a coach, I have become more aware of people who forgo their personal power to avoid confrontation, search for peace, and have acceptance.

These situations come at a great expense to your personal being. You become quiet, lose your self esteem, become confused, often depressed and find that you not longer know who you are.
I have been involved in such situations and have now found my personal power and believe and trust my own personal judgment. My “gut” feeling.
Starting out as a coach in support for single parents and stay at home moms, I often saw such circumstances arise. Many had no self esteem, had no drive left, they were so committed to their family that they lost themselves. And then were put in a situation where they are told that it’s their JOB and that they have not amounted to anything because they don’t have a real job outside the home. All they do is take care of the kids. This is part of my own story.

That exchange of words was quite unsettling for me. I thought of myself as a powerful, intelligent and superb mother and wife. Instead of me standing in my power, I let myself be demeaned over and over again. I wanted stability, I didn’t want any sort of confrontation. I just wanted it all to go away. What happens with this type of scenario is that it strengthens the “bully” and sends the person on the receiving end into more of a downward spiral. This encounter led me to dive deeper into the curious cave of personal power and trust.

Bullying comes is presented in many different ways in life. Amazingly enough, children who bully throughout their younger years feel the need to continue throughout their adulthood. This is the reflection upon many abusive marriages and relationships. The need for control and self preservation is so high they do not care who it affects in their lives. Sadly, this has become such an issue in our society that we have Special days to Stop the abuse.

With reflection from those past moments, I wanted to work and empower women, single, married, stay at home or out in the work force. For may of us carry these burdens from one environment to the next. Owning your power is an integral part of personal happiness, fulfilling connections and achieving your potential. You give your power away when you make someone outside of you more important than what you hold inside of you.
Noticing this not only in your home environment but also in the work place is essential for the staff, the coworkers and the facility in general.
Working in the health care industry, the people that these negatives surroundings affects the most are the patients. What I saw was a conflict with the employees that was not at all what one would expect. They are all here to tend to their patients with love and caring and yet, they have difficulty even talking to their co-workers?
So keeping with your personal power, your essence, you become stronger, more confident and your self esteem will sky rocket. This is a process and it’s a transition that will begin when you say “ I LOVE MYSELF”, and believe it.

These are ways how you give your personal power away :

    –Searching for validation by over powering
    –Wanting approval for every action
    –Losing faith in yourself Forget that you know what you’re doing, and you are good at it.
    –Any boundaries are lost
    –Any self doubt
    –Be intimidated by loud, obnoxious people
    –Be a victim of emotional assaults
    –Go against your personal beliefs
    –Attempting to please everyone around you

    But you can keep your personal power when you:

–Believe in yourself and trust your inner feelings.
–Ask for what you need and want.
–Believe the fact that you have earned the respect from others
–Be non judgmental. Do onto others as you would like done to you
–Spend time with like minded people
–Never stop being the loving and caring person you know yourself to be
–Learn to say “No” and mean it, no matter what the outcome

Owning your power means speaking your truth, honoring your sensitivity, and believing in yourself. Your life experience, education, personal relationships, and curiosity make you wise.  Always believe in yourself and if need be, tell the bullies to shove off!

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Buddha

Nicole Gruendl
Life Success Coach

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