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Pedtke Pens Book On Lessons Learned By Long-Term Care Staff

Pedtke Pens Book On Lessons Learned By Long-Term Care Staff

Health Professions Press has just published What Living as a Resident Can Teach Long-Term Care Staff: The Power of Empathy to Transform Care.

Available in print and e-book format, this book teaches the innovative Through the Looking Glass program, where long-term care staff simulate a diagnosis (such as congestive heart failure or a recent stroke) and live alongside residents in order to build empathy for residents’ experiences.

What is it like to be unable to move without setting off a personal body alarm?

How painful is it to sit in a wheelchair for hours on end?

How does it feel to be incontinent in front of others?

These are challenges that residents can face on a daily basis. Even the most caring staff can fail to appreciate their effects. But experiencing them first-hand creates more compassionate caregivers, improved care practices, and enhanced well-being for both staff and residents.

“Every participant said the physical challenges, although uncomfortable, were not as difficult as what the experience of the program did for them emotionally,” says author and program creator Leslie Pedtke. “Each participant was stripped to the core before truly understanding what empathy is in caring with our residents.”

Author and program creator Leslie Pedtke.

The results of the program have been remarkable. Communities that have adopted it have seen measurable benefits such as elimination of personal body alarms, decreased falls, reduced use of psychotropic drugs, improved resident health and well-being, and increased staff retention and satisfaction.

This book teaches you how to set up this program in any residential care setting, as well as ways to address high turnover through the hiring and orientation process, and is filled with compelling journal entries of real staff experiences.

“I will be making some changes in the way I go about my day,” a staff member who participated in the program decided. “I’ll take the time to sit and talk with my residents and build stronger, trusting relationships with them; something that will help me take better care of them.”

Carmen Bowman, a regulator turned educator, and the creator of Edu-Catering: Creating Education for Compliance and Culture Change, applauds the book and program, and says that adopting it gives you nothing to lose and much to gain. “It will help you comply with the new CMS requirements, which have a greater focus on person-centered care than ever before.”

Pedtke has watched relationships, connections, and passion flourish through this program, and wants others to experience those rewards. “It is my dream,” she says, “that everyone working in long-term care takes the whole program or pieces of it to transform the culture of their community. Amazing things will happen. Trust me.”

For more information on What Living as a Resident Can Teach Long-Term Care Staff, please visit

About Health Professions Press:

Health Professions Press, Inc. (Baltimore, Maryland) is a publisher of high-quality educational resources for professionals interested in wellness and aging, long-term care, elder care, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and healthcare management. Visit to learn more.

About the Author:

Leslie Pedtke, L.N.H.A., created Through the Looking Glass while working as Administrator for Aviston Countryside Manor. She is now Educator for Quality Improvement for King Management Company. Through her experience of more than 20 years, she has built a foundation of person-directed care at Aviston as well as at King Management’s other long-term care and assisted living communities.

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