Guest columns & blogs | McKnight's Long Term Care News

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Guest Columns

Side effects of medicine and hope

I got the first step. The first step of the vaccine gave me a headache, a sore arm and the euphoric  feeling of hope for release from the restrictions, illness and death that have literally plagued us for  nearly a year.  I’m pleased that I had side effects. This means that even at my (advanced)…

What 2021 has in store on the legal front

Everyone has been celebrating that 2020 is over, and who can blame them? Yet, I can’t help think the legal issues facing long term care in 2020 won’t necessarily go away in 2021. Some of the lingering issues are problems, and some are just changing the way facilities operate, sometimes for the better. Here is…

What’s really through the looking glass?

A recent Washington Post op-ed by Manoj Jain, M.D. an infectious disease consultant, shed light on a healthcare sector where roughly 1.7 million people acquire infections each year, killing roughly 100,000. Perhaps two-fifths of those infections could be prevented just by proper hand-washing. That sector is not nursing homes: It is hospitals. This annual death…
Marti Moore

I never wanted to run a marathon

Identifying human need is a critical concept for leaders to consider when thinking of strategies that can be deployed to stabilize and then grow a healthy workplace environment.

It’s time for full transparency

I threw down the gauntlet for the nursing home industry to focus on clinical care two years ago.   I warned that in the spring of 2020, providers would “start to hurt because the cost of caring will hit the P&L.” I then wrote an article on the critical importance of the leadership team, saying, “In…

Skilled care, mental health focus needed to decrease hospitalizations

Preventing hospitalizations is as much a sign of good health in older adults as it is a way to maintain it. The burden of infection control, preventing skin breakdown, pneumonia — and the myriad other reasons older adults are transferred from skilled nursing facilities to acute care hospitals — falls on the shoulders of frontline…

Dogs may help save caregivers from COVID-19 exhaustion

Caregiving is an admirable job, and during COVID-19 it’s been even more important. But caregivers are prone to burnout. Did you know dogs can help?  Although nursing home and senior care residents have been hit hard by the illness, caregivers have been dealing with exhaustion on top of an increase in their usual duties.  Enter…

Now is the time to correct course on flu shots

As a possible flu season looms in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and lives of older adults living in long-term care facilities face a potential double threat, making flu vaccination more important than ever.  Influenza places a heavy burden on long-term care facilities every year, but the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the…
Herb Hildebrandt Ph.D., Hl.D. of Trinity Health’s Glacier Hill’s senior living facility

A bit of Christmas gratitude for nursing home staff

Editor’s note: The author penned this poem for the staff at Trinity Health’s Glacier Hills senior living facility, in Ann Arbor, MI, where he lives. He offers it here as an ode to all long-term care workers and senior caregivers this holiday season. Words are but scratches on paper. Solid. Bold. Italic. By hand. By…

When do we get our Rosie the Riveter moment?

It’s a pandemic paradox: How can we have both a staffing crisis and an unemployment crisis?  At the end of 2020, 12 million Americans will lose their unemployment benefits. This is in addition to the 4.4 million who have already exhausted unemployment benefits. As the date draws nearer, thousands are calling upon Congress to act,…

Federal court rules against nursing home immunity

On Oct. 16, a federal court issued an opinion that greatly limits federal immunity protections for nursing homes. The case of Sherod v. Comprehensive Healthcare Management Services, LLC, should be on all providers’ radar. In the case in question, a nursing home, Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, could not claim preemption and federal immunity under…

The devilish details of vaccine distribution

The development of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine has always been a matter of “when” not “if.”  Significant advances in vaccine development, a coordinated global response and considerable public/private funding provide hope for individuals in long-term care. However, the devil lies in the distribution that began this week in some places. Each state plan…
Marti Moore

Dear Santa, I wasn’t asking for a pandemic…

Dear Santa, Last year, I started my letter to you by asking for one more moment with my mother. I asked you for the moment to be like it used to be. Little did I know, when I wrote those words, that I had just days to be with her.  Even though I ultimately changed…

Rehabilitating the nursing home image

Have you ever asked a question, even though the answer is obvious? “Would you like another homemade chocolate chip cookie?” “Do you want to sit where you have a view of the ocean?” Even when the answer is assuredly going to be “no,”  you just can’t help yourself. “Looking forward to your colonoscopy?” “Are you…

‘Notes from Underground,’ with apologies to Dostoevsky

This is a throwback to college reading. It’s been a while for some of us, so bear with me for a minute.  In 1864’s Notes from Underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s narrator believes life in Utopia removes suffering and pain, but he thinks we need both to feel alive. He argues that removing suffering and pain removes…

Nursing Home Quality Incentive Program? Hardly

Was any federal program ever more misnamed than the “Nursing Home Quality Incentive Program”? Rather than reward nursing home quality, it has effectively rewarded states that have out-of-control COVID-19 community spread. Case in point: In the first round of Nursing Home Quality Incentive Program payments, only $394,274 was distributed to 66 New Hampshire nursing homes,…

Bridging the COVID gap: Using technology to connect dementia families

When a loved one is living with dementia, meaningful connections can be hard to come by on a good day. Physical touch and direct eye contact are often key components of creating a successful interaction in a memory support environment. It’s easy to understand the struggle to connect that families might feel when those options…
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