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

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Guest Columns

Looking at COVID-19 through the eyes of residents with dementia

When I was in graduate school as a single parent, barely making ends meet, I lamented to my mother in loud, ugly sobs that I thought I might be going crazy.  I was serious. My mother calmly responded, “Well, that’s not a luxury you can’t afford.” While all of us feel like we are going crazy right…

We should be doing more to prepare for the next pandemic

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, it is important to not only deal with the present reality but also to think ahead. And on the latter score it is instructive to read the words of Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota: What should…

A letter to express my gratitude during COVID-19

Like most of us in long-term care, Creekwood Place Nursing & Rehab was not expecting COVID-19. But we, like our counterparts throughout the country, are managing it. Creekwood Place Nursing & Rehab is located in Russellville, KY, a rural town of just over 7,000 people in southwest Kentucky. Creekwood Place is a 104-bed skilled nursing…

Data Speaks: What is my niche? Data driven decision making

When examined strategically, data has a voice, it comes to life, it can in fact speak volumes to you. Data speaks about the care you deliver, it provides insight into your treatment patterns, and data is used deliberately by CMS to compare communities to others in their locality and across the nation.

Useless PPE befitting federal nursing home neglect

According to Paraprofessional Health Institute data, there were 581,000 nursing assistants working in nursing homes in 2018. Their median wage was just $13.38 an hour. Ninety-two percent were women, and the workforce is predominantly comprised of people of color — 37% are Black. Perhaps these demographics make it easier for some policymakers to marginalize these essential workers. They…

COVID-19 poem: PPE Mask — A Resident’s Perspective

I’m a resident here in this nursing home; And my life has been turned upside down I can’t read your face — like I used to do, Can’t tell a smile from a frown It’s that mask you wear; It hides your face! Plus, it makes you hard to hear I’m a little bit scared—…
Herb Hildebrandt Ph.D., Hl.D. of Trinity Health’s Glacier Hill’s senior living facility

Media should stay positive when it comes to seniors

Headlines during the time of COVID-19 foretell more semantic warmth for the elderly than I have ever read and heard before. That is the underlying tone of my following remarks. Changes in tone Negative tones have  increased since the time of the ancients. Then and now are variations of the ancient traditional tripartite genre of communication: deliberative,…

To mask or not to mask?

Disclaimer: I know I’m preaching to the choir. But it has to be said, so I’m saying it. I keep hearing defenses against wearing a mask in public. I wear one to protect YOU. I work in a COVID-19 facility and may be carrying a virus unawares. Some say “If I die, I die. I…

It’s time to regroup and refocus on compliance

The world is tired. It’s been a long, hard spring. It feels even longer and harder for long-term care providers and staff. This invisible enemy, COVID-19, has wreaked havoc on the eldercare industry, and we are just now maybe taking a deep breath. The death and illness toll to our residents and staff has been staggering, and while nursing…

Program addresses emergency management considerations for behavioral care facilities

Since 2011, Arizona’s Disaster Ready program has proactively addressed emergency preparedness in skilled nursing facilities (SNF) throughout the state. Managed by the team at the Arizona Health Care Association and funded through a grant overseen by the Arizona Department Health Services (ADHS), this program provides emergency management resources to all SNFs in the state. The…

Delaying death not enough for nursing home residents

Strict isolation. Constant surveillance. No communal dining or group activities. No hugs, no touching, no visitors except in extreme cases. This may sound like life on death row, but in fact, in the coronavirus era in which we live, it fairly describes the plight of many residents in America’s long-term care facilities.  This eerie similarity came innocently enough. Under…

The challenge of protecting dementia residents during the coronavirus pandemic

The new normal resulting from the coronavirus pandemic has presented a particular challenge to those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, as well as the dedicated healthcare professionals caring for them in skilled nursing facilities. As Alzheimer’s Association mission partnerships director Doug Pace said in a March 30 news release, “Individuals living with dementia thrive…

The importance of social distancing in a post-COVID 19 world

We are living in a once-in-a-lifetime period in history in which we are targeted by a virus that takes no prisoners. It wants to destroy all in its path especially the elderly and those who work in direct contact with this vulnerable population.  While long-term care facilities are accustomed to following federal, state and local guidelines and…

What COVID-19 has taught us

When things are tough, we rise up. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. When a pandemic sweeps the world … what can you do but make the most of it? We don’t know about you, but we at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities in Dousman, WI, never imagined spring 2020 would be like this.…
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