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

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Guest Columns

The power of a phone call

What do your residents already have and know how to use that can help them feel less lonely? The telephone. Beyond the push for you to invest in costly and time-consuming technology (Zoom? iPads?) is a simpler, quicker solution for your residents to create meaningful human connections if they have the right opportunities to cultivate…

Moving nursing homes forward: The future is now

On March 11, I wrote about the COVID-19 storm rapidly approaching our nursing homes, and particularly the risk of nursing home staff transmitting the virus to residents. On March 15, I pointed out the need for an infection prevention general in every nursing home. This wasn’t a topic that came to me out of the…

New CARES Act provider relief fund rules change the process … again!

Back in August, I wrote an article about the ever-changing nature of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rules surrounding use of the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund monies by health care providers. Well guess what? HHS changed them again.   On Sept. 19, HHS published additional guidance called “Post-Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements.”…

Wow residents with food choices, even when they’re dining alone

Right now, residents eating in their rooms for meals are isolated. They may be feeling sad and scared, creating anxiety and depression. Now more than ever, good nutrition that supports a healthy immune system is important. And don’t even get me started on drinking enough fluid to keep hydrated. Dehydrated cells cannot process the nutrients…

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities: Federal scrutiny expected to continue

While COVID-19 infections are widespread, the virus disproportionately affects the nation’s most vulnerable populations, including seniors. According to an updated estimate from two healthcare experts, 45% of U.S. COVID-19 deaths have occurred in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  Congress and the Trump administration have already provided funding and resources to nursing homes and long-term…

How to take families from outraged to understanding

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing fears, anxieties and uncertainties for everyone, and these feelings can manifest in anger and rage. Physicians and other practitioners are often the target of these tirades, and they need to be prepared to deal with them. But, at the same time, there are some efforts they can take to prevent…

The test of testing: Why is it so difficult to screen staffers?

The No. 1 priority of all skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic remains resident safety. That’s not even a question, as those operating SNFs serve a population that is in a high-risk age range, and in many cases is dealing with a preexisting condition as well. These patients must be protected as…

Lack of unified action is killing our Greatest Generation

If I were to propose that the Greatest Generation wasn’t really all that great, that those leading the fight during WWII didn’t know what they were doing or, worse, manipulating media messages in order to pursue some nefarious end, that the people back home didn’t care too much about our soldiers sent all around the…

Masks: More than just protecting others?

A friend recently told me that her co-worker doesn’t believe in vaccines. They are microbiologists. I know of someone who is a flat-earth believer. He’s an amateur pilot. We see healthcare workers wearing masks below their noses, effectively making them ineffective and useless. There is no excuse for discounting the science. For the last six…
Mark Pavlovich

Sr+ : The rising need for dementia service

It is not your imagination: Providers at all levels of senior care are seeing an increase in referrals for patients with dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the projections for new diagnoses of Alzheimer’s disease in the US is staggering, approaching 15 million by the year 20501.  This increase is partially due to improved family…

For a working mom during COVID-19, it’s morphing time

Had you asked me in 2015 where I see myself in five years, I would have said, “a marketing executive in healthcare with five children and a loving husband that supports my career growth.” Never in a million years did I think I would do it all from home amid a pandemic. As a vice…

Minimizing the impact of touch starvation in long-term care residents

What is touch starvation? Also known as “touch deprivation,” “skin hunger” or “hug deprivation,” touch starvation is what occurs when a person’s exposure to physical contact has been significantly reduced or eliminated, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic and associated social distancing. I began researching this phenomenon and discovered there was a name for it…

With POC testing strategy, federal government continues to respond poorly to COVID-19 in nursing homes

In the federal government’s fight against COVID-19, nursing homes have effectively been left for dead. Despite a death count that began with the February outbreak in a Kirkland, Washington, nursing home, hospitals were prioritized for personal protective equipment.  Hospital workers were publicly held out as exemplars of courage. Meanwhile, a long-marginalized nursing home caregiving workforce that on…
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