John O’Connor

You probably don’t need to be reminded that these are not the happiest of times for many skilled care operators.

The laundry list of common headaches is extensive. It includes things like new competition, hiring/retention difficulties, reputational challenges, increased regulatory oversight, pinched public funds and unprecedented scrutiny. And that’s just the greatest hits.

So operators might be forgiven for feeling a bit more tense and morose than usual these days. But believe it or not, there are also pockets of joy to savor. Here are but two:

Newsweek just launched a survey to help determine the best nursing homes in America. Wait, a media outlet that wants to recognize outstanding facilities? Yes, it’s true. The magazine is also inviting providers to participate. So now is your chance to give some credit where it’s due.

But wait, there’s more. At the risk of being guilty of self-promotion, the “more” comes in the form of our first-ever Mood of the Market Survey. Full results will appear in the July issue of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. We also recently teased some of the more notable findings.

Here’s the bottom line: Providers see high value in this work, believe they have control over their day jobs, and feel valued by their peers.

There’s no need to sugarcoat the challenges this sector faces. They are very real. And most are not going away anytime soon. But they are but a part of the mosaic.

For it’s also true that there is no shortage of buildings that set a great example. More important still is the fact that this sector is full of dedicated professionals who care deeply about the work they do.

On even the darkest of days, those are some important things to keep in mind.

John O’Connor is McKnight’s Editorial Director.