James M. Berklan

I wish I could have been there recently when my coworker heard that I had started doing yoga. 

She probably would have had similar humorous raised-eyebrow looks about my recent return to baking, if not my dive into indoor gardening or trips to local fishing ponds.

I didn’t see her amused look, however, because these things all have kicked in during the last three months while working at home under pandemic conditions. I noted the yoga during a plain old telephone discussion, not a video chat.

Many people have tried to cope with these surreal days by trying new things or broadening their horizons with atypical activities. Many long-term care workers, of course, haven’t been banished from their usual workplaces, but I’ve heard about plenty of creative diversions for caregivers once they get away back home for essentially quarantined respite time.

For anyone willing to put in some effort beyond the latest Netflix binge watch, there are opportunities to put something positive next to their name. Today, I ask, why not have that include professional accomplishments?

Better yet, why not get some credit for something you’ve already done or are now doing? 

I’m talking about entering the annual McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards competition. It is open to any provider (skilled nursing or other senior living operation) and the criteria are simple: Be an actual provider (not a vendor) and tell us about something you’re doing well to improve resident care and experiences.

Whether it’s high-tech or low-tech, include some details about how a process, program or activity works — there’s virtually always some aspect of technology involved when it comes down to it — and you’re more than halfway there. There is no cost to enter.

That’s right: All you have to do is head to the registration page and fill in some contact and background information. We’ll recognize Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in each of six skilled nursing and six senior living categories. 

Hundreds of providers — big and small, for-profit and nonprofit, rural and urban — have been honored in the past. (Scroll down here to see stories about last year’s winners.) We also include Honorable Mention awards whenever our independent panel of national experts deems they’re warranted (which is often the case).

If you win, you’ll be presented with a custom-made trophy and featured in various McKnight’s publications, both in print and online.

Perhaps the best news, besides the national recognition and no-cost entry fee, is that you still have plenty of time to enter. We’ll be accepting entries through Friday, July 24. My strong suggestion is to click into the registration site now, see what it’s all about and plot your next moves.

It’s a great way to get credit for doing what you do best: excellent resident care.

Entering is also less complicated than making a carrot cake, and guaranteed to feel better than trying to balance in a tree pose or lower into the dreaded chaturanga.

The McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards program is accepting entries through July 24. For more information, go to mcknightstechawards.com. Stanley Healthcare is the Platinum sponsor of the program this year. MatrixCare is the Gold sponsor for the senior living track.

Follow Executive Editor James M. Berklan @JimBerklan.