National Skilled Nursing Care WeekÂ® (NSNCW) began on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 9, and was celebrated until the following Saturday.
Founded in 1967 by the American Health Care Association (AHCA), the celebration highlights the important role nursing homes play in caring for the elderly and people with disabilities in the United States. This year’s celebration week is sponsored by Essity.
“We are grateful to Essity for their generous support of National Skilled Nursing Week, which was an important celebration recognizing the compassionate care provided by nursing homes and their staff during this unprecedented time,” said the President. and head of the AHCA / National Center for Assisted Living Executive Director Mark Parkinson.
COVID-19 has made this past year unimaginable for skilled nursing homes, many of which have been hit hard by the pandemic. Throughout this time, however, staff members across the country have looked after residents around the clock, as challenges such as social distancing rules prevented residents from visiting loved ones in person.
Recognizing the extraordinary work of certified practical nurses, nurses, food service workers and other nursing home staff is the foundation of NSNCW. The theme, Together Through the Seasons, honored the collaboration and commitment of skilled nursing facilities and their staff to provide compassionate care to their residents every day during this difficult year.
While not all nursing homes were able to celebrate the week, many have developed creative and inspiring ways to celebrate their staff and residents during NSNCW. Social media posts, photos and videos describe a plethora of wonderful activities and events that fit the Together Through the Seasons theme.
For many skilled health centers, being outdoors together was the safest and easiest way to maintain social distancing while organizing special activities and events. Theme parties, barbecues and barbecues, car parades, vintage car shows, Olympics, balloon launches, dances with young and old, concerts, group singing and award ceremonies are just a few of the ways whose staff and residents famous.
Other events focused on seasonal celebrations like the Spring Planting, with staff and residents working side-by-side to plant flowers and vegetables in dedicated planters and gardens. Visits from furry friends were also extremely popular. The four-legged friends who made their way into many nursing homes and the hearts of staff and residents included therapy dogs, horses and ponies, rabbits, pigs and even baby goats.
Across the country, residents and staff were excited to finally be able to safely reunite for the first time in over a year. At the Florence Hand Home in LaGrange, Ga., Residents were thrilled to be together again to share laughs and s’mores at a festive outdoor garden party.
Other fun and imaginative celebrations included large-group memory games and bingo, themed costume parties, movie nights, Native American ceremonial dances and music and luaus.
Many other activities focused on the past decades, featuring films and musical gatherings from a particular period, such as the hippie years of the 1960s.
Treats and special meals were also part of the celebrations, with ice cream trucks and s’more parties topping the list.
From art to apple butter, residents were invited to engage in joint creative projects. Building on the theme Together for the Seasons, residents of Lee Health and Rehab in Penning Gap, Va. Spent a day painting and building a “4 Seasons Art Project” and the next day planting tomatoes, peppers and watermelons in a garden.
Creative projects were not limited to painting and drawing, but also included yarn crafts like God’s eyes, button art, ice cream stick architecture, and colorful felted flowers planted in pots. of decorative flowers.
Other creative events included staff theatrical productions and costume parties. In many nursing homes, residents honored their staff and caregivers in sincere and humorous ways. Staff received handmade cards, signs and video messages and were treated to special lunches.
At Azria Health Woodhaven in Ellinwood, Kan., Caregivers received certificates of heroism as well as lottery tickets with an attached note that read, “We hit the jackpot with staff like you!”
From coast to coast, elected officials have issued special proclamations in honor of the NSNCW. In the words of Governor Ralph Northam, âThe Commonwealth of Virginia is grateful to the dedicated workersâ¦ [and] for the heroic contributions they make every day to the well-being of the residents and families they serve.
Some proclamations were more local and focused. In Darke County, Ohio, âProclamation Dayâ has been designated May 10, encouraging county residents to call friends and family at local care facilities with messages of love and love. Support. The week also served as a special time to recognize Darke County staff.
In a quote for the Sydney (Ohio) Daily News, Kristy Earick, Senior Administrator of Versailles Rehab, said: âOur entire team has gone to extraordinary lengths to protect the health of our residents, not to mention that of our staff and their families as the pandemic escalates. We cherish the work they do every day; However, during these special Honor Weeks, we are particularly focused on their compassionate care. “
The week was recognized in many unique and creative ways, but across the country the main focus was to honor and recognize the compassion and dedication of skilled caregivers, especially in these difficult times, and to celebrate the life of the residents for whom they are responsible.
To see all of the ways NSNCW has been recognized this year, please visit #NSNCW, Facebook.com/#NSNCW and NSNCW.org. â
Lisa Hohenemser, MPH, is Marketing Director for the American Health Care Association.