The article below is a top story from this week's ACTION newsletter—Care Providers of Minnesota's weekly newsletter for members. The newsletter focuses on current legislative issues, regulations, long-term care trends, and other Association news. Each Thursday evening, it is delivered to your inbox. To sign up for ACTION, contact Lisa Foss Olson (952-851-2483). To learn more about membership, visit our Become a Member page.
Recognizing the good in these challenging times
By Board of Directors Chair Paula Rocheleau | May 8, 2020 | All members
At our organization—Partners Senior Living Options—there are five core values which guide how we interact every day—with clients, staff, and each other. One of these values is humor—we believe that laughter is an important part of daily life. So why bring up humor amid a pandemic? Because I think it is humor—or at least recognizing and celebrating the good that we are doing—that will help get us through these challenging times.
Now long-term care is no stranger to challenges. We have faced crises before and have been under scrutiny. We have been a target for media and legislators, and then forgotten when it comes time for funding or considered a priority. Yet we always knew
the great care and valued service we provided. Daily, we experience the meaning of caregiving as we do our best to provide that care with a smile—and now—with a mask.
So, it’s hard to hear the cheers for “frontline” staff directed toward hospital and grocery store workers (rightfully deserved) but not have long-term care included in this group. Instead, there is blame and accusations that focus on the number of those who have died of COVID-19, with little being said about the majority of facilities that have not had cases. Not a lot has been said on how staff have sacrificed time with their own families in order to provide care. How staff have stepped up to keep residents and families connected despite restricted visits. How staff have rallied to keep up residents’ morale in the absence of family. How all staff—regardless if they are dietary, maintenance, activities, or business office—are all caregivers.
Not surprisingly, the Association has been caring non-stop, too. Daily member messages filled with resources and information began March 2 and have not stopped! Weekly Wednesday webinars were quickly put together beginning March 18—and have continued remotely since then. Providing members with answers and the most up to date information has been imperative for the Association, as circumstances seem to change daily. Association staff have been constantly available to answer questions and a source of support when a member finds a possible case of COVID in their building. And Association leadership has made themselves available day and night for every kind of media request—be it the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, AP, Fox news, NBC…and so on, in order to get this message across: we need to help the most vulnerable; we need PPE supplies; and we need to test, test, and test.
There is a lot going on for all of us as we navigate these challenging times. So, for today, I hope you can focus on the positive and recognize the good that we do. As we grieve the loss of life and how life used to be—I hope you can take a moment and be thankful, and maybe even find a little humor. I hope we embrace a sense of gratefulness, continue to pick each other up, and keep caring…because that
is truly what we all do best.
And one final thought: I cannot wait for the day when we can meet face to face again—without PPE!
CEO, Partners Senior Living Options & Board of Directors Chair, Care Providers of Minnesota