Editors' Columns

Editors’ Columns

John O'Connor's Columns

Coming to terms with senior living

So if you are not quite sure what bucket you belong in right now, here’s my advice: Don’t get too amped up. Just wait a few years. Chances are, better than good that a new term will be coming your way.

Before the fall

Recent trends related to falls among older adults should alarm senior living operators. Fortunately, there are proactive steps you can take to reduce fall risks and their consequences. Even if your residents don’t thank you, your insurer, attorney and bottom line will.

Temporary relief for senior living’s biggest challenge?

Ask any senior living operator what fuels the most semi-sleepless nights, and you’d best settle in for a lengthy conversation. From COVID-19’s massive destruction, to tougher competition, to increased regulatory oversight, to more lawsuits, to higher insurance costs and more, the list goes on. It also seems to grow by the day. But there is…

Senior living operators better brace for new labor pains

An undeniable consequence of the November elections is that Democrats now rule the roost in Washington. And it appears that one of their first orders of business is to rebalance labor relations — and not in ways most managers are likely to welcome.

Mind if I cut in?

Given the high demand for COVID-19 vaccines and a very limited supply, line-jumping seems to be emerging as our new national pastime.

Senior living braces for a workplace shift

From strictly a policy perspective, President Trump was more of a business person’s ally. But he was defeated by a man who promised to bring a lot of change. And this week we got a real taste of how that promise might be kept.

Buckle up, buttercup

If the Democrats manage to run the table, it’s a whole new ball game. Here’s what senior living operators soon might see.

‘That’s what we should sell: peace of mind’

It’s probably safe to say that the number of operators who will look back at 2020 as the good old days will be low indeed. The How-Did-We-Survive? days might be more like it. And yet, cause for optimism remains.

It’s not just residents who are suffering

This insidious virus has been harsh on the elderly among us – especially your residents – who are getting sick and dying in disproportionate numbers. As bad as that reality is – and it is terrible – it hardly accounts for all the pain in our midst.

Senior living could use a traitor like this

For my money, what the field could really use – perhaps even more so than targeted retooling – is a person along the lines of a John C. Bogle. Or better yet, more than one.

Lois Bowers' Columns

To know us is to love us? New effort could boost interest in long-term care careers

Attracting medical school graduates to enter geriatrics is a challenge, as evidenced by their recent fellowship choices. Beyond that, however, is the challenge of interesting geriatricians — as well as internal medicine physicians, family practitioners, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and other healthcare professionals — to practice in long-term care facilities. AMDA–The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine may have an answer.

Is it too soon to lift public health mandates?

We know from previous research that stopping the spread of COVID in the greater community can help stop it within long-term care facilities. So is now the time to lift state-wide mask mandates and permit 100% occupancy in businesses?

COVID, one year later

At this time a year ago, we still were unsure what the coronavirus would mean for the industry, for the country or for us personally. Now, effects are clear, even if we still don’t know all of the answers.

A big list for the small screen

If you’re like many over the past year, you’ve been spending more time inside than usual, often in front of a television, streaming or otherwise watching series and movies. A new list provides some new ideas for resident recommendations, programming or your personal life.

Drumroll, please

The wait is almost over. Wednesday, we begin announcing the 2021 McKnight’s Women of Distinction awards.

New insights into how to attract residents

There’s a lot to take in related to the American Seniors Housing Association’s second national consumer survey, conducted in December with ProMatura. Results were released Monday.

Information to arm you against vaccine hesitancy among older adults

As the COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out to assisted living and independent living communities — having not reached some of those communities yet — two new surveys shed some light on feelings about vaccination among older adults, messages that motivate them to get vaccinated, and the people and places to which they expect to turn when making a decision.

A new day in the battle against COVID

We all can agree that we’d like to see an end to the illness and death caused by the coronavirus. We’d like families and residents to be able to hug one another again. We’d like to stop having to wear PPE and stop having to stay six feet apart from each other.

4 lessons for senior living from 2020

Five senior living industry leaders recently took the time to share with me — for you — their insights into the biggest challenges that faced owners and operators in 2020 and the challenges they will face in 2021. I’ve gleaned four lessons for the senior living industry for this year.

Vaccine advice from your peers

Many are viewing the vaccine as a gift of sorts, a solution to end the months of extra safety precautions and social isolation that everyone has endured. But if you have staff members or residents who remain leery, your fellow operators have some suggestions to alleviate their concerns.

A pandemic-perfect gift for the women in your work life

The early bird deadline for the McKnight’s Women of Distinction awards, with reduced entry fee, is this Wednesday. The final deadline is Jan. 6. This year’s awards competition includes a new category.

Pining for the workforce challenges of 2019

As we pass the nine-month mark since the first known case of coronavirus arrived in a U.S. long-term care facility, a new survey provides more evidence that the pandemic has exacerbated long-standing workforce issues in senior living, skilled nursing and healthcare.

Pandemic is ‘pie in our face’ and opportunity for change, speakers say

With many legislators and members of the lay media focusing their attention on long-term care due to the coronavirus pandemic, now may be an opportune time to educate these audiences about the industry and its needs, said panelists last week at a LeadingAge Annual Meeting Virtual Experience keynote session.

No side of COVID with my turkey

I’ll make my mother’s dressing recipe, a family favorite, and the rest of the meal, for two instead of 20, and at some point during the day, I hope to join my siblings and their families for a video chat.

The ‘bright spots’ of COVID

As senior living and skilled nursing professionals joined together to work through pandemic-related challenges, new connections were made and long-term friendships were formed. Those are some of the “bright spots” of COVID-19, LeadingAge Board of Directors Chair Carol Silver Elliott said Tuesday when delivering the keynote address opening the 2020 LeadingAge Annual Meeting Virtual Experience.

Parkinson ponders post-election landscape

Regardless of how long we need to wait after Election Day until we know the results, they will have “enormous implications on everything, including long-term care,” American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted-Living President and CEO Mark Parkinson told those listening to LTC Properties’ third-quarter earnings call on Friday.

Assisted living: Not so hidden anymore

Scott Tittle used to say that assisted living was hiding in plain sight, but “the reality is, more people have begun to actually see us amidst COVID,” the National Center for Assisted Living executive director said. That visibility can be both good and bad.
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