How Are We All Doing?

Well, the sun is still shining.  Spring is on its way-….and, we are nearly homebound as we continue to face CoVID-19. 

So much is happening:

  • You may be infected or a carrier, or know someone that is
  • You may be home-bound, either voluntarily or by government order
    • Restricted from going to bars, restaurants, or any entertainment venues
    • Home with the kids and likely in charge of helping the children understand why the crack-down, facilitating home-schooling options, making entertainment opportunities in the house, dealing with siblings’ conflicts, rule and chore enforcement, and household management
    • All alone and isolated
  • You are not able to see those that are vulnerable and elderly in nursing homes, assisted living, and those in senior living due to the risk of exposure
  • You are either unemployed and receiving unemployment compensation or engaged in your employment, exposing you to the risk of infection or a carrier of such
  • You are aware of many small venues closing their doors with their own financial losses due to a lack of customers
  • You have lost much of your retirement or monies held in the stock market with a look at what life may now be like without that added cushion.
  • You realize that life will not be the same once this has all passed.

So, how are most of us trying to deal with all of this?

  • Stress is the new normal, for all of the reasons above
    • Fear and worry about your health and the health of loved ones
    • Sleeping and eating changes
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs
    • Panic reactions
    • Catastrophizing further than what is warranted
  • The sun is still shining; this too shall pass

So, what kinds of things can you do to support yourself:

  • Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.  Of course, this is limited to phone, social media platforms or any other non-direct efforts
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can cause further anxiety and panic.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities and you are having difficulty functioning
  • When you share accurate information about COVID-19 you can help make people feel better.
  • And, remember; the sun is still shining.

Claudia A. Liljegren, MSW, LICSW

Cover That Cough! Stay Safe with These Flu Prevention Tips

When was the last time you had the flu?

The flu is no fun, but fortunately for most people, it isn’t life-threatening, it’s just really annoying.

This changes as we age, however. Our immune systems lose steam and our bodies take longer to fight off common viral infections. The flu is extremely dangerous for the elderly, especially those who live in close quarters with others, like in a nursing home or senior living center. 

There are a few things we can all do to help prevent the spread of these diseases. Stay safe this spring with these flu prevention tips.

Cover That Cough

If you’re suffering from a cough, always cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. According to the CDC, the proper way to cover a cough is by using a tissue to cover your mouth and nose while you cough. 

Immediately discard the tissue and use a brand new tissue when you need to cough again. If you can’t find a tissue, cough directly into the upper part of your sleeve. Never cough or sneeze into your hand. Hands are the worst place to spread germs.

Photo by Brittany Colette on Unsplash

Practice Good Hand Hygiene

You may not realize it, but almost everything you do on a daily basis involves using your hands. This makes them the perfect breeding ground for collecting and passing along germs. Hand hygiene is the most effective way to prevent contracting the flu. 

Proper hand hygiene starts with hand washing. Here’s the right way to wash your hands:

  • Wet hands with warm, clean water. 
  • Apply soap and rub hands together to work up a good lather. 
  • Scrub for at least 20 seconds, getting the backs of the hands, between the fingers, and under the nails.
  • Rinse hands with clean water and dry them using a clean towel or an air drier.  

Always wash your hands after you sneeze or cough, even if you use a tissue. Wash your hands after you use the restroom and after changing dirty diapers. Also, wash hands before you eat anything or prepare food. 

Leave Your Face Alone

Germs get into our bodies through our faces, including the eyes, nose, and mouth. Be conscious of how often you touch your face and make an effort to touch your face as little as possible. 

If you do need to touch your face, make sure to wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer before you do. This is especially important if you’ve been around someone who is ill. 

When In Doubt, Stay Home

If possible, stay home when you believe you’re getting sick. This tip is especially important when it comes to keeping elderly family and friends safe from this dangerous disease. Skip your weekly trip to the nursing home if you have any symptoms of illness or have been around anyone who’s sick.

Follow These Flu Prevention Tips for a Clean Bill of Health!

By following these easy flu prevention tips, you can seriously reduce your risk of contracting and spreading the flu. And that’s what we call a win-win situation!

At St. William’s Living Center, we take flu season seriously. Our facility consistently receives a 5-star rating from Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare program. This rating includes criteria for flu prevention measures. 
Call us today if you have any questions about the flu prevention tips we’ve outlined here.

The “Z” Generation and Mental Health

March is National Teen Mental Health Wellness Month!  Generally, it represents the “Z” generation.

First, you may ask, “What indeed is the ‘Z’ generation”?  According to The Pew Research Center, Generation Z includes those that have had “different formative experiences” than the previous generations; including those born between 1997 and 2012. 

Then, you may ask , “What are those ‘different formative experiences’ that have affected this group of young people”?  Pew Research as well as other research groups have listed numerous experiences that likely have impacted this generation

  • For one thing, this generation experienced the impact of the financial and subsequent emotional struggles of the Great 2008 Recession, with increased family stress and anxiety, as well as its personal effects, such as a surge of latch-key practices and working parents, inability to afford college or carry a large debt load upon graduation from a higher educational program.  They are also experiencing current fears of another financial crisis looming with falling markets.
  • In addition, some claim that those in the “Z” generation have been the only generation thus far that has not experienced any time in their lives in which the US has not been at war.  With the onset being 911, they were either exposed themselves or experienced the reactions of others.  Inside US, they have also been more exposed to fears of sexual assault, abuse, school shootings and street/gang fighting, climate change, political rivalry and escalation, increased exposure to international crises, a decreased spiritual faith, and now a pre-pandemic virus. 
  • The Z generation has also been the first to actively take part of booming technological developments and the widespread availability of wireless internet access, creating insurmountable information and social media opportunities, expansive network throughout the world and in a vast assortment of developments. Some believe the lack of face-to-face contact and obsessive on-line participation has significantly impacted Generation Z.

Lastly, you may ask; “What does any of this have to do with mental health”?   As we draw closer to better understanding this age group and its “different formative experiences”, is it surprising to learn that Gen Z has the “worst mental health of any generation”, according to the American Psychological Association?!!  A recent Economist publication also reported that Generation Z was considered to be the most … stressed and depressed generation in comparison to previous ones” in addition to  CNN Health reporting that “’Generation Z’ exhibited the most mental health problems”. 

Although, overall the Z generation has also declared a commitment to making a difference and achieve a healthier lifestyle, they are also a generation that is struggling with the same, and even more, issues than previous generations.  However, their young adult’s brains are still maturing and they haven’t developed enough to handle the stress most adults do, and have not had the life experiences that many adults have had.  Let’s actively participate in Teen Mental Health Month and lend a hand to the Z’s. 

Claudia A. Liljegren, MSW, LICSW

St. William’s Consistently Rated 5-Star: What Does That Mean?

What do you want in a nursing home? Your list probably includes the following qualities:

  • Clean health inspections
  • A safe living environment
  • A friendly and supportive staff
  • Excellent resident care

What if you could get all of these qualities wrapped up in a newly remodeled facility that’s close to home? You can! St. William’s Living Center has consistently earned a 5-Star rating with’s Nursing Home Compare program.

What goes into a 5-Star rating? Keep reading to learn about the four quality measures a nursing home must excel at to reach this prestigious honor.

Health Inspections

Once a year, the state conducts a detailed inspection of the nursing home facility looking for health violations. The nursing home must correct these violations and submit the corrections to the state for review. The star rating for health inspections is determined by the number of violations cited and the severity of those violations.

St. William’s consistently earns an above-average rating in this category with significantly fewer citations than the state and national averages.

Fire Safety & Emergency Preparedness

Emergencies, such as fire, weather-related events, and power failures, are especially dangerous for nursing home residents because of their limited mobility. Nursing homes must have the proper safety equipment and procedures in place to comply with strict government regulations.

Fire and emergency preparedness ratings are part of the health inspection and St. William’s ranks above-average in this category.

St. Williams Nursing Home


It’s important that nursing homes have enough staff members to provide quality care for their residents. Staffing ratings are calculated by taking the number of residents and the number of staff members and figuring how much time each resident gets with staff members throughout the day.

Staff members include registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), certified nursing assistants (CNAs), trained medical aides, social services, and activities. The higher the calculated time each resident gets with staff, the higher the star rating for the nursing home.

Since 2013, St. William’s has improved the direct care staff time by almost 10%. Recently, we have added a Resident Support position, help residents by answering call lights, assisting with meals, and participating in daily activities.

St. William’s regularly earns an above-average rating for staffing.

Quality of Resident Care

An excellent care rating is what St. William’s is most proud of. We consistently rate “much above” state and national averages in this category. Our residents receive some of the best care in the nation!

Resident care is rated by 17 different measures. Some of these measures include flu and fall prevention, risk of re-hospitalization, and the rate at which residents can return home after a stay. These measures are then broken down into short-term stay, long-term stay, and overall care quality to determine a star rating.

St. William’s: The 5-Star Home With a Heart!

At St. William’s, we pride ourselves as the home with a heart, serving the residents of Parkers Prairie and the surrounding communities with excellent healthcare!

Want to learn more about our consistent 5-Star rating? Contact us anytime for more information.