Hello St. William’s Living Center and McCornell Court Resident, Friends, and Family,
We are pleased to announce that we are creating a new program called Essential Caregiver – in accordance with guidelines released from Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Our goal through this program is to help our residents who are missing care previously provided by a loved one or outside caregiver prior to the visitor restrictions required by state and federal guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The policy follows MDH guidelines and is a narrowly defined exception to visitor restrictions which may allow certain cares to be provided by a personal caregiver from outside our community. This new guidance is not intended to be a reopening of visitors, but instead is intended to provide essential care for high risk residents.
Below are some of the criteria we will use as we evaluate and designate Essential Caregivers in our settings:
Essential Caregivers will be determined based on consultation/assessment with our interdisciplinary team. Residents will be consulted about their wishes to help determine whom to designate as an Essential Caregiver.
Essential Caregivers will be actively screened for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to entering the building and must wear all necessary personal protective equipment while in the building. They must also perform frequent hand hygiene and maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet with staff and other residents while in our building.
Essential Caregivers will limit their movement in our building, providing care and support in their loved ones’ room or a designated space in our building.
Essential Caregivers must inform us if they develop a fever or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within 14 days of a visit to a resident.
With this new guidance, it is important to know that Essential Caregivers cannot take a resident out into the community except for essential medical appointments and must not visit a resident during a resident’s 14-day quarantine and must not visit when a resident is positive for COVID-19 or symptomatic, unless the visit is for compassionate care. Please know we do retain the right to restrict or revoke Essential Care status if the designated person fails to follow our established policies and protocols.
If, at any time, it is deemed unsafe for Essential Caregivers to enter the building—due to a rise in the number of cases in our community, either within our walls or in the broader community—it is our obligation per MDH guidelines to revisit and reassess the program.
We recognize the concern you may have that not everyone will be able to serve as an Essential Family Caregiver. We also deeply feel the desire of our residents and their loved ones to be connected in a more meaningful way.
Please know we continue to provide outdoor visits, window visits, and visits through technology and encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities.
Michelle Hartmann, our Social Services Director, will be the main contact for the Essential Care Program. Michelle can be reached at 218-338-1008.
With COVID-19, many have been forced to return in some format to the customs of previous generations; without access to outings, social visiting or even money to purchase types of entertainment devices. Is there any silver lining in going backwards?
According to experts in the mental health field, the lives many of us lead today show more anxiety and depression compared to 50 years ago. Back a generation or two, children used to play outside games, such as “Annie Annie Over” where two groups of kids on the opposite side threw a ball over the house to the kids on the other side. The goal was to tag the person catching the ball, or catch the ball and tag someone from the opposite side. It is a simple game; one without much pizzazz, but fun none-the-less. In contrast to today’s rapid pace and techy world, kids back then stayed home more and shared hours of creative playtime, be it dress-up, “Kick the Can”, Tag, Hop Scotch, marbles, or Chinese Jump-Rope. Yes, this is the generation that ranked high to smelling the flowers and having neighbors over for Sunday afternoon get-togethers. These happy-go-lucky times are of a simpler world which has nearly passed us by.
With time, we have become more multifaceted beings. Our society has given way to the technical world and the rapid pace of it all, with expectations higher and the competition greater. Our brains have stretched to saturate more and more advanced data of which we strive to understand so that we can function in today’s world. As we are in a progressive generation that requires the mastery of such operandum, we become accustomed to a fast-paced, complicated operational culture.
We all are adjusting to a new normal; one that allows for more pause and breathing space, giving way to waning schedules and tasks mostly limited to home projects. Maybe this is a time for reflection on the lives we live. What would be the silver lining in all this? Maybe there is some benefit to taking a wider lens to a fast-paced lifestyle while also being homebound and forced to live more simply. Could it be that we come to a new truism about the lifestyle we choose once this virus is behind us? While we capture ourselves in an advanced era, maybe we will seek a new balance; one that supports good mental health. Truly, relaxing is a necessary key to reducing our mental health symptoms while also reducing chronic pain and improving your overall physical health. As we have become consumed with the fast pace of this generation, it is doubtful that our kids will learn “Annie Annie Over”. However, possibly we all will come to see that taking a breath, slowing down or just settling is a good thing. Going backwards may help us move forwards.
Who would have thunk it? Most of us have never experienced anything like COVID 19. As many of us in our country, even throughout the world, have been obstructed and disturbed by several gigantic turbulences in their lives (e.g., world wars, gigantic volcano eruptions, drastic ups and downs of financial markets), this is unique. A virus? Impacting the entire world? Yes, we haven’t experienced anything like this in our life time, although history shows that we have gone this way before. Most of us have felt the crunch that has taken place along the way; and without a certainty of what’s best next, we each have a choice as to what path forward we will take. There are many paths, yet we all must ask ourselves which one will lead us to the best one.
What path will you take? When people become anxious or stressed, it is common to react with either/or a mixture of “flight, fight or freeze”. These are the common responses to anxiety.
What is “flight”? It is running away from it all. The hype of the virus becomes so overwhelming and unstoppable that it can’t be reckoned with. As emotions of anxiety or fear reach a new height, logic may not be at the forefront and running away is the primary mode of operation.
“Fight” is another pathway some follow. Here, the emotions of anger/blame come forward. It is an effort to ensure there is justice or that those in authority be held accountable for poor leadership. The individual finds justification through efforts at opposition with feelings of being wronged. Again, emotions run the show and finding the path may be secondary.
“Freeze” is a reaction oftentimes felt by those who are stunned or shocked with the trauma and their emotions paralyze them so that moving forwards or backwards is not considered. Panic is the primary emotion, and staying still without a course of action is common-place.
Emotions have a hay-day with disturbances we have to face, such as this virus. We can allow our emotions; like anxiety or fear or anger/blame or guilt, to guide us down a path that allows our passion or reactions to lead.
We can also allow our own biases or personality traits to dominate our choice of paths, be it burying your head in the sand with a sei la vie’ attitude, fighting for power or control, reacting with a sense of being victimized and dependency, or sharing a full force of drama.
Resilience is a path that oftentimes is left forgotten. Resilience allows for a brighter ending – being logical about the reality of the virus, appreciating the challenge of it all, seeking emotional and spiritual endurance, over-powering the temptation of reacting with raw emotion, and building inner strength may all be keys to finding the right path.
Most of us believe that at some point we will return to a new normal but one we can accommodate with. How are you going to get there? In paraphrasing one author, “We all get off the train at the same time; but the experience of it all is up to us”. Indeed, these are uncertain times. Be aware of the path you choose.
No one can
take away our spring!! It is that time
of year that we have long been waiting for; the warmth of the sun, the popping
of greens, the airborne freshness and fragrance of the season – a delight to
outdoors is a huge benefit to mental health.
For the most part, through COVID 19 and during this Minnesota’s late
winter, we have become destined as indoor creatures. As our brains have attempted
to survive isolation with these long cold days, many of us have turned to
exploring and operating technological advances.
However, as time has gone on, many
of us have sunk into the grasp of these operative systems. We have lost control and now suffer with its innumerable
phone calls, time warps with computer over-indulgence and extended TV/movie successions,
and then there are the inundating tagalongs of sequential advertisements from
all over, paperwork, political inquiries, fund raising requests; and all sorts
of overwhelming information. What
happens to the brain with all this chaos?
It becomes frazzled, or exhausted, or drained, and weary. It sinks into an android-like state,
quivering and drooling, and half-stumped over.
What does it need? It needs the
outdoors!! Especially in the
spring!! Enough of this swarm to this technological
seems to be a natural remedy. It reduces
mental fatigue and washes away stress, at least for a while. In fact, just 20-30 minutes a day outside in
nature can meaningfully reduce cortisol levels and lower your stress level. Spending time in nature has also been shown to
improve symptoms of depression or prevent it from occurring. And, of course, there is the sun – the
natural light that has been shown to be beneficial, not even to improved moods
but now studies point to higher self-esteem, especially when combined with
outside exercise. Getting a breath of
fresh air, being in the sun, feeling the warm breeze, watching the season of
life begin again; a true stress-reliever!
Yet, we have to share this spring with COVID-19!! No parks or recreational areas are open, walking is done mostly in isolated places, and no scurrying about with others as we see distant masked faces looking away to avoid contamination. So, how do we sustain our mental health with the disappointment of limited access to the air we breathe and the outdoors we cherish this time of year? Well, like it or not, we bulldoze ourselves right through. That’s how!! There is room in the air for both!! We draw up some plans to help us get through. We find some ways to make it work. We can’t ignore either the reality of COVID-19 and the need for good mental health by being outside. This is a big world. We can do both. COVID-19 just needs to share ‘cuz spring is in the air and good mental health is a key!!
passes, we become weighed in with the reality of it all. This virus, as has been the case for so many contagions
before us, could last for much longer than we had initially anticipated. It may become a way of life for a while. Working on managing the virus with social
distancing, wearing masks/gloves, and being home-bound may be the beginning of
a long process. How do we move beyond interrupted
anxiety about “what could happen?”; or lingering isolation with deepening
loneliness and depression; or ongoing family or relationship conflicts with no
individual space; or heightened stress about how to pay the bills or put food
on the table?
How do we
endure? How do we use this time as a way
to challenge ourselves with what we actually can change? As well, how can we embrace our suffering so
it doesn’t overcome us? Indeed, it would
be quite the challenge to allow ourselves to suffer without being run over by
our negative thoughts and fears, much less the certainty of the realness of
What is it
inside of us that brings ourselves to a sense of calm when the world is
spinning around us? Of course, it can be
denying or minimizing the true effect of the spinning. But beyond this, what characteristics or
values or beliefs or vision does one hold to truly not give way to all of the
chaos around us?
Is it a
sense of who we are or how we define ourselves that makes a difference, or how
we put together the real meaning of life?
Maybe a goal is to have an internal locus of control vs. reacting to
what happens outside of ourselves. Maybe
it is redefining our purpose that drives us throughout our lifetime, regardless
of the circumstances that befall upon us.
Maybe it is a time to turn in and look at what shapes our own principles
or values, and sense of resolve, or true Faith beyond ourselves that gives us
resolution? Maybe that is what will help us endure –
coming back to our roots; asking ourselves what life is supposed to be all
about. Maybe that is the way we can
challenge ourselves with what we can actually change – a sense of serenity
during a time of chaos.
The answer to this question is often
complicated. Many of us find ourselves out of work and unable to leave our homes
or visit with family and friends.
Isolation is difficult for many people to deal
with, and losing your only source of income can put added stress into an
already stressful situation. Fortunately, we’ve got an answer to both of these
Keep reading to learn why you should consider
working at a nursing home.
Top-Notch Pay and Perks
At St. William’s Living Center, we offer
competitive pay and an excellent benefits package. During this pandemic, you
don’t need the added stress of worrying about health care coverage for you and
your family. At St. William’s we offer affordable health insurance to our
employees including options for dental and vision coverage.
Our employees receive paid time off (PTO)
which begins accruing on the day you start work. We also offer every employee a
life insurance policy and we contribute to retirement accounts. If you’re
considering moving up in the nursing field, we offer scholarships to continue
your education and further your career.
Healthcare Jobs are Recession-Proof
One worrisome aspect of the global pandemic is
not knowing what will happen with the economy. Fortunately for healthcare
workers, our jobs are normally recession-proof. No matter what the economy
looks like at the end of this pandemic, there will always be a need for people
to take care of others.
With the threat of COVID-19 looming, it’s more
important than ever that we have a full staff at St. William’s. By ensuring we
have plenty of healthy workers to take care of our residents, we can prevent
coronavirus infections and ultimately save lives.
Lots of Available Opportunities
You don’t have to be experienced or have an
advanced degree to work at the nursing home. We currently have openings for
housekeeping, resident support, dietary aides, and cooks. These openings are
both part-time and full-time and we have temporary or permanent work options
If you’re interested in starting a new career
in the nursing industry, we will help you get started by registering you for
classes to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). If
you already have a degree, we’re actively looking for Licensed Practical Nurses
(LPNs) and mental health workers.
Make a Difference In Your
Helping others in the community is an
excellent way to keep up morale. If you’ve lost your job because of COVID-19,
working at the nursing home might be just what you need to stay healthy and
active. There’s never a boring day when you’re caring for others.
You’ll know at the end of the day, you made a
difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
That’s a great feeling!
Start a Rewarding Career Working
at a Nursing Home
Whether you’re looking for temporary work or a
career change, working at a nursing home is an option for you! At St. William’s
Living Center, we care about our residents and employees first and foremost,
and we’re doing everything we can to keep everyone safe and happy.
Visit our Careers
Page today to find out what jobs are available and how to apply.
We’re always here to answer questions, so feel free to call us anytime!
yourself in the seat of a senior, what would it feel like to be constantly
reminded about the fear of contracting COVID-?
While facing the reality that grave illness or death for themselves or
their friends may be just around the corner, the curve of anxiety takes a steep
turn upwards. Not only is the mind
turning various possibilities of “What if’s”, they are also more prone to
constant worrying, sleeping and eating problems, concentration difficulties, increased
irritability and frustration, and likely fear the worst-case scenarios – all
symptoms of clinical anxiety; and all normal in the face of a pandemic.
On top of this,
seniors, as is the case for most Americans, are authorized to isolate
themselves or practice social distancing during the course of this virus. Overall, seniors struggle significantly more with
isolation compared to the general population.
As isolation persists as a constant, loneliness oftentimes begets
depression. Being alone can be
debilitating, with a high suicide rate among those over 65, noting that 18% of
all suicide deaths are from the elderly population. Depression among the elderly oftentimes shows
itself with common symptoms, including staying in bed and sleeping too much or
too little, not eating well, losing interest in a usual routine, having little energy
to do even pleasurable activities, postponing contact with others, and of course
isolating. Actually, if you have visited your
area nursing home or senior living facilities, it is evident that there is an
epidemic of loneliness among its residents.
On the flip side, not only do seniors isolate themselves when
depressed, the truth is that they are isolated as a forgotten generation while
the rest of the world stays busy with all its distractions. Their isolation comes from within as well as
in a large part, prompted by the reality of being left behind as an
after-thought or one of the last “things to do” on their adult children’s “to
do” list. Isolation is a daily reality for most seniors, and likely much more
so with the COVID-19 virus.
As we all face being home-bound, missing our friends and those
family members not living with us, isolated in a sense from normal living,
let’s pause and empathize with those seniors that live like this as a matter of
routine. Reach out and connect. Seniors need the support, comfort, and
alliance during this difficult time.
They are a special generation of people with strong values and faith,
hardy by history, and have been our leaders and role models for the generations
after them. They are next in line as the
lost generation. Let us respect,
appreciate and value their worth, and keep them in your thoughts and
prayers. Now that life hurriedness has
taken a stop with quarantine for most of us, let us take time and reflect on
what really is important. Reach out and
virtually touch a senior, including those that are isolated as well as those
more vulnerable and are especially dealing with heightened anxiety and
depression. If you were sitting in their
seat, isn’t that what you would want?
How are kids dealing with the
CoVid-19? Being locked down is a
difficult proposition, but especially for our kids. Kids are used to playing with their friends,
being active, going to school and not necessarily focusing on world events as
their parents are. I mean, it is their
parents’ job, right? Not there’s.
However, don’t be fooled. With
Co-VID-10, those of smaller stature have experienced their worlds as having
been turned upside down these past few weeks.
First, they are
home-bound. They have limited access
with their friends and only through electronic means. Their only companions are their siblings
which in reality can be quite skirmish and combative. They are limited to their back yard, if they
have one and it is not snowing and cold.
The news of the virus is on nearly 24/7 on many channels. The resounding “Breaking News” numerates many
times a day, and oftentimes parents are glued to the updates to prepare for the
next surge of action. But “what about
Even when parents try to fake
it, kids feel it in their bones when their parents feel anxious, frustrated,
belabored or depressed. That is the
nature of kids. Their connection to
their parents is intuitive. It can’t be
seen or heard, but it is there. They
feel what their parents feel. They may
express it or react differently than their parents, but kids feel there is
definitely something in the air! They watch their parents watch the news and
the tension draws deeply inside them.
They watch their parents, the leaders of their world, struggle.
Kids also have their own
reaction to the crisis besides dealing with their parents’ reaction. They are out of their element. Instead of playing or doing homework after
school while supper is being made, they are at home all of the time. They can no longer be distracted by
reality. They have nightmares or feel
that zombies are living in their basement.
They may regress and act younger than they are. They may be clingier, or cry more, or have
more outbursts. It’s their way of saying
that they are not doing well. Expressing
their fears verbally is just not their nature at their young ages.
What do kids need? Lots of love, and patience, and
understanding, and reassurance, and a walk-through of their fears to help them
better understand that things will eventually return to normal. They need guidance and leadership. They need a parent who will help them pick up
the pieces and encourage them to be resilient, look at positives, and allow
their parents to handle the burdens.
What about the kids? Their mind
is not yet developed and their understanding of this crisis is warped by the
emotion of it all. Be there for
them. Help them know that this will soon
pass. Give them hope. Give them your attention. Having kids stay at home could be a hidden
blessing as they are around their most influential people to help them get
through this crisis.
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
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
You realize that life will not be the same once this has all
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
Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or
Catastrophizing further than what is
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
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
When you share accurate information
about COVID-19 you can help make people feel better.