Since 1967, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) celebrates National Skilled Nursing Care Week each May in recognition of nursing care centers’ commitment to high level quality of care. This year’s theme: Creating and Nurturing Connections will be observed May 8-14 and celebrates the essential role that skilled nursing care centers and staff play in creating and nurturing connections for their residents.
Throughout the last two years during the pandemic, staff cared for their residents during a time of limited visitation and social distancing. Often, they stepped in and served as family members and friends to ensure residents had the essential social connections they needed.
“Trinity Homes staff provide more than quality care, they provide quality of life,” said Jessica Edgell, Trinity Homes director of nursing. “The staff carry out restorative nursing and assist with activities of daily living which include fundamental skills required to independently care for oneself, such as eating, bathing, and mobility. Over time, as relationships deepen, staff and residents become like family.”
Peggy Schmidt is one example.
Schmidt was a stay at home mom who always dreamed of becoming a nurse. “When my son was born, we almost lost him at 10 weeks. He had many health problems, so he ended up in the hospital a lot the first five years of his life,” she said. “I saw how the nurses treated him and decided that I wanted to be a nurse so I could be the one who made things nice for others.”
At age 40, the summer her son graduated from high school, Peggy enrolled in college. Schmidt graduated as an RN in 2007 and has been at Trinity Homes for five years, where she intends to stay. “My mom worked in the nursing home in Harvey, and my brothers and I would walk over and visit the grammies who didn’t have family nearby. That’s where my love for the elderly started,” she said. “I love my residents and love making them happy.”
COVID-19 restrictions continue to influence social activities at Trinity Homes, but staff has scheduled dress up days during the week to keep things light and fun, such as Slumber Party Day, Camo Day, Green Out Day, Tie Dye Day and Western Day.
“COVID-19 (isolation) was really hard on our staff and residents,” Edgell added, “so we’re looking forward to warmer weather that will allow us to gather outdoors and participate in some fun activities where we can social distance. It’s time to reconnect and celebrate each other.”
Trinity Homes operates 161 licensed beds with a skilled nursing staff over 200 strong. In addition to long term care, Trinity Homes provides rehabilitation for short term stays from two to six months, for services such as Speech, Physical and Occupational Therapy.