National Nurses Week 2017: Celebrating the Unsung Heroes of Our Communities

“As a nurse, one has the opportunity to heal the mind, soul, heart & body of their patients, their families, and themselves. People may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them FEEL.” -Maya Angelou

The hard work and dedication of so many people go into creating a successful assisted living community- Executive Directors, caregivers, Activities Directors, Physical Therapists, cooks, bus drivers, dieticians, the maintenance team, and so many others all play very important roles in creating an atmosphere that is warm, welcoming, and seamless in its operation and services. However, most can agree that NURSES are the backbone of the most critical service that assisted living and memory care communities provide: the care.

Every individual residing in our communities is unique, and so is the type and level of care they need. Providing the highest quality of exceptional personalized care is a goal that every great senior living community strives to uphold, and we place our trust in the huge responsibility of upholding our own exceedingly high standard for care in the capable hands of our experienced, innovative, and compassionate nursing staff.

With this week being National Nurses Week, we wanted to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the amazing group of selfless men and women without whom it would be impossible to offer the exceptional level of care that our communities take pride in providing. The theme of this year’s National Nurses Week is “Nursing: The Balance of Mind, Body, & Spirit.” That theme is very fitting, as we feel that our own nurses do so much to enhance our residents’ quality of life on each of these levels.

All of our nurses who work with our memory care residents receive rigorous and continuous specialized Dementia Care Training. This training coupled with the hard-won experience they have gained throughout their career has given them the capability to connect with our residents at every stage of their memory care journey, honing in and focusing on the things they CAN do and helping them to achieve their highest level of cognitive function each day through our special brand of Dementia Capable Care. Their oversight, training, and instruction of the caregivers they manage ensures that our special approach to cognitive care is echoed and applied expertly by our entire team. "Words can't convey how vitally important our nurses are to our ability to provide the best care possible to our residents," says Elizabeth Wood, the Executive Director at Bay Cove Memory Care Assisted Living in Biloxi, MS. "As the only freestanding community devoted exclusively to Memory Care in the Gulf Coast area, it is paramount that we have a talented nurse who understands the unique needs of memory care residents and is able to expertly lead and oversee that care. We would be lost without our talented nursing team!"

Our nurses are the living embodiment of the word “active." It is rare that you don’t see them on the move within our communities, and just as busyness is a hallmark of their own life, they understand the importance of keeping our residents constantly active and engaged to support their health, as well. Their meticulously crafted individualized resident care plans and their dedication to working closely with our Activities Directors & Physical Therapists ensure that each of our residents enjoy the perfect amount of physical activity for them.

Finally, our nurses play a pivotal role in the spiritual and emotional wellbeing of each of our residents. Death is something that is often hard for people to talk or think about, but it is a part of life that all communities must face at times when caring for a senior population. Providing end-of-life-care to the special residents that we have come to know and love so much is a difficult, emotionally taxing process, but it is one that our nurses face with grace and endless amounts of compassion. They understand how much our residents and their loved ones look to them as a pillar of strength and support during this trying time, and they put their own emotions aside to be everything our residents and their loved ones need them to be- not just as a nurse, but also as a therapist, confidant, and friend.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again- our nurses are our backbone. They are the tireless supporters, the cheerleaders, the comforters, and the care managers that make our communities truly exceptional. We are so incredibly grateful for our phenomenal nurses, and if you see a nurse today, we hope you’ll let them know how much you appreciate their service, as well! #NationalNursesWeek2017