It’s no doubt that nurses play a critical role in caring for patients of all ages, from newborns to senior citizens. Not only do nurses care for an individual and support them through health and illness, but they also spend countless hours advocating for their patients, planning their care, educating them on their individual health needs, and acting as a support system. Anyone who has spent time in a medical setting knows first-hand how many hats each nurse wears.
Dedicating an entire week every year to nurses and the extraordinary job they do each day is a small but meaningful way to honor them. Since 1974, National Nurses Week is celebrated beginning on May 6th and ending May 12th, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Last year, in honor of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, the World Health Organization declared 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. This declaration was essential in advancing the vital role that nurses play in transforming health care around the world. The World Health Organization announced that it would be extending the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife into 2021 due to the impact that the coronavirus has had on the nursing profession and further acknowledging the massive contributions that nurses have made in combatting it.
Nurses working in senior living communities were at the forefront of this battle and should be praised for their work on the frontline. During times of turmoil and normalcy, senior living nurses and care associates ensure that their residents can age with dignity. In a senior living community, nurses have many responsibilities, including:
- Administering resident assessments and creating health plans
- Monitoring the status of ongoing health conditions and observing any changes in health or behavior
- Managing medication
- Coordinating care with external providers and physicians
- Communicating with family members and providing information and education about health conditions
Whether you have been personally affected by a hardworking nurse or not, it is undeniable that now, more than ever, is the time to support and recognize nurses for their commitment to meeting the needs of their patients. Here are some simple ways that you can honor the nurses in your community:
- Send a handwritten thank-you note or card
- Send a virtual gift card to your favorite nurse via email
- Organize breakfast or lunch to be delivered to your local senior living community or doctor office
- Create an appreciation video with your loved ones
- Have flowers or balloons delivered to them at work
To all nurses, we thank you for your continued dedication to your profession and helping people in their times of need!