Podcast: Self-Care in Long Term Care – Just Breathe!

​Last month, AHCA/NCAL released the Self-Care in Long Term Care podcast series. While we know that self-care is important, it is often the last thing we have time for. The Self-Care in Long Term Care podcast series is dedicated to helping you build self-care into your everyday practices by identifying little opportunities to implement self-care. The first podcast focused on why self-care is important and explored the power of “the pause,” a simple, yet effective, tool to help you reduce stress, burnout, and fatigue.

In this second podcast, the focus is on reducing stress and fighting fatigue and burnout through the power of movement and the 4-7-8 breathing technique. This series is comprised of a variety of short listening sessions, less than 15-minutes, that will help build tools and resources to ensure that you are taking care of the most important person, you.


Get Involved in Careers in Aging Week!

Save the date for Careers in Aging Week (CIAW), March 26-April 1, 2023​

People are living longer, and the demand for caregivers in our profession is growing rapidly. As our sector continues to face a historic workforce crisis, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to participate in CIAW and raise awareness about the incredible opportunities available. CIAW is dedicated to bringing greater visibility to the wide-ranging careers in long term care and aging services and to celebrate current employees in the profession. Join us in celebrating, starting March 26 through April 1 — to find out how you can participate and spread the word during CIAW go to https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Get-Involved-in-Careers-in-Aging-Week.aspx

2023 NSNCW Planning Guide and Products Now Available

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) is excited to announce that the 2023 National Skilled Nursing Care Week (NSNCW) Planning Guide and products are now available at www.nsncw.org.

NSNCW will begin on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 14th through Saturday, May 20th, 2023.

Skilled nursing care staff, residents, families, and members of the local community are encouraged to participate in activities that cultivate and spread kindness in honor of the annual observance.

The 2023 Planning Guide offers ideas that can be incorporated into new or planned activities. Download for activity and media tips and to explore an exclusive selection of NSNCW gifts and products.

To find out more and to download the planning guide, please go to https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/2023-NSNCW-Planning-Guide-and-Products-Now-Available.aspx

Free HealthCap® Webinar Will Examine Emerging Infection Control Risks

HealthCap® is hosting a free webinar titled OIG Recommendations: More Than Just Smoke? on Tuesday, March 7 at 2 p.m. EST.  This program will assist providers in identifying areas of risk related to the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) recent focus on infection control issues.

A recent OIG study found that nursing homes were not prepared for the sweeping health emergency that COVID-19 created. The OIG said that “significant changes are needed to protect the health and safety of residents and better prepare nursing homes for current and future health emergencies.”

Learn more at https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Free-HealthCap%C2%AE-Webinar-Will-Examine-Emerging-Infection-Control-Risks.aspx

Creating a Wound Care Culture

recent study by researchers at the University of Chicago found that the reporting of wounds, especially pressure wounds, by long term care facilities is significantly underreported. Although the Centers for Disease Control states that approximately 11 percent of residents have pressure wounds, the Chicago study estimates that that number could be quite a bit higher.

Read the entire article at https://www.providermagazine.com/Articles/Pages/Creating-a-Wound-Care-Culture.aspx

Public Health Emergency Ending May 11 – What You Need to Know

Yesterday, the Biden Administration announced its plans to end the Public Health Emergency (PHE). This administration guidance meets the Administration’s promise of 60 days’ notice of the end of the PHE. Based on the guidance, the PHE will end on May 11, 2023.

Read more by going to https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Public-Health-Emergency-Ending-May-11.aspx

Grow Your Gerontological Nursing Skills with Gero Nurse Prep!

The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living’s Gero Nurse Prep course significantly increases RNs’ gerontological nursing competency test scores. Specifically designed for registered nurses working in long term care, this curriculum provides comprehensive online training that leads to board certification in gerontological nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for RNs.
Research released by AHCA/NCAL in 2019 found compelling reasons to consider the AHCA/NCAL’s Gero Nurse Prep course and ANCC Board certification for RNs. Nursing facilities with at least one ANCC Board certified RN experienced:
  • Two fewer deficiencies on average (5.71 citations versus the 7.55 national average in last cycle)
  • Fewer Immediate Jeopardy (IJ) citations (1.60 versus the 2.27 national average)
  • More stars — nearly twice as likely to be a CMS 5-Star facility (50% versus the 28% national average)
  • Significantly lower re-hospitalization rates
  • Significantly lower rates of off-label use of antipsychotics
  • Significantly higher average SNF Value Based Purchasing scores (44.17 versus 34.42 for the nation). ​
Gero Nurse Prep also makes a big difference even for those RNs who are not interested in pursuing ANCC Board certification. Nurses who complete Gero Nurse Prep show an average 24 percent increase between their pre- and post-course test scores. Quite simply, Gero Nurse Prep delivers smarter RNs who are better prepared to deliver quality geriatric nursing care in skilled nursing and assisted living settings. Both two-year RNs and BSNs can take the Gero Nurse Prep course and sit for the ANCC exam.
RNs have one year to complete Gero Nurse Prep and earn 30 quality nursing contact hours – enough to meet the criteria for taking the ANCC certification exam. Gero Nurse Prep grads who choose to sit for the ANCC gerontological nursing certification exam ($395 separate fee paid to ANCC) have a pass rate of 96% on their first try. RNs who pass the ANCC exam can then use the GERO-BC™ credential after their RN credential.
Watch this video or visit the website at geronurseprep.com to learn more about this online program designed to help RNs increase their geriatric nursing skills and to pass the ANCC exam. Remember to use the AHCAPAYLESS promo code when you register to save $100 off the regular $790 Gero Nurse Prep registration fee.

CDC Provides New Initiative to Increase COVID-19 Vaccination in LTC Settings


​​With increasing cases of respiratory disease, including COVID-19, this winter, it is imperative to encourage residents, staff, and family members to receive the updated (bivalent) COVID-19 boosters.

A recent CDC report​ showed:
  • Adults ages 65 years and older:
    • ​Continue to have the highest COVID-19-related mortality rates.
    • The COVID-19-related death rate among unvaccinated people who are 65 years and older has consistently been higher than the rate among vaccinated people.
  • Adults ages 85 years and older:
    • ​Remain at particularly high risk of dying of COVID-19.
    • The proportion of COVID-19–related deaths accounted for by adults in this age group increasing during April–September 2022 from 28% to around 40% of COVID-19–related deaths. ​

Find out more by going to https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/CDC-Provides-New-Initiative-to-Increase-COVID-19-Vaccination-in-LTC-Settings.aspx

Preventing Falls and Injuries in Older Adults

Each year, more than one in four older adults aged 65 and older experience a fall, resulting in about 3 million emergency department visits, 950,000 hospitalizations, and 32,000 deaths. Falls are often preventable if you know what to screen for and what the risk factors for falls include. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation have launched a toolkit that includes Falls Free Check-ups. The goal of the CDC’s toolkit and resources is to prevent and protect older adults from sustaining falls and fall-related injuries by developing and implementing a risk factor prevention program.

Learn more about the program and the CDC Foundation here​.