All Kinds of Medicine

All Kinds of Medicine

As a worker in senior care facilities, you are surrounded by medications and people who need them. You are also surrounded by medicine that doesn’t come in pill form: yourself. Whether you realize it or not, the warm greetings, personal cares, active listening and attentiveness that you provide is healing medicine. You have more of an impact than you realize on your residents, colleagues and certainly at home. Being a caregiver is important to you, or you wouldn’t be in your role. Resilience...

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Good Enough Frame of Mind

Good Enough Frame of Mind

During COVID-19, feeling less helpful or effective than usual has been a theme for many of us working in senior care facilities. The demands of our personal and professional lives often outweigh our time or energy. Also, we often feel we cannot complete all the helping tasks we would like or would be able to do under “normal” (e.g., Non-Covid) circumstances. The pandemic leaves us limited because we cannot complete tasks or engage in caring gestures in the ways we are used to: exchanging warm...

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How Long Can We be Resilient?

How Long Can We be Resilient?

You’re in good company if you’ve noticed some extra discouragement or frustration during a time when we have some glimmers of COVID-19 hope: vaccines have arrived and ben delivered, rates of death and hospitalization are down...so why do we feel so discouraged, tired or overwhelmed again? There are a number of things that are also happening that may make this time as difficult as any other throughout the pandemic: Despite vaccines, many restrictions remain; it may be some time prior to...

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Hitting a COVID “Wall” …and Bouncing Back

Hitting a COVID “Wall” …and Bouncing Back

You’ve likely heard of hitting “the wall” as a term used to describe the point when you feel you can’t keep going. COVID-19 has its own special (or not so special) “walls:” the kind when you feel more exhausted, irritable, tense than you thought was possible. At this time, “bouncing back” might seem impossible. The good news is, it’s not. For today, we want you to know that “the wall” is simply part of human responding to a prolonged disaster with uncertain ending. It has nothing to do with...

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COVID’s 1st Birthday

COVID’s 1st Birthday

Has anyone taken the time to commemorate the first case of COVID arriving in our country? Our state? Whether you realize it or not, you probably have. We commemorate traumatic events without knowing it at times: we get emotional out of “nowhere,” we feel tired, tense or even angry and easily overwhelmed even in jobs we typically feel good at. At this time-maybe more than ever—we may feel uncertain about how to manage all the ongoing challenges while we are coping with the aftermath of a year...

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Facing Hostility with Compassion

Facing Hostility with Compassion

We have lost a great deal during COVID-19. In addition, we have ongoing social unrest. This can have a negative impact on our health, well-being and resilience. We can also lose hope that kindness exists, which is a terrible feeling – especially for caregivers. It’s hard to remain hopeful when so much in the environment is full of anger. Luckily, we have some simple strategies to face this head on. Today try to repeat brief statements such as “May I be safe,” “May I be healthy and calm,” “May...

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How Long Can We be Resilient?

Controlling the “Out of Control” Feeling

COVID-19 has thrown everyone’s life into unknown territory. We have lost routines, rituals, celebrations and so many other things. This means we’ve also lost control, which turns out to be very important for our well-being.  A sense of control or “autonomy” is good for our physical and mental health. Right now, that sense is at an all-time low for most of us. That’s the bad news. The good news is we can regain it with even the smallest adjustments to how we move through our days. To...

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Good Enough Frame of Mind

Resilience While Grieving

Resilience While Grieving While senior care staff are aware that their residents may die while in care, losing a resident during these COVID-19 days can be even more difficult. It can affect folks who worked closely with that person as well as those who have less direct contact with residents.   In the last blog post, we discussed how acknowledging the impact of COVID can have resilience-building effects. Today we’re sharing that grief, too can become an opportunity for bouncing back—as...

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Weekly Tips for Bouncing Back from COVID-19 Stress

Weekly Tips for Bouncing Back from COVID-19 Stress

Welcome to our COVID-19 Staff Coping & Support blog. We’re calling it Bouncing Back because each post will give you tips about how to build your own resilience during this pandemic. We all have times when we feel like we’re at our limit—with residents, co-workers, families or in our personal lives—and it’s helpful to have some “go-to” practices that will help you bounce back from these moments.  I am Alyson VanAhn, PhD and I work on the Geriatric Team at Associated Clinic of...

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Start Creating Space for Stress Relief: The Power of Acknowledgement

Start Creating Space for Stress Relief: The Power of Acknowledgement

COVID-19 makes most aspects of life more difficult and complicated. This is especially true for those working in senior care environments. You face new risks and significant challenges simply by going to work during the pandemic. Balancing this with stressors at home (from COVID-19 or for other reasons) is no small feat. It is normal to feel tired and not at your best in any roles. This blog provides reassurance and encouragement as well as simple, brief ways you can build resilience and...

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