Advice for Caregivers: Tips to Help Your Loved One Adjust to Life in a Nursing Home

Advice for Caregivers: Tips to Help Your Loved One Adjust to Life in a Nursing Home

David Bowie had a good point when he sang about turning to face our major life “ch-ch-ch-changes”. 

Unfortunately, change isn’t always easy to deal with. And as a caregiver to an aging relative, one of the biggest life changes you’ll face is moving them into a nursing home. 

But have no fear! Because life for your loved one in a skilled nursing facility can be full and happy. And there are a few things you can do to make the transition easier. 

Keep reading for some essential tips to help your loved one adjust to life in a nursing home.

Share What You Know

It’s important that you keep the lines of communication between you and the nursing home staff. Before your loved one moves in, make sure to give their new caregivers a rundown of what they like and dislike.

Write down their current daily schedule. Include a general timeframe for when they wake and when they go to bed. Note when they like to eat and when they usually take their medications. And it’s especially important to let the nursing home staff know their hobbies.

The more information you can give them, the better. This information gives the staff a better idea of how to talk to and interact with your family member. And this is invaluable for a smooth transition from home care to a nursing facility.

Visit Often

Although nursing homes are full of people, it’s easy for seniors to feel lonely. Especially if they don’t get visitors very often. Keep up with a regular visitation schedule to help them adjust to the new living situation.

Visits don’t need to be long or drawn out. Even if you can only stay for a few minutes, your loved one will greatly appreciate it. While you’re visiting, encourage them to get involved with the different social activities available at the nursing home. 

When they first move in, plan to attend certain activities, such as appreciation dinners and music nights. It can be hard for people in a new situation to make new friends and associate with other residents. If you’re there for them in the beginning, they’ll feel more comfortable going to these fun events by themselves in the future. 

Ask Their Opinion

One of the biggest issues that people face when they move into a skilled nursing facility is that they feel like they’re losing control over their living situation. Help combat this by asking them to give you feedback about the care they are receiving. Let them get involved in their care plan.

Discuss the care plan with the nursing home staff and let your relative sit in on these discussions. This way, you can find out what they like and dislike about the facility. And this information will help the nursing home staff to better care for your family member.

Bring a Little Piece of Home

Although their new room at the nursing home isn’t as big as a house, there is still plenty of room to customize. Bring their favorite photographs from home and ask the staff to hang them on the walls. 

Instead of buying new bedding, consider using the bedding from their bed at home to make them feel more comfortable. If your relative has a collection of knick-knacks or books that they love, bring those along too. 

Ask the facility about rearranging the furniture in the room so they can have a better view of the window. Also, bring in their own bath toiletries. These items are small, but they can make a big difference in helping them feel more comfortable in their new home.

Advice for Caregivers

Life in a nursing home doesn’t have to mean staying in bed all day. With these tips, you can help your loved one adjust quickly to their new environment. And give them the confidence they need to branch out and enjoy their time in a long-term care facility.

At St. William’s Living Center, we offer a full calendar of activities each month. These activities are geared toward meeting the social and emotional needs of our residents. Visit our website to check out our activities calendar and plan your next visit with your loved one!

What are Registered Nurses? 5 Facts About This Amazing Career

Did you know that registered nursing is one of the highest paid occupations in America?

Not only can you make money as a registered nurse, but it’s also one of the most fulfilling jobs you can do. Nursing allows you to take on an active role in improving the daily lives of others.

There’s also a ton of demand for medical professionals. A nursing career gives you the job stability you want. And offers plenty of opportunity for advancement.

So, what are registered nurses (RNs)? In this article, we’ll give you five facts about this amazing career.

1. RNs are one of the Highest Nursing Ranks

When you choose to start a nursing career, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from. A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a great place to start. This is where you learn the basics of resident care.

The next level of nursing is called a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). LPNs take on a more advanced role. This is where you’ll learn to supervise others, administer medication, and take part in monitoring the health of the patients. 

RNs are the next level up in nursing. To become an RN, you must have a nursing degree, pass an exam with the national board of nursing, and meet all other state licensing requirements. You’ll work directly with supervising medical professionals to develop and implement care plans for your patients. 

2. You’ll Get Your Exercise as an RN

Looking to get out from behind a desk? Becoming an RN might just be the career change you need! That’s because nurses walk an average of four miles every day.

You’ll make regular rounds meeting and talking with residents. You’ll help with physical therapy and daily exercises. You’ll also move patients to and from mealtimes and activities. There’s never a dull moment when you’re an RN at a nursing home.

3. It’s One of the Most Fulfilling Careers

When your job is caring for others, the level of job satisfaction can’t be matched. As an RN, one day is never the same as the next. So you’ll have lots of opportunity to learn and grow as a person along the way. 

You’ll get to know each of the residents individually. And you’ll get to meet their families. There’s nothing more satisfying than providing a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on for those in need.

4. Men Can Do It Too!

Nursing isn’t only for women, men can do it too! In fact, the number of men choosing to go into the nursing field has increased year after year. 

Many residents appreciate having both male and female nurses around. Male residents may prefer to have a man help with bathing or toileting. If you’re considering becoming a nurse, don’t let old gender norms stop you.

5. You Can Get FREE Tuition

That’s right, we used the magic word – FREE! St William’s Living Center offers scholarships for nurses who want to advance their career. If you meet the requirements for scholarship participation, St. William’s will pay for your RN schooling and books.

And if you’re already in school or have completed a nursing program, St. William’s offers reimbursement of tuition expenses for qualified employees. Plus, we offer flexible and part-time shifts to our nursing staff. This is especially helpful when you’re trying to juggle work, school, and home life.

What are Registered Nurses? It’s Time to Find Out!

If you’ve ever asked yourself “what are registered nurses?”, now’s the time to find out! Contact us to get more information on this lucrative and fulfilling career. 

St. William’s Living Center offers our employees great benefits including low-cost health insurance, PTO, and, as we mentioned, tuition reimbursement and scholarships. And our facility has earned a 5-star ranking with Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare program. That means we consistently rank above average in all levels of safety, staffing, and resident care. 

Join an organization that you can be proud of. Call St. William’s today!

You Betcha! 4 Amazing Benefits of Working in a Nursing Home

Are you satisfied with your job?

Unfortunately for many, the answer to this question is a resounding “NO!” But what makes a job more satisfying? 

The answer to this question depends on you, of course. But there are a few common characteristics that make certain jobs more fulfilling than others. Caring for others, the opportunity for advancement, and building positive relationships are a few of these characteristics. 

And working in a nursing home happens to have all of these positive features! In this article, we’ll outline 4 amazing benefits you’ll get when you decide to work in a nursing home.

1. It’s Never Boring

No matter what your position in the nursing home, there’s always something to do. And one day never looks the same as the next day. 

As part of a bigger team, you’ll learn to share responsibilities and take on new roles every day. There are different levels of physical and occupational therapy to administer to residents. And you’ll get to experience the same great activities as the residents, which includes live music, group games, and off-campus trips. 

Depending on your position, you may work with food prep one day and help with bathing the next day. You’ll keep track of patient records and may even be in charge of administering medication. And you’ll be on your feet, which is important to keep your own body strong and healthy. 

2. Get to Know Your Patients

One of the most rewarding aspects of a nursing home job is getting to know the residents. Unlike a hospital or outpatient clinic, many of the residents stay for weeks or even years. You’ll get to watch them grow and progress as they heal from surgery and overcome illness. 

As a caregiver, you’ll get to know their families too. You’ll be someone they can share stories with and relive the good-old-days. And you can be a shoulder to cry on during difficult times. 

Plus, you’ll gain a new respect for aging. And you’ll learn valuable skills for how to care for aging loved ones. Which can come in handy one day when you need to care for your own family members. 

3. Room for Advancement

If you’re looking to advance your nursing career, the nursing home is an excellent place to do that. At St. William’s Living Center, we offer scholarships for people who have been employed with us for longer than three months.

We want to see our employees grow in their profession. In addition to the monetary support, we offer flexible scheduling to accommodate those who are in school to advance their careers. And if you’re newly hired LPN or RN, we offer student loan repayment options to help you get out of debt. 

4. PTO, and Insurance, and Retirement Investments, Oh My!

Plus, there’s a fabulous benefits package! At St. William’s, we offer competitive wages and affordable health insurance for as low as $45 per month for the employee. 

We also offer a dental package option and a $25,000 life insurance policy to every employee. Our Paid Time Off (PTO) policy allows you to start accruing time off starting on your first day of employment. And we offer a 401k contribution for every employee with no contribution by you required. 

Considering Working in a Nursing Home? Here’s How!

There are a ton of benefits to working in a nursing home. And we’ve only touched on the tip of the iceberg here! 

Are you ready to start? Visit our Career Page to get all the details. 

Congratulations, McKinley!

We would like to congratulate McKinley in receiving a scholarship from St. William’s Living Center to further her nursing career. She is working towards obtaining a degree as a Registered Nurse. McKinley has been a Certified Nursing Assistant at St. William’s Living Center since April 2019. We are very proud of her and furthering herself in her nursing career!

Congratulations, Alexis!

We would like to congratulate Alexis in receiving a scholarship from St. William’s Living Center to further her nursing career. She is working towards obtaining her Licensed Practical Nurse degree. Alexis has been a Certified Nursing Assistant at St. William’s Living Center for over three years, and obtained her Trained Medication Aide Certificate through us a year ago. We are very proud of her and her continued accomplishments!

LPN for a Day: What It’s Like to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse

Where would we be without nurses? These exceptional people care for us when we’re sick, hold our hands when we need support, and lend an ear when we need someone to listen.

It’s true that a skilled nursing facility like St. William’s couldn’t function without the care provided by nurses. And this goes for any long-term care facility, hospital, and surgical center in the country.

If you’re considering a career change, becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN) might be just the right move! Nursing is a rewarding profession that will keep your brain and body active. And give you the satisfaction of knowing that you’re doing great work for those in need.

Keep reading to learn all about the duties of an LPN in a skilled nursing facility.

What Is a Licensed Practical Nurse?

If you’ve ever looked into healthcare professions, you might know that there are several types of nurses and assistants.

A certified nursing assistant (CNA) provides basic, hands-on care for residents. They help with feeding, bathing, and cleaning up rooms.

Registered nurses (RNs) provide the most advanced level of care. They administer and analyze diagnostic tests, come up with treatment plans, and manage the nurses below them. Because of their advanced duties, RNs require longer, more in-depth education.

Which brings us to an LPN, the Goldilocks version of “just right” in nursing! LPNs do some of the work of CNAs, like dressing and bathing.

But they also take on more advanced care tasks like administering medication and measuring vital signs. And becoming an LPN is faster and easier than training to become an RN.

Duties of an LPN

A day in the life of an LPN usually starts with an update from the RN on duty. The RN will give you your schedule for the day and let you know if there are any special tasks to do. Then you’ll make your first rounds to the residents.

One of the most important tasks of an LPN is administering medication. This includes oral medications, eye drops, nebulizers, skin creams, and blood sugar checks.

Not only do you administer medication, but you will keep track of the timing of medications for different patients. And you’ll also be in charge of preparing and sanitizing the medical tools. You might also dress wounds, change catheters, and report any issues to the RN in charge.

You’ll also be assigned administrative tasks to work on when you aren’t making medical rounds. This might include organizing files and writing reports. And you may be in charge of supervising the CNAs on duty.

At meal times, you’ll help residents move to and from the dining hall. Then you’ll help them eat and provide them company while they enjoy their meal.

Afternoon tasks usually involve making additional rounds to administer medications. And helping residents groom themselves, take showers, and providing assistance with moving to and from the toilet.

Are You Considering This Rewarding Career?

Becoming a licensed practical nurse might be one of the best decisions you ever make! LPN training programs are usually 12-24 months long. And you can find them at many local community colleges.

There’s always a need for LPNs. Alexandria Technical & Community College has a practical nursing program that has 100% job placement for those who complete the course. Earn a great wage, care for those in need, and get the job security you deserve with an LPN degree!

At St. William’s Living Center, we are rated as a 5-star facility by Medicare.gov’s Nursing Home Compare. We offer the benefits you want and the positive work environment you need. Visit our careers page to join over 100 other people who have chosen to work for St. William’s!

We’ve Remodeled! Join Us for a Grand Opening Event

We’ve Remodeled! Join Us for a Grand Opening Event

On May 20th, something very exciting happened at St. William’s Living Center. Our new addition was completed and residents officially moved in! 

This new addition has been in the works for several years now. And we couldn’t be more excited to give our residents a beautiful new facility to enjoy. And now we want to share it with you!

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about our upcoming grand opening event.

About the New Addition

The new addition to St. William’s started with a groundbreaking ceremony on April 27, 2018. Since then, we’ve been working hard to complete this new beautiful new space. 

The project included the construction of 14 private resident rooms, each with its own private bathroom and shower. Before the renovation began, there were 16 shared rooms at St. William’s. Now that the new addition is complete, there are only three shared rooms at our facility. 

This change has also increased the number of private bathrooms from nine before the renovation to 29 after. These new rooms and spacious bathrooms offer our residents a more modern feel with a greater sense of privacy. 

Not only do residents get to enjoy more private space, but they get additional common areas as well. There is a large new kitchen, a beautiful new lobby, and a spa room too. Plus, residents have access to a brand new handicap-accessible courtyard. The outdoor area offers a safe and peaceful environment for residents to enjoy our beautiful Minnesota summers.

Renovation Update

But it’s not only the new addition that we’re excited about! We’ve been working on renovations to our existing skilled nursing facility too. 

We’ve replaced our roof and added state-of-the-art heating and cooling systems. These changes will make our residents more comfortable by adding efficiency and humidity controls. There were also new electrical receptacles added in every existing room. 

We upgraded our security camera system to provide a safer environment for residents and staff. The fire alarm system got an update as well. And we renovated our tub room and spa. 

Our entrances are improved now too, with handicap accessibility on Jackson St, Soo St, and McCornell Ave. New sidewalks surround the entire facility. Plus, there was an additional parking lot added near the Jackson St entrance to accommodate outpatient therapy, residents, and their visitors. 

More Room and Expanded Services

All of this extra room means we can offer more services to our residents and to the community. The new addition features an outpatient therapy clinic that provides physical, occupational, and speech therapy. 

Therapy is so important in helping those recuperating from illness or injury to get back on their feet. The new addition houses a large gym with two private treatment rooms. It also includes an occupational therapy kitchen, bathroom, and laundry. 

And our therapy services aren’t only for residents. With this new facility, we can treat people of all ages in the surrounding communities. This includes physical therapy for student-athletes. 

We’ll See You at Our Grand Opening Event!

We are so excited to show you all these wonderful changes! Join us on Tuesday, August 20th from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm. When you visit, you’ll receive a map showing you around our new facility. There will be tours of all the new areas, including our exercise gym and therapy rooms, our new mental health office, and the new resident rooms. 

Therapy Gym

There will be finger foods and appetizers available throughout the building. And we’ll have live music in the south dining room from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Stop by our grand opening event for a great time!


St. William’s Living Center consistently receives 5-star ratings in the Medicare Nursing Home Compare program. Which means we are well above average among other nursing homes in the country. We’re proud to serve our residents and the Parkers Prairie community!

Reward Yourself: How to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant

How rewarding is your career?

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to change things up, it’s important to find something that keeps you motivated. You want a job that provides stability and offers the opportunity for advancement. And everyone deserves a career that makes them smile!

We just happen to know of a career that wraps all those things up into one, easily-obtainable package. Becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA) means you can have a real impact on people’s lives. 

In this article, we’ll give you the scoop on how to become a CNA and why you need to do it now! 

What is a Certified Nursing Assistant?

CNAs are what make a nursing home run smoothly. They tackle the day-to-day needs of the residents. 

As a CNA, you’ll help residents take care of themselves by providing physical and emotional assistance. Typical duties include helping residents move around their rooms and the living center. This often includes bringing them to and from activities and therapy sessions. 

You’ll also help deliver meals, feed those who can’t feed themselves, and record daily food intakes. Many residents need help with basic hygiene, so you’ll help with bathing, brushing teeth, and brushing hair. You may also be in charge of preparing rooms for new admissions and resupplying the rooms of current residents. 

Plus, you’ll be there to answer resident questions and respond when they need help. It’s your job to make their days easier and more comfortable. 

Why YOU Should Consider Becoming One

There’s nothing more fulfilling than helping those in need. The nursing home residents depend on CNAs to help them live fuller lives. That makes your job one of the most important jobs on the planet!

You’ll get to see people recover from injuries and cheer them on as they reach their goals. You’ll hear about their lives, their children, their grandchildren. And you’ll learn to love the people you care for. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience!

Plus, there’s always a need for CNAs, so the job stability is second-to-none. And there’s plenty of room to move up in the field. 

Many CNAs continue their education and get a higher nursing degree. Working as a CNA gives you the real-world experience that other nursing candidates may not have. Plus, you’ll receive a full list of benefits including health insurance, dental insurance, and scholarships. 

Here’s How…

The best part about starting a career as a CNA is that it’s not a difficult field to get into. Start by enrolling in an approved nursing assistant course at a 2-year technical college. Alexandria Technical and Community College and Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Wadena are two local options. 

Programs like these will usually require a background check and tuberculosis skin test before you start. And you must be over the age of 16 with a valid ID card. The course takes about 84 hours to complete and will give you everything you need to become a successful CNA. 

At the end of the course, you’ll take your certification exam. The exam consists of a written exam with multiple-choice questions. This is followed by a skills exam where you’ll demonstrate the CNA skills you’ve learned in the training program. 

Another option is to take a test out challenge. This involves taking the test without completing the course beforehand. You’ll be able to review a handbook prior to the exam and take a practice exam online before you take the actual exam. 

Ready for a Rewarding Career? Become a CNA

Becoming a certified nursing assistant is one of the most rewarding decisions you can make. You’ll find that being a CNA offers you the job stability and growth potential you’re looking for. And you’ll have the opportunity to help others in the process. It’s a win-win scenario!

At St. William’s Living Center, we care about our employees. Visit our Career Page to learn more about all the opportunities available for your next career!

St. Williams Living Center

Larry Lahman Celebrates 25 Years!

Congratulations on your retirement Larry, you will be missed!

Today we celebrated Larry Lahman and his 25 years of working at St. William’s Living Center in our Maintenance department.

Congratulations on your retirement Larry, you will be missed!

Mental Health Worker Part Time Day Shift

–Mental Health Worker Part Time Day Shift

Our Mental Health Workers are responsible for assisting residents who are mentally ill or developmentally disabled with their daily activities of living.

Requirements: No experience necessary, will train. Individual must also pass a state required background study.

Benefits of a Mental Health Worker include:

  • Vacation and sick time start accruing on your first day of employment.
  • After the first 2 months of employment, employees are eligible for health insurance if they average 30 hours per week. This benefit has very affordable premiums and is partially paid for by St. William’s Living Center.
  • After 6 months of employment if you average 20 hours per week, St. William’s Living Center will contribute the equivalent of 3.5% of the employee’s gross wages into a 401k account. Employee contribution not required.
  • After the first 2 months of employment, employees are eligible for dental insurance if they average 20 hours per week. This benefit is partially paid for by St. William’s Living Center.
  • Scholarships available after 6 months of employment for employees looking to further their careers.
  • After 6 months of employment, employees who average 20 hours of work per week will provided a $25,000 life insurance policy. This is fully paid for by the employer.
  • After the first 2 months of employment, employees are eligible for voluntary benefits; such as: disability, accident, life, cancer, critical illness, and hospital confinement indemnity insurance.

Questions? Contact Lola at 218.338.6403 or lola@stwilliamslivingcenter.com

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