Obstacles

Success is not to be Measured by the Position Someone has Reached in Life But the Obstacles he has Overcome

How do we get through some of the tough experiences in life’s journey?  We all go through challenging times, be it dealing with the death of someone close, having a serious illness, being separated from loved ones or feeling rejected, or losing a job and having financial restraints.  The list goes on…


Some tragedies allow for some preparedness while others are abrupt and unexpected, leaving us feeling punched in the gut or knocked down at the knees.  Some people have to endure a life full of misfortunes while others squeak by with only a few calamities along the way. The discrepancy for this is unknown, and answers to those “Why?” questions will likely not be known to us until we meet our Maker.  

Of course, most of us try to adapt to these life-changing events.  However, sometimes the burden is too much to bear. Oftentimes, “giving up” or not being able to “get up from off the floor” is influenced by the load by which we carry.  However, despite the level and degree of burden, it is also based on the character of the person. Here is another “Why?” question: Why are some able to “bounce back” while others remain overcome by the tragedy and are stuck in their own grief?  You may ask yourself what special personality traits are needed to get through these life’s battles., or how much can we actually recover on our own volition? It is interesting that those with a spiritual faith are much more likely to be resilient than those that don’t; another “Why?” question.

Resilience.  That’s the word.  Resilience is when you can change and adapt how you respond to a crisis or while in the face of tragedy.    It is about changing how you interpret and respond to the problem or circumstance. It is about challenging your thoughts and behaviors so that you create a more positive outlook.  It provides you with a pat on your back and encouraging words so that you will continue walking through the muck, believing that somehow, someday, you will get through all this and be better for it.  

Resilient people oftentimes have these suggestions, noted through the American Psychological Association in “The Road to Resilience”:

  • Make connections with others: Having close relationships with family and friends are very important and may be key to building resilience. Accepting help from other local groups are also very helpful during this difficult time
  • Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems:  You can’t change the crisis, but you can change how you manage it.  Look beyond the present to how future circumstances may be a bit better  
  • Accept that change as part of living.  Alter your goals to what you can attain and accept circumstances that you can’t.  
  • Move towards your goals:  Praise the subtle or small accomplishments you have made
  • Make decisions to problems and move in the direction you want to go rather than wishing they would go away
  • Look for opportunities for Self-Discovery:  Recognize your increased internal strengths and growth due to your ability to get through the hardships you have experienced
  • Nurture a positive view of self:  Develop increased confidence in your ability to solve problems and trust your instincts
  • Keep Things in Perspective:  Look at a broader framework and keep a long-term perspective of problems.  Avoid taking the situation out of proportion
  • Maintain a hopeful outlook:  Visualize what you want, rather than worrying about your fear
  • Take care of yourself:  Pay attention to your own needs and feelings.  Engage in activities you enjoy and find relaxing, Exercise regularly
  • Journaling:  Writing down your deepest thoughts and feels related to the trauma.  Meditation and spiritual practices oftentimes help people build connections and restore hope.

Actively participating in your life’s journey through resilience is so much better than responding with lingering vulnerability to the obstacles that come your way.  It may be a difficult task, but overcoming obstacles allows you to get up from off the floor.

Claudia A. Liljegren, MSW, LICSW

St. William’s Mental Health

Chronic Pain

How To Seek Treatment

Although there are lots of children, adolescents and adults who experience some type of mental health problem in their lives, they can oftentimes work through it with time and good support from others. However, if the symptoms linger and don’t improve or become more severe and it is impacting their ability to get through the day, getting professional help may be the next best course of action.

Warning signs for children and adolescents include slipping grades, difficulty getting along with other students or friends, getting into fights, having difficulty with authority figures, school absences, difficulty concentrating, isolating, fighting with family, difficulty controlling mood swings, thoughts of running away or wanting to die, substance abuse and much more. Children are more apt to show that they are struggling by acting out as they don’t necessarily have the ability to communicate what is wrong.

For adults, symptoms are similar but cater to those in the adult world. They can show their struggles through poor work performance, irregular attendance, problems with the boss, a bad attitude, moodiness or are easily offended on the job. Then there are those who have difficulty with increased/decreased sleeping and eating, racing thoughts or difficulty concentrating, motivational problems with uncompleted household tasks, increased relationship problems with family or friends, inability to leave the house or suffer with panic attacks, come up with blanks on positive thinking, feeling hopeless, helpless or worthless, getting in trouble with authorities or having anger problems, struggle with nightmares or flashbacks from previous trauma, and/or are abusing alcohol or other substances by trying to escape from emotional pain. There is a whole host of mental health issues that are not listed here but cause significant difficulty and impact the ability to function in our day-to-day routines. When there are problems getting through the day or a large part of our world is falling apart, it may be time to ask for professional help.

Oftentimes, those suffering from mental health problems visit their physician and discuss their concerns. Psychotropic medications may be considered if it appears that the patient would benefit from such. Oftentimes, physicians also refer patients to a mental health provider as medications may reduce symptoms but does not help the patient deal with the underlying problems that need resolve or teach coping skills. There are some insurance companies that require a physician referral for mental health services, but most don’t. Most insurances help pay for mental health treatment but it is a good idea to check with them about coverage. Individuals also seek mental health treatment on their own or self-refer, in addition to social workers, ministers, employers, family members or friends.

Usually, the initial stage of treatment is meeting with a mental health professional who can be found at nearly all mental health clinics. Usually, the mental health professional meets with the client and learns about the client’s symptoms as well as gains a well-rounded picture of the client’s situation and history. All information shared is confidential with very few exceptions of which the client will be made aware in privacy documents reviewed at intake.

Once the mental health professional has met with the client 1-2 times, they complete a Diagnostic Assessment, a summary of findings that includes treatment options most recommended for that individual. Mental health treatment encompasses a wide range of services based on need. For example, an individual may be recommended to receive psychotherapy in the office or outreach services in their home, if eligible. More intensive services are also offered if an individual is experiencing more serious symptoms, such as psychiatric consultation, case management, psychological testing, psychiatric hospitalization, crisis services, or other placements. The client is free to determine their level of involvement in the services recommended, unless they are at imminent risk of hurting themselves or others. A treatment plan is oftentimes devised in coordination with the client to reduce symptoms and improve their ability to function better in their life. Although it may be nerve-racking to disclose personal parts of yourself, it also helps to know that it is the beginning process of dealing with the problems that keep on interrupting your life. You don’t have to be an island. There is evidenced-based professional treatment that can help!

For more information please visit our mental health services page.

Claudia Liljegren, MSW, LICSW
Mental Health Professional
St. Williams Mental Health

Activities for Seniors: A Day in the Life of an Assisted Living Resident

Where will you live during your golden years?

Senior living is about so much more than location. It’s about finding a balance between community involvement and personal time. And finding a balance between the necessary level of care and the freedom to come and go as you please. 

If you’re looking into post-retirement living options, it’s time you consider assisted living! It’s a customizable option to find the balance you’re looking for.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the activities for seniors available at McCornell Court, St. William’s assisted living facility. And we’ll show you what a day in the life of an assisted living resident really looks like.

Morning Activities for Seniors

Breakfast is served! It is the most important meal of the day, after all. Start your day off right with a delicious breakfast in the facility’s community dining room. 

When you choose assisted living, cooking is optional. The dining hall offers lots of breakfast options to go with any diet. Get the morning meal you want without having to deal with groceries and kitchen clean up. 

And there’s always plenty of hot coffee! Get to know your neighbors while you enjoy mid-morning coffee in the common rooms. If you prefer to take your coffee alone, you can always have a cup outside on the patio. And during the winter, lounge in front of the fireplace with a good book. 

Physical activity is important to keep you aging gracefully. Walk off your breakfast by taking a stroll around the campus. Or work in the raised, community garden during the summer. In the winter months, try out the fitness center instead. And if you’re not quite as mobile as you used to be, you can opt to have outpatient physical therapy on site. 

Not only can you get physical therapy, but you can also arrange to have medical visits at the assisted living facility. Schedule your eye doctor or your podiatry appointment on site. You can even have lab work done or have your dental checkup done right here.

Relax or Ramp-up Your Mid-Day

At St. Williams, there’s always something to do. You’ll receive a copy of the activities calendar every month. Plan ahead or go with the flow! 

Invite your family to have lunch with you in the dining hall. There’s plenty of room to entertain even the largest families. Then, after lunch, head out to the afternoon activity in the nursing home next door. 

Afternoon activities include bingo, dice games, and trivia. Join in for the community happy hour. Or visit the salon for a manicure.

Of course, you can always choose to take it easy. The best part about assisted living is that home is always just a few steps away. Opt for an activity one day and a nap the next day. The choice is yours!

An Evening to Remember

Every evening, the dining hall serves a soup and salad bar to go with your meal. Eat early then head out of the campus to watch the high school football game. 

We offer bus outings to many of the local community events as well. Enjoy live music at the hall. Or sign up for the evening boat ride. 

If you’re not big on social events, choose to stay at home. Because you’re living in your own apartment, you can stay up as late as you like. Whether you’re “early to bed, early to rise” or a true night owl, assisted living offers you flexibility in your sleep schedule

Assisted Living: The Golden Ticket to Your Golden Years!

Assisted living offers you a living situation that’s as unique as you are. At McCornell Court, we offer plenty of activities for seniors. So there’s always something to do or someone to talk to.

We offer a customizable level of care that changes as you do. Let us take care of the mundane aspects of life like housekeeping, cooking, and lawn maintenance. Enjoy your golden years.

Contact us today to learn about all the services we offer at St. William’s Living Center and McCornell Court!

Fall Protection for Rehab

Here is one of our new pieces of equipment that we now have available in our new Outpatient therapy clinic. 

There are many different types of patients who could benefit from using the Solo-Step such as:

-Neurological Disorders
-Balance Disorders
-Geriatrics
-Bariatrics
-Pediatrics
-Amputees
High Performance Athletes (ACL tears)
-Adaptive Athletes
-Anyone at risk of falling

WHEN IT DOESN’T COME EASY

When you are feeling bad and are struggling with life, you are not alone. Everyone experiences emotional anguish sometimes. It’s one of those human experiences we are likely not able to avoid in our lifetime. 
However, when the pain becomes really tough or too long-lasting, it is time to do something about it. When life gets hard, you have to figure out what you can do to make it better. Sometimes you can change your circumstances so that your situation is better. Most times, you have to accept your situation and learn how to change your train of thought or challenge your thinking so that you can modify your mood and actions. 
What is the connection between our thoughts, feelings and actions? Oftentimes, how we interpret our thoughts has a significant effect on our emotions, including emotions that are painful as well as pleasant. For example, if you think that your husband doesn’t love you because he didn’t get you anything for your birthday, you are setting yourself up for a downward spiral of depression and resentment. However, if you think that your husband shows his love in many different or spontaneous ways, not including times you expect acknowledgement, you are likely to be less disappointed if he doesn’t come through. Changing how you think can significantly alter how you feel. 
Most of us can’t change our feelings unless we change what we think. I can ask you to feel “happy” right now, but it is unlikely to happen unless you think of something that makes you happy. On the other hand, sometimes our feelings come from nowhere, like a panic attack, and we can’t think of any thought that may have brought on the emotion. When this occurs, you can choose to change how you think to help better manage your anxiety and realize that the panic is simply an autonomic response telling you to better manage your stress level; or you can let your emotions run the show to a point in which you are convinced that you will die, have a heart attack or go crazy because of the panic attack. Again, how you think about the panic attack makes a difference in how you cope with it. 
The same goes with excessive worriers who ruminate about something they have no control over. Once they realize that they need to challenge those thoughts to stop their unnecessary worrying, they may be able to “let go” of what they can’t control and have room to take a breath and enjoy the moment. 
Sometimes, thoughts and emotions spiral down to a point that is difficult to break the fall. However, changing your actions may then be a positive step to regain some control. For example, even if you don’t feel like it, go for a walk, take a hot bath, watch a good movie, smile even if you don’t want to, or do something fun; all of which help you get a better perspective. 
Helping yourself by using your thoughts to change your moods or using your actions to help both your moods and thoughts are good starters when life gets tough. Of course, getting out of a bad mood takes lots of will power and motivation, but it just may be worth it when things don’t come so easy. 

Claudia A. Liljegren, MSW
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
St. Williams Mental Health Services

claudia@stwilliamslivingcenter.com

Phone: 218-338-5945

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!

St. Williams Nursing Home

St. William’s Living Center Celebrates National Nursing Week

Happy National Nurses Week to our amazing nursing team! 

 

It is because of all of our great staff that St. William's Living Center made the U.S. News & World Report list of Best Nursing Homes in Minnesota! We are proud of our 5 Star Organization and grateful for all of our staff who have helped us receive this recognition!

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

Apply Now

LPN or RN Part Time Overnight Shift

–LPN or RN Part Time Overnight Shift

Our nurses are responsible for the administration of general care of our residents as detailed in each resident’s individualized care plan. We are currently looking for a part time overnight shift (10:30pm-7am) LPN or RN. There is an every 3rd weekend, every other holiday commitment with this position. Come to work for an organization that values both its employees and its residents.

Requirements: Current registration as State of Minnesota LPN or RN and current CPR certification. Individual must also pass a state required background study.

Benefits of a LPN/RN 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 Carly at 218.338.1020 or carly@stwilliamslivingcenter.com

Apply Now