Skilled nurses are professionals who work in nursing homes. They provide medical care for adults with developmental delays and elderly individuals in nursing homes.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- When is National Skilled Nursing Care Week?
- What is National Skilled Nursing Care Week?
- Activities to Try for National Family Caregivers Month
- Gifts for National Skilled Nursing Care Week
Their hard work deserves thanks every day, but one specific week a year really celebrates their work. It’s a good time for supervisors, patients, and their families to thank these professionals.
Let’s learn more about National Skilled Nursing Week, including when the idea originated and what you can do to celebrate.
When is National Skilled Nursing Care Week?
National Skilled Nursing Care Week (previously known as National Nursing Home Week) begins on Mother’s Day each year.
Here are the beginning dates for the next few years:
- 2021: Sunday, May 9
- 2022: Sunday, May 8
- 2023: Sunday, May 14
- 2024: Sunday, May 12
- 2025: Sunday, May 11
What is National Skilled Nursing Care Week?
National Skilled Nursing Care Week is sponsored by the American Health Care Association (AHCA).
It’s a week set aside to recognize those who work in skilled nursing centers and serve senior citizens as well as disabled adults.
The theme for 2021 is "Together Through the Seasons," in honor of skilled nursing facilities' hard work and commitment to care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
How did it get started?
National Nursing Home Week began in 1967. The AHCA was the first association to organize the week.
What can you do to celebrate?
There are lots of things you can do to celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week.
For one thing, you can do something nice for the residents. If you are musical, you can share your talents. Play a game of checkers with a resident or paint someone’s nails. You don’t have to do much to show that you care. Just spend time with people who may be lonely.
You could do something nice for caregivers. Bring treats for workers to share in their break room. Give gifts to members of the staff. Write a thank-you note to the people who make a difference in patients’ lives.
Finally, you can be an advocate for older adults or disabled adults. Learn how government policies can affect their lives. Send letters to your representatives asking for more health care reform targeted to the older or disabled population.
Activities to Try for National Skilled Nursing Care Week
In order to appreciate the work of industry professionals, you might want to try out an activity or two during this week.
Attend an event hosted by your local council on aging
Learn what resources are available in the local community that may help you care for your family member. Assistance may include Meals on Wheels, respite care, or technology that will keep your senior citizen safe when you aren’t there.
Assist a caregiver
You may not currently be a caregiver, but maybe you have friends who are. Make a meal for the caregiver to share with her aging parent.
If you feel comfortable doing so, take the place of your friend so he or she can have a break for a couple of hours.
Find a creative outlet
Caring for another adult can be emotionally draining so it’s important to find an activity that gives you joy. Play an instrument. Listen to audiobooks. Do a puzzle. In those quiet moments when your loved one does not require help, put down your phone, turn off the TV, and pick up a hobby that you enjoy.
Look for an online support community
The difficult part of joining a support group for caregivers is that you cannot leave your loved one long enough to attend. Instead, search for an online support group.
Be careful not to give too many details regarding your situation to any group of strangers you meet online, but communicating with individuals who are going through the same thing may help.
Gifts for National Skilled Nursing Care Week
If you have a loved one in a skilled nursing facility, you may want to take a moment to do something nice for some of the employees. Since your loved one probably interacts with dozens of staff members, you may consider purchasing something a large group could share.
Similarly, if you or a loved one spends time in a hospital, it would be kind to not only buy a gift for the doctors but for everyone who answers the call button, day or night.
You may also consider doing something special for a few staff members who are your favorites. Whether you purchase a gift for your favorite RN or the person who bakes the pies in the facility’s kitchen, we will give you some ideas of individual gifts to purchase as well.
Who doesn’t love cookies? It’s hard not to feel appreciated when you bring in a large tray of delicious treats.
Consider adding a few gluten-free cookies to a separate plate so even those with an allergy can enjoy your gift.
What’s better than cookies? A free lunch! Give the staff a heads up that you are bringing in a sandwich tray and all the fixings.
You may even team up with another resident’s family and have others bring sides, drinks, and desserts.
Create a goodie bag for each member of the staff. Don’t forget the cooks and the office staff. Include simple items such as mints, candy, or gum.
Throw in a small container of hand sanitizer or lotion. Include a bottle of lemonade or soda. Look on Pinterest for clever ideas on how to label it and tie the whole thing together.
A coffee bar
Purchase good coffee in bulk from your favorite cafe. Create an attractive coffee bar with creamers and other flavorings.
Include tea or hot chocolate for people who don’t drink coffee. Serve the coffee with cookies and wafers made for dunking.
You may choose to give one or two of your favorite staff members a gift card to a local business. Any amount of money—even to a gas station—would probably be much appreciated.
Letters of appreciation
In addition to a gift, consider writing a letter of appreciation to the workers at the facility. Again, you can write one to the entire staff or on an individual basis.
Explain how grateful you are to have these skilled workers overseeing your loved one’s care. List specific instances where the employee went above and beyond what was expected. Give a copy of the letter to the employee(s) as well as the facility supervisor or owner.
If you feel especially confident in the care the facility provides, share your glowing praise on an online review site. Not only would it make those working at the facility feel good about doing a good job, but it also allows other families who are looking for a home to feel confident about their decision.
- “National Skilled Care Nursing Week.” American Health Care Association. anha.org/national-nursing-home-week-is-now-national-skilled-nursing-care-week/.