The month of May celebrates the important roles of nurses in our lives. Whether in a skilled, or an assisted living community, the nursing staff provides the most important care for residents and patients. According to Nursing World, “Nursing is the glue that holds a patient’s healthcare journey together.” This year, National Nursing Week runs May 6 – 12, and National Skilled Nursing Care Week runs from May 12 – 18. Wonder why they each have two, separate weeks? The answer is also what separates an independent living facility from a senior care facility – each provide different, vital services based upon need.

Both nursing and skilled nursing care weeks share a same date, May 12, which is the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. Nursing itself is defined as “the profession or practice of providing care for the sick or infirm.” Nurses at independent living communities such as Williamsburg Landing and Cumberland Village are responsible for monitoring the overall health of the residents, and providing direct medical care and oversight when needed. Those at assisted living, such as Independence Hall, Margate Manor and the Hills of Cumberland Village are responsible for the day-to-day health management such as taking vitals, food preparation, helping with mobility, and monitoring the overall wellness of the patient. The role of nurses in both situations are so critical, the locations themselves were once referred to as “nursing homes.”

Skilled Nursing Care Week honors not only the nurses, but the entire medical team at skilled nursing facilities such as Manor Pines and Manor Oaks. These positions include the (normally) short-term care of patients needing rehabilitation, and include a high level of medical care provided by trained individuals, such as registered nurses (RNs) and physical, speech, and occupational therapists.

The American Health Care Association explains that: “Every day, skilled nursing centers assist our seniors and people with disabilities in living their happiest and best lives. Whether it’s planting, cooking, reading or listening to music, these centers pay it forward by helping individuals find their own happiness to improve quality of life.”

Nicole Sutton, Administrator at Williamsburg Landing, explains that the nurses and staff within the skilled nursing care community are the “hands and hearts” of each location, and while she works to show her appreciation of them each day, she has exciting plans to honor them during these two, special weeks. Daily gifts, catered meals, special outings and more will take place throughout the Marrinson communities, to honor those who give so much of themselves to improve the lives of others.

We would invite you take some time during those two weeks to “pay it forward” for those nurses and skilled nursing care teams whose careers and lives are spent doing that very thing every day, for the betterment of us all.