Long-term care owners and providers are engaged in an ongoing struggle to maintain solvent facilities and provide quality care while dodging waves of new regulations, initiatives, and cutbacks. The challenges can be overwhelming and as an observer and reporter of these challenges, I wonder about the toll it must take on your strength and morale.
Since joining this magazine just a few months ago, I've had a chance to connect with providers who toil in the trenches of healthcare and yet remain relatively upbeat and satisfied with their chosen professions. I marvel at your stamina and commitment in the face of unrelenting pressures relating to staffing issues, bad press, increased demands for accountability, shrinking reimbursements, and a snowballing rise in residents afflicted with debilitating, heartbreaking conditions like Alzheimer's disease.
And yet I've heard time and again that, at the end of the day, it's the resident's voice that drives so many of you forward. As Larry Minnix, president and CEO of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA), pleaded during comments at AAHSA's annual meeting last month: “The pressing needs of people call out to us every day.” Both nonprofit and for-profit providers and the many undervalued, hardworking caregivers who work with them answer this call on a daily basis. It is humbling and gratifying to witness.
Out with the old…
End-of-year editorials are often cliché-ridden riffs on holiday sentiments or year-in-review themes. (And who am I to buck tradition?) Ah, but in this case “out with the old” is so very appropriate for Long-Term Living's year-end issue as we bid farewell to a design that's sorely due for an “extreme makeover” and prepare to unveil a fresh, vibrant new look next month.
The Long-Term Living family (editors, publisher, art director, and production team) are wrapping up a months-long process of reviewing our mission, content, and vision for the future. We are invigorated by a renewed drive to bring our 50,000 subscribers content that not only informs them of the myriad issues facing the LTC community today, but that offers in-depth analysis and context.
To that end, we will continue to offer not only staff-generated stories that report the latest industry news and trends but insightful articles from industry experts and educators on the cutting-edge of LTC development.
I wish you the warmest of wishes for a peaceful holiday season.
Patricia Sheehan, Editor-in-Chief Long-Term Living 2010 December;59(12):8