New Directions | May 2021
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A Message From the President
Spring is sprung but somehow the weather is a little confused here in Texas, very warm one day, very cold another. Despite this, plants are beginning to blossom and I have beautiful purple irises to admire. I also admire the work our committee members are doing and I look forward to our virtual Leadership Conference in the fall. I would remind members to apply for the Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing (DEGN) designation or recommend a non-member who meets the criteria to do so also.
Coronavirus and Older Adults
Newly Vaccinated, Older Adults Emerge From COVID Hibernation: ‘I Am Feeling Good About Moving Forward’
Bill Griffin waited more than a year for this moment: Newly vaccinated, he embraced his 3-year-old granddaughter for the first time since the pandemic began.

“She came running right over. I picked her up and gave her a hug. It was amazing,” the 70-year-old said after the reunion last weekend.

Spring has arrived with sunshine and warmer weather, and many older adults who have been vaccinated, like Griffin, are emerging from COVID-19-imposed hibernation.
Decline in COVID-19 Cases at Long-Term Care Facilities Brings Hope and Relief for Seniors and Families
Recent COVID-19 data point to positive trends for seniors in long-term care facilities. While the coronavirus pandemic is still a threat, the federal COVID-19 vaccination program, which started in December 2020, appears to be yielding a significant decline in outbreaks, new cases, and coronavirus-related deaths in long-term care facilities.

Weekly COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities have declined nearly 85% since the beginning of the year, according to The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer organization launched by The Atlantic that tracks COVID-19 outbreak data in the U.S. Coronavirus-related deaths and new outbreaks in these facilities have decreased about 65% and 87%, respectively.
What Can You Do Once You’re Vaccinated?
Americans have entered a new phase of the pandemic where a large number of them are vaccinated but most are not. That leads to a big question: What can you do after you’re fully vaccinated? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued new guidelines, and other experts have weighed in with their thoughts.

But when it comes to what you personally should or shouldn’t do, you will need to do your own risk assessment. I spoke to experts to develop a science-backed framework for post-vaccination decision-making. Here are important factors to keep in mind that, when paired with your own appetite for risk, can help you navigate this next stage of the pandemic.
Member Spotlight
Many Older Adults Lack Even Simple, Helpful Equipment
Sarah Szanton, PhD, MSN, RN, FAAN, ANP
NHCGNE Legacy Affiliate
In 2019, John Hancock had become so disabled after a hospitalization that he went close to a year without being able to take a bath or a shower Using a walker, he could, with difficulty, move around the townhouse in Baltimore where he lived with his daughter and grandson But because he felt too unsteady to climb into the tub, one of them had to help him with sponge baths 

Then a program at Johns Hopkins called CAPABLE (Community Aging in Place Advancing Better Living for Elders) sent a nurse, an occupational therapist and a repair person to provide some inexpensive assistive devices. "It made a tremendous difference in my life" Mr Hancock, a retired school cook, said 

Over several visits, the team asked about his needs and priorities and supplied a shower chair and a rubber bath mat The repair person installed grab bars around the tub, attached a hand-held shower nozzle and added a railing next to the toilet Mr Hancock learned how to use it all 
Check Out This Great Read!
Fitness trackers, heart rate monitors, digital food diaries, guided meditations, ‘time to move’ notifications and more – there’s certainly no shortage of smart device applications that help people to manage all aspects of their health and lifestyle on a daily basis.

But what about those who live with chronic, life-threatening or debilitating diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, cystic fibrosis or kidney failure – is it possible that their lives can be improved through a digital application? Thankfully, the answer is yes. And while these technologies were already advancing through the growth of AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities, the global pandemic has also played a part – with there needing to be much more reliance on remote monitoring and treatment.

Check out some of the ones making a difference in the lives of people all over the world.
Scholarship Opportunities
Graduate Gerontology Healthcare Certificate
The University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing and Health Innovation has a new graduate gerontology healthcare certificate available, which combines your hands-on experience with our first-class education. Learn new skills, enhance your expertise and take your career to the next level while providing seniors specialized care they deserve.

The certificate program offers a curriculum designed to enhance your skills when working with older adults, their families and/or caregivers. GHC prepares you for the future, one where it is predicted adults 65 and over will represent 20 percent of the population by 2030.

If you have questions or are interested in learning more before applying, please contact Dr. Kathryn Daniel at
Academic Opportunities
Claire Dumke Ryberg, R.N. Presidential Endowed Chair in End-of-Life/Palliative Care
The University of Utah College of Nursing seeks an established, visionary nurse scholar to become the inaugural holder of the Claire Dumke Ryberg, R.N. Presidential Endowed Chair in End-of-Life/Palliative Care. This Endowed Chair will help build the pipeline of palliative care clinicians, scholars and/or researchers, as well as advance the discovery, organization, transmission, and application of knowledge and health policies to meet the unique health care needs of patients living with serious illness and/or near end of life. The Endowed Chair is a 5- year tenure-line or career-line appointment, renewable upon successful review. Academic rank and salary for this full-time, 12-month appointment will be commensurate with qualifications.
Applications are pouring in! Here is your opportunity to be part of an elite group of gerontological nursing leaders. NHCGNE's Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing Program, is a Hartford initiative that recognizes excellence in nurse education leadership. Take a look at our 2020 Distinguished Educators– these leaders work with students, faculty, providers, and older adults in diverse settings. You could be one of them! The deadline to apply is June 9, 2021.
Save the Date for NHCGNE's Leadership Conference!
October 26-28, 2021
Say it with "Got Content"!
Next New Directions Content Submission Deadline:
July 2021
Deadline: June 20, 2020 (Publish July 5)
Newsletter submissions should be sent to NHCGNE Staff at with 
NHCGNE New Directions Submission in the subject line. 
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