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May brings many opportunities to take a moment to observe celebrations happening throughout this month. National Nurses Week is commemorated from May 6 through May 12 every year. This year’s theme for Nurses Week is Nurses: A Voice to LeadInvest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health. We thank nurses worldwide for the work they have done on the front lines since 2020 and for the heroic care they provide always. For WestMass ElderCare, we especially appreciate the importance of nurses who practice community nursing. Community nursing plays a pivotal role in assisting those individuals who live in their own homes with medically complex conditions or other long-term care needs.

May is also Mental Health Awareness Month. Care and attention to our mental health are just as important as taking care of our physical health. It is always a good time to pause and reflect on taking care of our overall health. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five persons in our country lives with a mental health condition.

The 2022 theme for Older Americans Month, also celebrated in May is Age My Way, is an opportunity for all of us to explore the many ways older adults can remain in and be involved with their communities.

The recognition of the nursing profession, mental health awareness, and “aging my way” speaks to key principles of WestMass Elder Care’s work in the community. Our mission is rooted in providing support so that people can remain in their homes and communities with independence and dignity. That involves caring for one’s physical and mental health as well as prioritizing a person’s choices and decision-making for their own well-being. Our mission is clearly reflected in the individualized care plans we create for each person we serve which are developed with the consumer and caregiver by WMEC Care Managers and Registered Nurses.

WMEC staff often work together in an interdisciplinary model with a team of case managers and nurses collaborating to provide the best care for our consumers. What does that mean in practice as we work with individuals and caregivers? Much of our work involves helping consumers to navigate health and social systems including housing, public benefits, and community resources across many areas.

Navigating these complex systems helps consumers access the right services at the right times from the right providers. With our team helping to overcome barriers, a better experience for consumers and their families is our approach and goal. We work with consumers to manage their conditions and services in their home setting, maintain stability, and make adjustments as their situation changes. We are your liaison to direct care providers who help you in your home, and we work closely with them to ensure your services are reliable.

Today and every day, we tip our hats to our Care Managers and Nurses who support consumers and caregivers in achieving their goals at home, including health, well-being, and quality of life.