​Connections are as vital in long term/post-acute care as they are in the rest of life.

In Provider’s first cover feature, Senior Editor and Writer Patrick Connole describes Kare, a company that has produced an extensive staffing app. The app allows skilled nursing, assisted living, and other health care communities to connect with prequalified workers to fill shifts, cutting down on overtime and agency staffing and allowing workers to make extra money on their own time. Page 4.

In part two, Connole interviews Anna Fisher of Hillcrest Health Services, who brings together seniors with dementia and students from a secondary school sited on the company’s assisted living campus. The program is based on The Montessori Method, which provides an environment conducive to individual learning. The students, Fisher says, offer innovative, often technology-led ways to share their time with residents and help improve their lives. In turn, the students learn how previous generations worked and lived. Page 10.

Part three shows how Maine Veterans’ Homes is bringing residents and staff together within its newly built small house complex in Augusta. The dozen residents in each household have private rooms that open to common living areas, where they can interact with staff, activities facilitators, and each other. Studies have found that residents in these settings have a reduced need for medications, increased appetites, and higher overall well-being. Page 16.

Be sure to check out our Focus on Caregiving (Page 23) and Management (Page 27) columns as well.