Paying it forward

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Shelly Mesure, MS, OTR/L
Shelly Mesure, MS, OTR/L

'Tis the season to be giving. My cousin shared with me recently that she had her coffee paid for twice in the past week when going through the drive-thru at a Starbucks. Random acts of kindness and thoughtfulness are always noticed, no matter how big or small the gesture. I always appreciate when someone holds a door open for me, or offers some small assistance if I'm struggling.

I'm sure many of your nursing home facilities will be decorating some type of Christmas tree or holiday decorations. Many of these decorations and trees include resident names for the staff to give gifts around this time of year. This is always a wonderful and thoughtful gesture, but let's add more to this year's traditions and routines … let's also pay it forward.

I feel that we could all pay it forward in non-monetary ways to our fellow co-workers and residents. The challenge I want to offer is to find someone you work with and have never spoken to before. They probably don't work in your department, but maybe you pass them every day in the halls or see each other in the employee lounge.

They may be of a different ethnic, religious, social, etc., background; however, none of this should make any difference. Kindness is the best form of non-monetary giving, and is recognized as a basic human element.

Doing this also can help with team building, and your entire rehab department could pair up with another department (activities, social services, housekeeping, restorative nursing, etc.) and create some new traditions. Maybe a Secret Santa exchange, pot luck lunches, cookie exchanges, and so on.

Please share your ideas and/or experiences with the comments section below. I'm looking forward to hearing how you pay it forward! 

Shelly Mesure ("measure"), MS, OTR/L, is the senior vice president of Orchestrall Rehab Solutions and owner of A Mesured Solution Inc., a rehabilitation management consultancy with clients nationwide. A former corporate and program director for major long-term care providers, she is a veteran speaker and writer on therapy and reimbursement issues.

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Rehab Realities is written by Renee Kinder, MS, CCC-SLP, RAC-CT.  She currently serves as Director of Clinical Education for Encore Rehabilitation and acts as editor of Perspectives on Gerontology, a publication of the American Speech Language Hearing Association.

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