The year of the opinion
If 2013 was anything, and I'm not convinced it was, it was the year of strong opinions — even in long-term care. The fact that they were often biased, self-serving or blissfully fact-free seemed to make no difference. From our nation's finest politicians right down to me, from my damp hole under the porch, we were willing to state our personal beliefs loudly, boldly, publicly, without question or doubt, as absolute truth. Or at least that's my opinion.
So in honor of the year now passed, here are my unfairly broad but still strongly held predictions for 2014:
Politicians will lie. Sometimes they'll do it on purpose, sometimes not. Sometimes with good intentions, sometimes not. But they'll still do it. All year.
Corporations will be greedy. Because that's just business. Fortunately, they won't all be greedy AND evil. Just greedy, and maybe a little evil. In a good way.
Privacy will turn out to be a quaint, naïve concept ill-suited for this modern age. But we'll still try to preserve it, when profits and nebulous threats to our safety allow. And we'll enjoy reading about it in transcripts of our old phone conversations.
Healthcare changes will be messy. We'll be mad about that, and will long for those halcyon days pre-Obamacare when a health event had the God-given freedom to financially destroy even an insured family.
People will be uninformed. But they won't know it. So they won't care.
You'll keep doing the work you do out of compassion for the people you serve. Actually, that's the one thing I'm absolutely sure about. Because when a long-term care professional stands at the bedside of a vulnerable resident, there's no philosophy or politics that gets in the way. You just see a need, and then you do something about it.
That's why I feel safe in predicting that never in the course of this brand-new year will you respond to a resident's out-stretched hand by saying, “Nope. Sorry. Looks like you need some compassion right now, and I'd really like to help. But my strongly held opinion based on things I've heard from people who read about them on the Internet is that I'd just be creating a hammock of emotional dependency. So I better just let you lie there and get through this on your own.”
You won't say that. Not once. And that's more than my opinion. It's a fact.
Things I Think is written by Gary Tetz, who cobbles these pieces together from his secret lair somewhere near the scenic, wine-soaked hamlet of Walla Walla, WA. Since his debut with SNALF.com at the end of a previous century, he has continued to amuse, inform and sometimes befuddle long-term care readers worldwide.