Will working in long-term care — or anywhere else, for that matter — soon become like flying Samoa Air? It's possible, maybe even likely.
Here's a little medical news that made me sit up straight: People with really bad posture are much more likely to eventually need help with activities of daily living (ADL), according to research published in the Journals of Gerontology.
Imagine if CNN, the most trusted name in news, decided to report on the disappearance of a bottle of window cleaner from a nursing home supply closet. We would first be told it was really several gallons and possibly radioactive, and that window cleaner can be used to build a bomb. And that would be just the start.
The best med aides I've ever seen have an almost spooky knack for getting nursing home residents to take their medicine. It's an art form, really. A mystical mix of command, humor and good, old-fashioned charm.
Better watch your back, people. Gangs of angry, wheelchair-bound residents are screaming at high speeds through our nation's nursing homes, pursuing their mobile vendettas with brutal demonstrations of frontier justice. Or at least they are in Peoria, IL. OK, at least one is. Or was.
How widespread is the adoption of uniforms within the long-term care profession? According to a rigorous and scientific phone survey I conducted of the one nursing home administrator who would take my call this morning, they're required of all nurses, CNAs and dietary and housekeeping staff in her building. To extrapolate that data nationally, I'll let you do the math.
In all the tumult over the Time magazine expose of pervasive and obscene healthcare billing excesses, you might have missed the almost as exciting discovery that foot massages at work lower blood pressure and anxiety for dementia caregivers. At least one snippy McKnight's reader irately claims this isn't "real news." He or she definitely needs a lengthy foot rub, and possibly half a Xanax dissolved in a cup of chamomile tea.
Over in South Korea, precocious robots have been sniffing the air at a few nursing home test sites and neutralizing unwelcome odors. Or at least they were, but now have probably been reassigned to nose around for radioactive effluvium from a nuclear test by a despotic neighbor. Talk about your ultimate call-in.
I recently watched the presidential inauguration from the comfort of a fake leather couch at a car dealership. Over the din of overhead pages for the service department, Sales Manager in Chief Barack Obama was making an aggressive pitch, and I half expected him to finish his speech by asking, "So, America, what can I do to get you into this brand new future today?"
My wife's a Realtor. And no, I'm not wondering if you or anyone you know would like to buy or sell a home in Walla Walla, WA. That would be a crass and brazen misuse of this forum. Though if you happen to have a real estate need, I could definitely get a message to her. I hear she's quite good.
Things I Think is written by longtime industry columnist Gary Tetz, who resides in 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.