Things I Think

Long-term (care) anxiety at bargain prices

The median annual cost of a nursing home room is now more than $87,000, according to a recent survey. To an uninformed member of the public, I'm sure that seems like a lot. But what the average person doesn't know is that the price also includes strippers, so it's actually pretty reasonable.

Drawing a line for a balanced life

We hear a lot about drawing lines these days. And that's what long-term care employees need to immediately do — stand up tall to your facility overlords, muster your courage and draw a big, bold line. For anything short of an actual emergency, you're not going to be accessible after work any more.

Passing the stress test

First came the razor, deforesting small circles on my expansive torso. Then came the electrodes, streaming off my chest like ribbons from a departing ocean liner. I wasn't sure if I was being prepped for execution or a stress test, so seeing the doctor walk in instead of the chaplain was a huge relief.

The Sasha Experience

It's been a rough day for good customer service, and since you live and work in a profession dependent upon it, I'm sharing these still raw and painful experiences because I believe they'll be relevant and instructive in your long-term care setting. Or else I just need someone to talk to.

Changing lives or just shoveling snow?

Like any good long-term care provider, I should know that to breathe a sigh of relief after weathering a crisis is to challenge the gods. Remember Brad, the nursing home administrator who left the deposition shouting, "Hurray, the worst is over!"? Of course you don't. No skilled administrator would ever tempt fate by even thinking something so cosmically naïve.

'Devil Nurse' helps keep things in perspective

Are you having a bad day? Maybe some nagging personnel problems? Or perhaps you're concerned about how the poor judgment of one employee could reflect negatively on the reputation of your facility in the community? If so, take a deep breath and slowly repeat to yourself, "At least the nursing home employee who posed with dead residents and then posted the pictures on Facebook doesn't work for me."

Long-term care's 12th Man

Sometimes people can love too much. For instance, when love causes an earthquake, it might be time to pull back and examine the health of the relationship.

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.

Blinking lights and deadly bacteria

Well, alrighty then. Looks like I didn't win the lottery. So I guess I'll have to buckle down and write yet another profound but cheeky blog post for this fine long-term care news magazine. Sure, I'm surprised. I felt really good about my chances. But I grew up in a church whose pioneers believed we'd all be taken to heaven on Oct. 22, 1844, so I'm used to Great Disappointment.

Christmas, er, holiday happiness for sale

Are you satisfied with your life? I'm not, and I barely know you. So in this festive Christmas/holiday month, it seems like the perfect time to figure out how to make your existence more mirth-filled and meaningful.

Things I Think

Things I Think is written by longtime industry columnist Gary Tetz, who resides in Walla Walla, WA. Since his debut with at the end of a previous century, he has continued to amuse, inform and sometimes befuddle long-term care readers worldwide.


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