When I was a wee boy living in the Canadian wilderness, we needed to dig a well, so my dad hired a creepy-looking guy called a "water witch" to wander the property holding a forked stick out in front of him. If only finding the right long-term care employee were that easy.
Let's say you bought your long-term care administrator an expensive venti tall double-half frappalatte on your way to work yesterday, and he didn't reimburse you for it. Should you A) playfully remind him about it when you pass in the hall; B) consider it an investment in your future and move on; or C) sucker punch him in the face at the next stand-up?
Well, this is disappointing. I was convinced Donald Trump was going to be our first real long-term care president — a tireless and compassionate advocate for the profession and those we serve. Guess not. It just proves you never really know people.
I was scared, I'll admit it. I had never used it before. It was all so intimidating and new. The old system worked fine for me, and I was comfortable with its inadequacies. You might think I'm describing the terrifying transition to electronic health records in long-term care, but I'm not. This is about my first ride with Uber.
Long-term care has far too many professionals with a depth and range of skill and training that the public almost never gets to see.
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After a particularly painful experience at a local restaurant, an irate friend of mine feels strongly that heat descriptions for spicy meals should be nationally monitored and controlled. But since I spend my life in and around the long-term care profession — one of the most heavily regulated in the universe — I'm skeptical.
There's a legendary photo of General Douglas MacArthur wading ashore upon a heroic return to the Philippines in World War II, and that's what popped into my mind recently when I saw an elderly gentleman walk triumphantly into the dining room of a post-acute rehab facility.
Last time we talked, it was peppers and hooch. Now it's liquor and prostitutes. As a long-term care professional, I imagine you're wondering what you've done wrong to encourage this trending moral free-fall in your facilities. But let me put your mind at ease. It's not you. It's me.
You are correct. "Peppers and Hooch" does sound like a bad buddy cop show from the '80s. But in the world of Nebraskan long-term care, the lethal combination could be threatening the whole profession.
It's notoriously difficult, not to mention foolish, to try to predict the future of long-term care in America. In all of our nation's recorded history, only one man can lay claim to true prescience on this topic. His name? Dr. Seuss.
Things I Think
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.