Jumper cables and stethoscopes

After posing questions ever since the bitter childhood discovery that I would never be an astronaut or Bobby Orr, I finally got my answer this week. Why do I exist? To be the guy with jumper cables.

Lessons from an orphan

It's a disquieting visual I can't quite get out of my mind — a single hiking boot hanging from a trail sign. Even you, a crisis-tested long-term care professional, might feel surprised and uneasy.

The long-term care Walk of Shame

I'm not aware of any formal, airline-style elite upgrade programs for long-term care residents, but when the time arrives, I hope they exist — and that I qualify.

Naïveté solves all LTC-related problems, studies do not show

Next to a cozy blanket or mug of cocoa, nothing quite soothes the soul like the calming embrace of pure naiveté. Perhaps that's why more than one-third of Americans apparently believe Medicare will pay for their long-term care needs.

The angry hippo writes

Don't you just hate it when you're having a bad, horrible, rotten, unpleasant day, when you're maybe feeling a little irritated or resentful or hurt or afraid, and then somebody comes along so relentlessly positive and cheerful that you almost want to throw him off the Hertz airport shuttle bus?

Abilify vilified

It's been a tough few years for antipsychotics. I feel a little bad for them. So maligned and stigmatized. Now the news comes out that they might produce compulsive or uncontrollable urges regarding gambling and sex.This news is shocking, at least to me.

Anonyholics Anonymous

It's about time someone is pushing back against all the vitriolic nonsense and baseless accusations people are willing to spew when they think no one will know who they are. Illinois lawmakers are considering a bill that would outlaw anonymous complaints against nursing homes. I, Gary Tetz, am tired of anonymity being used as a weapon.

Gum control

I'm not surprised dementia is now being tied to gum disease. I have long believed the mouth offers a convenient and unflinching window to the soul, and that everything important about someone can be ascertained by a careful inspection of his or her teeth and oral cavity.

Spring up, down or sideways

Benjamin Franklin didn't work in long-term care. Look it up. It's a historical fact. If he had, his hair-brained daylight saving scheme never would have seen the light of day.

Small talk and FEMA camps

It's getting harder and harder to talk to strangers on planes, now that advancing technology has rudely stripped a primary conversation starter away from all of us who are shy travelers.

Things I Think

Things I Think is written by longtime industry columnist Gary Tetz, who resides in Portland, OR. 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.

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