What to do with the wanderer

My very adorable, but now elderly puppy has developed a serious problem with wandering. The last time, he was almost hit by a truck. It's rather troubling, to say the least. But long-term care providers may have shown me the way.

Coming out old

Growing old is a choice. I realize that now. But it took some straight talk from neurosurgeon and likely Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson to help me see the light.


I'm feeling extremely unsettled lately. On edge. Anxious. It's not the threat of rising sea levels, or the erosion of public confidence in the integrity of Nightly News anchors, or the possibility that my hard-earned Four Star Rating might suddenly become a three. It's something far scarier than all those things combined. Larry Minnix is retiring.

Half of what I say is meaningless

That headline will only make sense if you were either alive or conscious during the 1960s, or care about good music. It's a lyric from a Beatles song, written by John Lennon for his mother, Julia. And it just happens to describe how I feel right now, trying to write something meaningful about an entirely different Julia.

If I fell

A group of very fine long-term care people and I just spent the last 10 days in Nicaragua. I'll blog about why we went in a future installment, but first need to share the most important lesson learned on the trip.

New Year, new choice

People have wondered if I was awake to welcome the New Year. I think it's another way to find out if I'm old, like one of those trick long-term care job interview questions that would be illegal if you asked it directly. In fact, plenty of important questions need answers.

Self-absorption training for seniors sorely needed

Social media overlords have their sights set on enslaving the planet's seniors. They might be in for a surprise.

Microchips for nurses

My dog has a microchip embedded between his shoulder blades, and it's really setting my mind at ease. So I think it might be time for every member of your nursing staff to get one, too.

Biometric preening — dying is not good business

For success in long-term care, you want your employees to stay well, and especially not dead. If it isn't already, that should probably be a primary component of your business plan. A dead staff member is notoriously unreliable, often not even having the courtesy to call in, finish tasks as assigned or complete a proper exit interview. So you need your people alive. It's just good business.

No reason for the horror of this dining service

Food. It's important. I once foolishly tried to go several weeks without any. I almost died and was finally forced to start eating again. Evidence suggests I overcorrected, so it's definitely a fine line.

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.