I feel a little dirty even talking about this. But there's disconcerting news from the world of hand washing, and no amount of anti-microbial goo will sanitize some very frightening statistics about LTC — lousy thumb cleaning.
Some things probably shouldn't require a law. Kittens shouldn't be water-boarded. Toddlers shouldn't have to work in coal mines, at least not in the dark or winter. Seniors in long-term care facilities should get some personal attention. But in the Netherlands, legislation is what it's coming to.
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Here's how yesterday felt in my endless pursuit of long-term care-related service and perfection. As challenges multiplied, I'm pretty sure I was strapped inside an old wooden pickle barrel, pushed into the middle of the raging Niagara River and carried over the falls.
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.
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.