Surviving the night shift

In a new study highlighted by McKnight's, more than 60% of night shift workers reported "poor sleep quality, insomnia and impaired sleep-related activities of daily living." Reading those words, I had two reactions: 1) how troubling and sad, and 2) these are my people!

Accept and connect

Thanks to the inadvertent generosity of Starbucks, I didn't have to climb a mountain in my bare feet or learn to speak Tibetan to discover the secret of peace and happiness. It was delivered personally along with my morning coffee — and the message was steamy fresh and venti.

Senior sex — the lethal irony

Of all the forces in the universe, I fear irony the most. It's lethal, and is eventually going to find and destroy me.

Up in the air, and up on the ground

This isn't just a story about the World War II veteran who got to fly again, inspiring though it most certainly was. I know, because I was there — holding a video camera, unsteadily at times, as the emotion of the experience threatened to undermine my professionalism.

Life after floss

So, now we learn that flossing is probably useless. It's not even recommended anymore. The government said so.

Cue the banjo player (you won't regret it)

So anyway, speaking of aging, I got to spend Sunday evening with a delightful old guy named Steve — a spry, perfectly adorable gentleman with a Mike Pence hairdo who plays the banjo and seems to have a natural flair for humor. I think his last name might have been Martin. Perhaps you've heard of him.

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.

Things I Think

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