When I ask rehab patients about the precipitating event that brought them to therapy, they can at least answer the question. Maybe they tripped on a zucchini vine, slipped on a grape in the grocery store or toppled off a bicycle while swerving to avoid a raccoon, but at least they know what happened. Not me.
You wouldn’t have seen any flashing lights or scurrying EMTs, but it was still a major crisis. The nursing home resident was completely out of his favorite pickles, and not just any variety would suffice —they had to be Claussen.
People often ask me what long-term care is like in Canada.* Trying to keep the peace, I usually answer, “Different.” I choose this passive path because a) I’m Canadian, so it’s genetic, and b) I know how quickly conversations can escalate these days.
Did you know we’re experiencing a global sand shortage right now? Please don’t panic, however. This only affects long-term care if your existing properties or future projects require glass or concrete, or if you use computers or one of those new, hand-held phone things.
It sits on the facility reception desk, blinking bright purple as I approach, but somehow escapes my initial notice. After all, I have so very many things — urgent things, funny things, deeply profound things, I’m sure — that desperately need to be shared with that person wearing the headset.
Nothing ever makes me feel more empathy for those we care for than my own occasional reluctant forays into our American healthcare pseudo-system. I just walked a mile in somebody else’s figurative moccasins — and then some.
It sits, beckoning but unattainable, just outside the entrance to your long-term care facility — the Visitor parking spot. You can see it, but don’t dare use it. Every day, in big, block letters, it purrs a siren call as you pass by on your way to the back of the lot. It’s empty and…
I haven’t perched in a tree waiting for Bigfoot, or spent a morning with binoculars in a rowboat on Loch Ness. But I recently had a ringside seat for one of those elusive rehab therapy triumphs — the kind I always hear about, but had never personally witnessed.