Gary Tetz, Author at McKnight's Long Term Care News
Gary Tetz

Gary Tetz

Most recent articles by Gary Tetz

Scattering seeds

It was my birthday yesterday — the same day I found out that Fernald, a World War II veteran and one of the wisest, bravest and most adorable people I’ve ever known, had passed away.

Things I Think: Champions of change

In long-term care, massive change is always afoot. Whatever was true 20 minutes ago isn’t anymore, and the new normal will be an unrecognizable stranger by nightfall. But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed: the way most people feel about change. We hate it, fear it, fight it. But since it’s inevitable, I asked some…

Halloween — the ultimate staffing solution

Strolling with an adorable dog through my neighborhood at twilight last night was an eerie journey into the macabre. The neighbors’ yards have been scary for weeks — there’s an election going on, after all. But now the creepy dial was cranked to 11.

You can’t take it with

Not every long-term care job description comes with the opportunity, or curse, to work after hours. Harried nurses can’t exactly carry a resident home and finish the job on the weekend, for instance — though given their legendary level of dedication, many probably would if they could.

Heroes bring us together

Ever tempted to lose your faith in the essential goodness of human nature? Worried that our country is irreparably divided? A flight across the country with a group of iconic war heroes from long-term care facilities can do wonders for restoring one’s faith in humanity and hope for the future.

One little word, one big perception

A friend of mine had grown concerned about the condition of her mother, who is a resident at a skilled nursing facility in another state. It tears at her heart being so far away, and she doesn’t get there nearly as often as she’d like. One experience in particular didn’t help.

Wake-up call from a broken glass

In an ego-driven, impermanent world where possessions masquerade as precious, every genuine human interaction matters and no effort is ever wasted. The kitchen has been swept and the broken remains of that cheap Texaco glassware long ago discarded, but my last conversation with Fran will nourish my heart forever.

Poor, poor pitiful me

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.

Molalla on her mind

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.

Long-term care in the land of ‘Sorry’

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.

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