Have you recently visited a nursing home? Were you visiting a family member?
What did you take away from the experience? Was it positive?
Over the past 25 years in my role as a vendor servicing this industry, I have visited many long-term care facilities in multiple states. I have always been the outsider or, to be more precise, “the dreaded vendor, trying to SELL something.”
Recently I was in a facility visiting a family member. I was now an “insider” so to speak – in a different frame of mind; no tie, no detail bag, no product to show the nursing staff. For the first time in 25 years, I was a fly on the wall, the staff did not know who I was or what I did for a living; all they knew was that I was a visitor.
I found myself watching the interaction between the staff and the residents (yes, RESIDENTS – this is of course, their new home).
Over the course of my visits that spanned a week I witnessed many different situations and the “controlled chaos” the staff manages on a daily basis. What I had not really understood was how busy a nursing home really is during the day; the process of three meals is a “dance” in food service; room cleaning, getting residents up and out of bed, getting residents back into bed, who’s going to physical therapy, who needs their pills crushed, who doesn’t want to take their pills, how is a resident adjusting to their new “home”, ARE they adjusting to their new environment. And these represent only a small percentage of the daily issues. The task of meeting each and every resident’s needs is — in my opinion — nothing short of miraculous.
What I truly witnessed is an inimitable ability to care for people. This exceptionally well-choreographed “team” working together gave me a much different appreciation for the long-term care facility and the people who work there – they truly care for their residents as if they were their own family members.
So, if you are a vendor, the next time you visit a nursing home, take a minute to thank the staff for caring for the people under their watch. Whether you are visiting a family member or there for business, observe and appreciate all they manage every minute of every day.
Michael Defrancesco is president of First Wave Products, creators of First Crush and whose parent company, First Wave Technologies, Inc., works with leading research institutions and universities to develop next generation medical technologies. For more information, call 877-784-0269 or email at [email protected]