People to be thankful for

I'm no different from anyone else—when Thanksgiving time rolls around, I like to take stock of just what it is I'm thankful for. My personal list is lengthy, but it is similarly so on the professional side. As editor-in-chief of this publication I'm always surprised at how many “positives” pop up worth being grateful for. It's a refreshing exercise, particularly in this field, bound up as it is with so many woes, financial and otherwise.

So just what is the good stuff we can fasten upon this year? I would offer the following candidates—see if you agree. Maybe you would add some of your own, and I wouldn't mind hearing about them and publishing your comments.

So here goes—on behalf of Nursing Homes/Long Term Care Management, I am thankful for:

  • the kind of people who can care for frail, often cognitively impaired elderly with a smile and genuine compassion, with little or no financial reward or acknowledgement;

  • the kind of people who can cope with family members who can be at once distraught, angry, confused, demanding, self-protective, and aggressive;

  • the unsung public officials, association personnel, organizational managers, and frontline workers who labor in the name of quality improvement—and are actually producing results;

  • the Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) in various states that genuinely get involved with the facilities in their areas, providing the direct coaching, counseling, and feedback that lead to genuine change;

  • former HHS director Tommy Thompson (wherever he is), who quietly put QIOs on the long-term care map;

  • and officials of the Bush administration in general (surprise, surprise), who are testing enlightened and constructive new approaches to long-term care such as the “Money Follows the Person” and the Quality Indicator Survey demonstrations;

  • visionaries like Paul Willging (one of our favorite columnists) and John Erickson, chairman/CEO of Erickson Retirement Communities, who continually describe and define this field's potentially bright future;

  • financial mavens like Bob Kramer and Tony Mullen who, with a handful of colleagues in the early '90s, brought LTC into the financial mainstream with rich sources of data and education under the rubric of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care Industries (NIC);

  • the Society for the Advancement of Gerontological Environments (SAGE), our long-time partner in jurying our design publications, whose members never cease producing provocative new concepts and ideas;

  • and finally you, our readers, who have stayed with us on this ride, and who are in for some interesting travels with us in the year ahead.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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