Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Remember your Senior Prom.......

Well, National Nursing Home week was a big hit. I've never been so tired in my life, but it was worth it for the residents. We planned a lot for the week, almost too much, with a Mother's Day Luncheons, a Food Show, an Employee Grill Out and raffle and A Senior Prom.

With all the things we did, my over all favorite, and the most work, was the Senior Prom. Watching the anticipation and excitement build in the residents and even the staff and family members was just awesome.

Not having attended my own school prom, I wanted to make sure I touched all the bases and didn't leave anything out. This was going to be the event of the season!

A few calls and the dresses were being donated by the bunches. Every color, size and style you can imagine. And while the tux rental donations came easy last year, this year was another story due to the recession. No tuxes!! A few more phone calls to the families and the suits and ties were in the bag. Who needs a tux anyway?

And even though we have a weekly beautician come several days, to do the hair of her regulars, this was a special occasion. Everyone who wanted to have their hair or nails done would be on the the schedule. Paul Mitchell beauty school came through beautifully with an instructor and ten student. They spent the day making the resident beautiful, even if they didn't want to attend the prom.

The flowers were ordered and set for delivery. The music, the same as the year before, booked and ready. The local newspaper even set to attend and do pictures. (they haven't run the article yet, but say they are a couple weeks out on delivery - I hope he wasn't pulling my leg). And more volunteers, girls and guys, than we knew what to do with, available to dance and take pictures with the residents or whatever was needed..

On the day of the prom, the staff got really into it too, helping fit the residents with evening gowns and making sure their hair and make up was just so. Even dressing up themselves. You can really tell you work with a great team when everyone comes together and makes sure everyone is involved and having a good time.

It was a lot of work, but well worth it! The room was smaller than we wanted, and some of the families didn't get to attend this year because the prom was held during the day rather than in the evening, but the prom went off without a hitch. Everyone had a wonderful time and we have the pictures to show for it!

So I may not have attend my own prom, but who needs it. This is one of the best proms I have ever been to. And what a way to celebrate our residents. Everyone was sooooo beautiful! Am I ready to do it again tomorrow, no way. But you can count on next year being even better.

Quote for the day: Celebrate today for tomorrow may never come. Besides, look at all the fun you're missing out on.

God Bless. Good Night.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Where does the time go?

I so totally let April get away from me. And May is well on the way of getting away. They say the older we get the faster the time gets away from us. Funny, I don't feel old, tired sometimes, but not old.

The last full week in April, I got to get away to Florida. Something I have waited almost a year to do. I got to see my best friend Pam and her new home in Land O Lakes. She had foot surgery while I was there. It was nice sitting around, catching up. I spent the day with my sister. I haven't seen her in almost two years. That was sweet too! The only draw back was, one of the reasons I wanted to go to Florida was to spend some time with my brother. I ended up only getting about an hour and a half with him. I feel bad about that. Maybe it was God's way of saying, don't get your hopes up, or leave it alone, he's happy. I can move forward and stop worrying about him. I have missed him so. I do feel better that he is happy. He doesn't like his job much ( he at least has a job) but he gets to spend quality time with his grandchildren and he really seems to enjoy that.

It was a great time but coming back I have to wonder if it was worth it. Getting away, I was promised that the state mandated paper would be picked up where I left it and kept up while I was away. For the record, don't believe everything people tell you. Nothing was done. I'm still not caught up.The days at work are so busy and crazy, they are but a blur when I try to go back and look at the day when I get home.

I've been back for a week and a half and haven't seen the residents yet. Oh, I've seen them, but not really seen them. I want to spend quality time with them but can't seem to get away form the computer. I have weeks of state mandated paper work to catch up on, the monthly calendar, the newsletter, assessments, care plans, signs, birthday list, a Mother's Day luncheon this Saturday, and that's not even the half of it. May is an important month for seniors. It's National Nursing Home Week. Our facility plans lots of great stuff in May in celebration of the elderly. We have a full week of celebration which includes Senior Prom that is well into planning. Everything is crazy now but will be behind me in a week.

I know it seems like I am whining, and maybe I am, but I do love my job. I just don't like the stress of some of my team member not doing their share. I gave three staff members a job to cover a box with with paper and put a sign on it for a ballot box, by the end of the day, so the resident's could use them as voting boxes for a king and queen for our upcoming prom. At the end of the day, no boxes were anywhere to be found after the staff left. I did find one (one!) box. As beautiful as it was, it was only one bax. I need four!

Anyone ever been to a Prom for Senior Citizens. I haven't. I'm looking forward to it. The residents are getting so excited. They have been being fitted with donated prom dresses. I can't wait to see them all dressed up. I have a bunch of volunteers from the local high school football and soccer teams coming to have pictures taken with the residents and maybe even a little wheelchair dancing. I cant wait to join in on the fun.

But first, the Mother's Day Luncheon. That should be really nice and rewarding for the families too. I know, one day at a time.

My quote for the day: "Take life one day at a time, you'll live longer."

Thanks for stopping by and letting me bend your ear.
God Bless and have a good night.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I believe things are look up.....

Sitting here reading over my last post, I was in quite a slump. I'm happy to report, things are looking up. An ad was placed in the local paper. The responses were overwhelming. Each day I got 20-30 applications for one open position. They were mechanics, accountants, teachers, and a host of others. Not too many had real long term care experience, let alone activity programming experience.

Last week was a blur of long hours and interviews. With the economy what it is, I scheduled 6-8 a day for several days. It didn't take long to weed out the ones that were not appropriate for the position. I felt really bad for several of the people. They needed a job so bad. I can't tell you how many days I came home and thanked the good Lord I had a job.

After second interview of the top two candidates, my boss ask to let him think about them for a while. Thirty-five minutes later, he came to my office and said to hire them both. Something I wasn't expecting. He wanted one of my newest part time guys gone. Said he wasn't catching on quick enough. I got the honors of telling the little guy he didn't have a job anymore. I didn't feel too good about that. I still have one other girl who has been coached and coached and doesn't seem to be improving. If she doesn't step it up soon, she may have to go too. Again, not something I am looking forward to. I hate to see people loose their jobs, especially with the economy the way it is,

On a brighter note, I had two new people ( a girl and a guy) in orientation on Tuesday. The guy has worked two days and I can already see changes, for the better, in our existing team. Seeing the young guy gone may have had something to do with it too. The second new person doesn't start until after the 13th, (she had to give notice at her other job). I believe she will be a positive addition.

Being a five star facility is a lot of work. The boss is always pushing the staff to do better, better, best! And that's not a bad thing. I guess that's the way we became a five star facility. Having high expectation of you staff will yield quality service delivered. And in the end, isn't that's what we are looking for?

So, having had several long weeks of falling behind in the paper work and more interview that I want to do in a year, I believe things are looking up. Having the new people in place and getting them seasoned before our really busy time gets here, is a good thing. We have Easter, mother's day, national nursing home week and a senior prom, all in the next eight week. The additional help, is a true blessing. I believe they will add a lot of great support and assistance in delivering quality programming and service to our seniors.

And in the mist of all that, I did my taxes, or at least they got done. Truth be told, my daughter did them for me. It takes me about 4-5 hours to do the taxes. She being a natural banker, she wipes them out in about 1 1/2 hours, and I don't have to think about them anymore. For the record, if you don't have your taxes done, you only have 20 days. Just what you wanted to hear, right?

Quote of the day:Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

God Bless. Good Night.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Change is good, right?

Ever had one of those weeks at work, where the stress is so thick you can cut it with a knife. I'm moving into my second week of one. One of the the part time activity aides, that worked 32 hours, gave notice she could only work every other weekend She's coming to the end of her school and has labs and co-oping. I was really okay with that. I knew it was coming. Then a full time aide on the memory unit, gave notice last Wednesday (not even a full two week notice). She said she wants to begin living her life, not just existing. She wants to do some traveling and maybe open a business with some friends in North Carolina. (I want to do some traveling)

The week ended with the State coming in on a complaint on Friday. We were kinda, sorta, expecting them because of a discharge on a resident with some behavior issues that were harmful to other residents. They ended up finding more than was bargained for. The boss was in a terrible mood all day. Those are the kind of days you really want to hide somewhere.

After a fairly quiet weekend, I was all ready for a calmer, much less stressful week. So far that hasn't happened. Monday was a typical busy, crazy Monday. It ended with a lovely dinner with my daughter and the grands. Today. Today was just tuff! Another girl in my department, called today, (she was scheduled off today), said if the one girl won't be working on the unit, she may want to transfer to another department, where she also has experience. ( In my meeting with the boss, I know this isn't going to happen because he will not ok the transfer.) Knowing the girls asking, maybe that's a good thing.

I topped the day off with the boss calling me into his office to tell me my department was falling apart, (well, dah!). Truthfully the remaining five or ten minutes in his office was somewhat a blur. Something about forgetting to run the ad and I may need to come in extra to run some programming. I think the real reason I was brought into the office was because the activity aide that was leaving was the first one for the facility and he wasn't ready to let her go yet and needed to vent.

When I left the office I should have gone in to finished my paper work. Instead, I went down on the units with the residents and joined the activity in progress. The residents always lift my spirits and re-affirm the reason I love my job, even when I am having a bad day.

When I left work tonight, I have to say, I was still dragging, but I did feel better hanging out with the residents. They help me put things into prospective.

Tomorrow is another day. And I believe all things happen for a reason. Maybe this is God's way of making me see things in a different light. I used to hate change, but maybe change is just what we need. Our programming could use a boost.

On a good note, I had two new part timers, students, in the orientation class today. They both start this week on the evening shift. They are really young and green but everybody has to start somewhere.

I haven't posted much lately. Maybe no one will even read this, but I feel better. I usually come in and read other people's troubles and go aways without posting because my problems seem small in comparison. Thanks for letting me bend your ear.

Today's quote is actually a bible verse: "If God takes you to it, He will see you through it".

God Bless. Good Night.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Looking out for each other...........

Our economy has everyone in a stew. Even people who thought their jobs were secure are loosing their jobs. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been during the depression years. Being born in the fifties, the depression was on its way to recovery so I can’t say I remember much of it. That’s not to say we weren’t poor when I was growing up, I just didn’t know it because everyone else was poor too. We didn’t have much of what we wanted but most of our needs were met. Even if it was hand me down clothes and the very basic food items, canned vegetables, dried beans, potatoes, eggs, etc.

I was at the grocery tonight and got really stirred up. Memories of poverty were as fresh in my heart as if it were yesterday. I saw a family of four in the grocery. My heart really went out to them. The children were all under six or seven. They were asking for the usual things kids ask for when you take them to the grocery. Mom was doing what she could to pacify them without just saying no. It didn’t look like mom had much money but the need seemed plenty. I watched her for several isles while trying not to stare by going on about my business. I couldn’t get those kids out of my mind. They were all three very well behaved. When the mom told them they couldn’t have something, they didn’t throw a fit like most kids do, they just gave it back and moved on. I wanted to put back what I had and give my money to her for her children.

I moved on and tried to finish up as I figured I couldn’t do too much with the situation at hand but pray. As it turned out, I ended up in line behind them at the check out. Mom had what looked to be about thirty to forty dollars worth of food. Nothing fancy, couple boxes of cereal, milk, few canned goods, a couple packs of meat, some flour, sugar and a loaf or two of bread. I did see one box of little debbie cupcakes. Her bill rang up to $38.56. She had $32.00. She started telling the clerk to take this and that off, I handed the clerk a ten dollar bill and told her to use it for the balance. I was glad the lady didn’t protest but just looked at me and said God Bless and thank you. I told her I was really glad to help.

I know six or seven dollars don’t seem like much, but it can be an awful lot if you running short. Raising my own daughter, I can remember seeing how far I could stretch twenty or thirty dollars sometimes. Somehow, with God’s help, we managed but sometimes not without the help of prayer. God is so good.

Now, I’m not writing about this to tell you how great I am because I don’t feel great at all. I’m writing this because due to the economy, there are a lot of people out there having a lot more problems than we realize. Let’s all look around and do what we can to help each other, even if they don’t ask. There is a lot more we can do than we are doing.

God Bless