Posts Tagged ‘nursing homes’

What Should I Write About?

            As I was preparing to write today, I asked myself “What should I write about?”  After struggling for about 30 minutes, I recognized my writer’s block and decided to break and head for the 15th floor of our building where I could sip a Coke (diet) and look out across the city of Omaha.  On a clear and sunny day like today, I have a magnificent view of the city from

A Foe More Formidable than a Tiger

              A part of me did not want Richard Parker to die at all, because if he died I would be left alone with despair, a foe even more formidable than a tiger.  If I still had the will to live, it was thanks to Richard Parker (Martel, 164).             For those of you who have read “Life of Pi” these are familiar words.  As part of my summer reading,

The Secret to Recruiting Great Volunteers

           For the sometime, I have been engaged in the work of recruiting volunteers for nursing homes.  After several years of making personal visits to many, many nursing homes on my own, I turned to recruiting people to follow my example.  I thought that today I would share a few tips that I have discovered along the way.            Having never recruiting volunteers for any reason prior

Recognizing the Value of Volunteers

           When you think about a volunteer what comes to mind?  I see someone who is engaged, aware of his or her community needs and committed to helping others.  Not remaining mere spectators, they step up to the plate to contribute their time, skills, and their knowledge to meet those needs.  They have the ability to lend a helping hand without any expectation of payment for their efforts but they will likely walk

Volunteers Curbing Elder Abuse

One of the more difficult subjects for me to broach is elder abuse and in particular elder abuse in nursing homes. The subject is difficult because I don't want to alienate the care staff that work hard everyday to provide the best of care to their residents. In the past 20 years, I may have met five or six people I thought were in the wrong job. Instead, over the years, I've met hundreds, if not thousands

“Ever Onward!”

I hope that my good friend, Community 360° board member and University of Nebraska at Omaha colleague, Dr. Lyn Holley won't mind that I used her call to action for the title of this article.  Our conversations most often end with her smiling and saying, Ever Onward!   I usually chuckle and respond with a hearty Ok!  But as I was thinking about my writing today, those were the first words that came to my mind, Ever

The Home of Heros

     Over the past 20 years I have discovered that nursing homes are the homes of heroes. The homes are filled with people who exerted extraordinary courage, took life-threatening risks, defied the odds and  survived to tell their story.  The experience of  sitting with these people and listening to their stories evokes descriptors like awe-inspiring, beyond belief, gutsy, fearless, duty-bound, inspirational and a very deep respect for their sacrifice. Here are a few glimpses of the hero's I've


Volunteer Appreciation Week

Volunteer Appreciation Week

Last night I had the opportunity to attend the St. Joseph Villa Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. It was one of the best events of this type I've ever attended. Hats off to Hector L., the administrator and Tammy Z. the activities director. Deja Blu was the entertainment for the evening, your's truly was the guest speaker.  I really wanted to encourage them. Volunteering in a nursing home may not seem like a "high adventure" experience, but for people who do volunteer

New Beginnings

I call my talk with you tonight, "New Beginnings" because for just a moment I will look back at where we have come from but then I will turn and look into the future to the next 20 years. As I look across the room, I see the faces of people who have stood with us, prayed for us, supported us, volunteered with us, and most important the people we


Several years ago, as I entered a memory unit in a nursing home, a woman was there to greet me. As I was closing the door to the memory unit, I noticed that her eyes were riveted on me. With a burst of laughter she said, "Count your blessings!" The look of shock on my face must have been priceless. Then as I was trying to understand what just happened and formulate some sort of response, once again, and