Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Good day! Letter from family from LutheranHomeHickoryWest: staff are God's angels, gifts from God, love all of you. LSA mission in action!
Note from dau. of person rehabbed home at LutheranHomeHickory praising staff for great care&customer service. Every staffer shares success!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

MerryChristmas! Blessed w great family-home&LSA. While most relax at home,500 faithful servants are caring for our residents. God bless you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

AbundantLiving,LSAPharmacy,andLSA Office had Christmas party last pm. Almost all staff came,lots of families. Kids made ornaments.Fellowship

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

All 5 LSA Lutheran Homes applied and won innovation grants from the state LongTermCareEnhancementCoalition. LSA continues to innovate & lead

Friday, December 17, 2010

Back from Asheville to hit end of LutheranHomeSalisbury staff party. Oh, adult day services party at lunch. Should I go to Y tomorrow?
@ CrescentView staff Christmas party. 100 staff & families. Santa has gift 4 all kids. Great food. And best Christmas skit ever!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

LSA's $8.3 million bond financing to replace LutheranHomeWinston closed late today! Deserving residents will get new home.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

In Charlotte closing $8.3 million tax exempt bond financing to build LutheranHomeWinston. WooHoo! Plan to start construction in January!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

LutheranHomeWinston Christmas party: over 50 staff,that many guests, load o kids! Big fun and good food! Great spirit!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

@ St.Paul's Lutheran,Dallas today with Summey/Goins families. Very welcoming,friendly congregation.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas around LSA

I have had the opportunity to be in a number of our LSA communities over the last few weeks: eating my way across NC for Christmas! Every community celebrates differently, and all wonderfully. Our residents enjoy the festivities! At Lutheran Home - Hickory one of our fine Housekeeping staff teammates, Oscar Gonzalez, decorates the main nurses station every year. One person said it felt like being inside a snow globe! Lutheran Home - Hickory West's gingerbread house competition gets more competitive every year. Here is a picture of the Noah's Ark entry. What time and creativity! Go on LSA's Facebook page to see all the gingerbread houses. Merry Christmas from LSA!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Eating across NC.LutheranHomeHickoryWest staff party.packed w staff,spouses,lots o kids. Great food,family, Santa bringing toys for kids!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

@ LutheranHomeHickory &for resident/family dinner. Huge turnout, great spirit, Santa!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Oh what fun

I tweeted a few days ago that Lutheran Home - Winston-Salem won Best Spirit in the Walkertown Christmas parade. Now I know why! Check out the snow. Oh what fun! Oh, how cold! LHWS residents and staff are active in everything!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Just completed 2-day LutheranServices for the Aging Board retreat.Staff pecha kuchas huge success. (Google it). Such creativity!

Monday, December 6, 2010

LutheranHomeWinston won Best Spirit for their float in the big Walkertown Christmas Parade! Go Team Winston!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

PM with Asst to Bishop of our nat'l Lutheran church and small group for fellowship and diversity in church/community. Fascinating, learning.

Monday, November 29, 2010

AbundantLivingAdultDayServices - big photo of participant and child coloring together. New definition and a more real picture of aging.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Tgiving! Stopped in LutheranHomeAlbemarle this PM. All full of turkey,having good day. Always enjoy visiting my Albemarle friends!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Next Column

Here's my latest column for LSA'S Voices, comes out soon:

Maybe it’s the time of year, but I am thankful for so much. I see opportunity, growth, and love in spite of our national economy and malaise, punitive regulations, broken hot water heaters, and bills to pay.

The people we serve and the people who serve them remain the focus of my attention. That’s our mission statement in action! There are so many good stories out there about all the good things going on across LSA. Lutheran Home at Trinity Oaks took nine residents to the beach. They rolled wheelchairs through the sand so everyone could dip their toes in the water. They fished. They ate like royalty. That is abundant living!

Lutheran Home – Hickory staff volunteered at a school to help underprivileged children and their families. When I dropped in unexpectedly at Lutheran Home – Albemarle late at night on Nov. 7, I found a quiet home and overheard a nursing assistant quietly and lovingly talking to a resident. There are 1,100 people living and being served by LSA. There are also 1,100 LSA employees loving, working, growing together to care for those we serve. That’s abundant living!

LSA has become a center for innovation and education. They go together. Our New Pathways model enhances person-centered care, quality of life, clinical care, and staff empowerment. Those big words are transformed into: spa bathing, new and renovated buildings, buffet dining, electronic medical records, almost no blare of overhead paging, a focus on rehabilitation, and on and on. All that happens by educating our staff on why, then how. We spend a great deal of time on education, as it should be.

The LSA mission would not be possible without the support of our stakeholders, and those who came before us. Dr. J.L. Norris was the first Executive Director of this ministry, a visionary leader. LSA President Robert Beard led LSA through growth in size and breadth. Administrator Isaac Kuhn was “Mr. Lutheran Home.” Director of Nursing Donna Stepanian saw long-term care change from the old folks home to a medically complex, computerized, yet much more resident-friendly HOME. Certified Nursing Assistant Miriam Mathabane has seen change, direct care workers and those they serve are the center of our universe.

We would not exist without our other stakeholders: volunteer Board members who lead, community volunteers who serve, donors, family members, friends…. With all of us together, we strive to fulfill our mission to express God’s love in Christ to those we serve. And we are able to face our obstacles and look to new opportunities in our mission to grow, partner with Lutheran Family Services of the Carolinas, develop home and community based services, serve, serve, and serve.
With NC Lutheran Synod & St. John's Lutheran African Descent Strategy Teams. Planning a diverse, rich future for the Church.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Just left NC Medical Care Commission. They approved LSAs funding for replacement facilities at Winston and HickoryWest. A big step forward!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

In GA treestand. Realized today is my 20th anniv with LSA. Who'd a thought. Been a great journey!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank you to all the veterans that have made our life and quality of life possible! Veteran celebrations happening across LSA! Thank you!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

LSA presentation to Catawba Valley Lutheran pastors. Great supporters and friends! And on Martin Luther's birthday!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

LSAs MaryAnnJohnson and I are halfway to Wilmington this cold AM. Heading to LutheranHome construction site for sneak preview event.

Friday, November 5, 2010

To Raleigh for Just Culture committee mtg for NC health care. Problem solving through dignity, education, systems.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

From airport to LutheranHomeTrinityOaks HarvestMoonBall.Residents,CatawbaCollege students,families in evening gowns/tux dancing,partying!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

AAHSA general session: interview&performance by TheZimmers, rock band w average age of 74 plus. Inspirational. Redefining aging!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

LutheranHomeHickory's ShellieMoore&LSA's KimHathcock came to AAHSA in CA just to support their coworkers/presenters,&road trip. LSA Family!
LutheranServicesInAmerica Pres. Jill Schumann being interviewed by Paula Zahn on stage at AAHSA. Lutheran social ministry leads again!
LSAs JillNothstine&LutheranHomeWinstons LatriceCarter just presented at AAHSA on culture change. Did great job. We are so proud!
Tammy,Danielle,Candyy from LutheranHomeHickoryWest volunteered at Nations Ford elem. in Charlotte Sat. @ free health clinic for underserved!

Monday, November 1, 2010

AmericanAssoc of Homes/Services for the Aging just announced name change to LeadingAge. Positioning for the future.
AAHSA Leadership Circle mtg. Learning about workforce issues for future from nat'l experts.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

LutheranHomeAlbemarle Administrator Priscilla Vint just graduated from Leadership AAHSA! On stage now! Go, P!
Stumbled on Angelica Lutheran,LosAngeles. Spanish/english. Reformation Sunday Servicio de Reforma! "Estad quietos,y conoced que yo soy Dios!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

From Charlotte now in Houston heading to LosAngeles for AmerAssoc of Homes/Services annual mtg: learning,future,how to do job better.
LutheranHomeTrinityOaks sponsored Stomp Out Alzheimer's shoe-decorated art show at WaterWorks-Salisbury.Good cause. LHTO active in community

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

At NCHCFA awards where LutheranHomeWinstonSalem's Gwen Bonner. She named in top 50 direct care workers out of over 42000 in NC! Gwen rules!
AbundantLivingAdultDayServices visited by Norandal execs from across US as part of a United Way effort. ALADS shining like aluminum foil!
Met with NC Representative Justin Burr last PM to discuss issues and advocacy. Rep. Burr has been strong supporter of LSA.
TrinityOaks hosted a candidate forum on 10-24. Had 18 candidates! TO leads our community and keeps residents involved in the community.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Whatdoyamean all the residents went to the Beach!

Lutheran Home at Trinity Oaks administrator Bill Johnson took 9 residents, 7 staff, and two volunteers to the beach! In the picture, residents Dr. Robert Boyd and Cindy Rentz, and staffer Gale House enjoy the beach view from the Lutheran retreat center at Kure Beach. So many people still don't get it--this isn't the "old folks" home anymore! Bill and his whole Lutheran Home family are leading the revolution!
Last PM: PauletteFranklin LutheranHomeHickory & PatGentry,HickoryWest honored in top 50 NC direct care workers.And LSAShepherdSociety.
7:30 AM. At Chamber Forum on health care reform listening to Rowan Regional Administrator Dari Caldwell. Dynamic speaker and subject.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

hot off the Wilmington press!

Trinity Grove administrator John Frye stars in today's Wilmington Star News. Trinity Grove is the newly chosen officail name of the Lutheran Services for the Aging facility in Wilmington. Read more at the link below. This link appeared in both the AAHSA and AHCA news clips this morning, going out to almost every senior services and nursing home in the U.S.!

Star News (NC), October 20, 2010, “Lutheran Services for the Aging Building New Nursing Home”
LutheranHomeHickory hosted Retired Lutheran Pastors/Spouses for lunch today. Honoring those who have spent their careers serving others!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

LutheranHomeHickory will raise $1000+ tonight for Alzheimer's Assoc. Stop by if in area. LHH is a community leader!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Met with Food Lion's VP-Diversity/Inclusion. He and FL are leaders. Agreed to collaboration to benefit both orgs. Willing partners!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Heading to Nativity, Arden, then Crescent View resident mtg, then PM at St. Mark, Charlotte. Busy and all good!

Friday, October 8, 2010

ChamberofCommerce Board retreat: hearing trends/future from CEOs of Char Regional Partners,NC Chamber, Charlotte Chamber. Powerful speakers.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Just in from LSA Shepherd Society in Hickory. Friends and volunteers that make LSA what it is.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Raleigh mtg with leaders in NC Senate and House to discuss future. Very interesting

Sunday, October 3, 2010

St.John's Lutheran,Concord today to share LSA, then share NC Synod. St. J one of 1st Lutheran churches in NC. Strong supporters of Synod/LSA

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

LSA,AbundantLiving,LSA pharmacy held KeepingThePromise capital campaign celebration. 85% of staff pledged. Dedication! Pacesetters! Thankyou
2 of 8 of today's nat'l newsclips from Salisbury Post about LSA: Just Culture training and singing Chaplain Gene Bruce, Trinity Oaks campus.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

St. John's Lutheran, Salisbury holding African Descent Strategy Team today. Planning a diverse future for our church!

Friday, September 24, 2010

3 LSA direct care staff have been named among the top 50 staff in NC's nursing homes. Wonderful! Stay tuned for more. Deserving disciples.
9-23 was big day: FutureCareNC board mtg in Raleigh, then to Hickory for big friend/fund raiser. We have such strong supporters in Hickory!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

LSA's MaryAnnJohnson story about Just Culture training at LSA in Salisbury Post. Great philosophy, great article! Go, MAJ!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Home after long/great day at Mt Olive Lutheran, Hickory Lutheran Homes,St. Luke's Lutheran. Great care, great supporters!
Busy LSA day: 2 services,Sun School presentation, lunch at MtOlive,Hky,visit 2 Lutheran Homes, end w St Luke's Lutheran, Lexington council

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

LutheranHomeHickoryWest: 3 day surprise inspection. Hard! State verdict: deficiency free. Nearly unheard of! Takes whole team,all shifts!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sang at church: "earth and all stars...God has done marvelous things. I too sing praises with a new song!" To a week of opportunity!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Family Council at LutheranHomeAlbemarle. All happy,complimentary.Staff there 24/7 make that happen. Residents first, and with a smile.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Who is your Cleo?

Below is the text from my latest Goins On column in our LSA Voices newsletter. I have already have more comments than from anything I have ever written. Who is your Cleo?

Over the years I have Goins-ed On, Gone-On, okay, written about many people who have shaped my life and the life of LSA. The only time I write about my personal life is when it relates to community, connections, and elderhood. I’ve written about my parents, Isaac Kuhn, and others who helped make me the person I am. Today I want to tell you about Ms. Cleo.
Pete and Cleo Miller were members at SharonLutheran, Statesville when my dad became their pastor. I was born not long afterwards in 1958. I used to take a bath in Cleo’s kitchen sink. The sink is still there, but my foot is now bigger than the sink. Pete’s brother, Huitt, and his wife, Helen, who lived right across the road, were my godparents; two more that helped make me.

Cleo turned 96 on July 15, 2010. I got by to see her the next day. There aren’t
many times over the last ten years that I’ve driven up I-40 that I haven’t stopped
in to visit. And it has nothing to do with the pound cake she usually serves when
I show up! I rarely call in advance. We just have a deal: if I’m coming by at a
reasonable time of day, I better stop.

I consider Cleo one of my best friends. She has a vicious sense of humor and
we always laugh over everything. I blew in on her the other day with four
coworkers as we headed home from a meeting. She welcomed us all. The
accompanying picture was taken by one of those coworkers. I gave Cleo a copy.
She immediately covered my side of the picture and declared it looked much
better without me. Agreed!

Sometimes our elders are forgotten in whatever place they call home. We don’t
remember to call or visit. Cleo is one of the fortunate ones; she has a son who calls or visits daily.
Our elders have so much to share. Cleo knows the
people I grew up with and all my family. She knows me, maybe too well. And
she knows pound cake!

I love you, Cleo. I’ll be by soon!

Who is your Cleo?
Trinity Oaks campus: The Singing Chaplain Gene Bruce and his ministry featured on front page of Salisbury Post. He is such a blessing to all

Monday, September 6, 2010

+600 of LSAs 1100 staff will work on LaborDay to care for those we serve.To those laboring and those off duty,thanks for your labor for LSA!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Finished 2-day LutheranServicesInAmerica board mtg in Baltimore.Great group. Had 9 local CEOs join for AM.Great education/sharing/ministry!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

LSA hosted Just Culture training today for leaders from all LSA facilities and state leaders. Huge success. Thanks to Jill, Bill, LSA team.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Road again.Baltimore for LutheranServicesInAmerica board.Looking forward to business, learning, fellowship.

Friday, August 27, 2010

TrinityOaks assisted living rec'd 4 Star rating from State of NC.Congrats to every staff person on every shift for your part! Great job!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

In Atlanta after 3 days w VCPI in Milwaukee. Great education/idea sharing from our IT partner, VCPI. Ready 4 home.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Participated in VCPI panel on electronic med records. LSA in forefront thanks to many dedicated staff. Proud to be part of LSA.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Talking at VCPI conference in AM on Facebook,Twitter,etc.Plan to show this post and your responses. Come on, "friends," don't let me down.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wilmington Progress!

Administrator John Frye was up this week for a variety of meetings preparing for the completion of Trinity Grove, the newest Lutheran Home located in Wilmington. He and LSA staff are planning the interior furnishings and equipment, and beginning to think about start up procedures.

John took this picture in early August. We almost have a front entrance. He estimates we are at 40% completed. We still think we can open for ministry on April 1, 2011.

Stay tuned for more.
St.John'sAfricanDescentStrategyTeam mtg this AM.Exciting implementation of ELCA&NC Lutheran Synod strategy to create more welcoming church.

Friday, August 20, 2010

LSA hospitality: courier contractor soaked at LutheranHomeTrinityOaks,offered dry clothes.Then LHAlbe,more rain,staff waiting w dry clothes

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

with NC Rep. Justin Burr at LutheranHomeAlbemarle. Sharing on social security,Medicaid,scam artists.Good friend of residents and LSA.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

LutheranHomeHickoryWest having High Seas Bible School Adventure this week using Mt. Olive props. What fun for residents!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lutheran African American Strategy Team mtg Sunday PM in Gboro. Never a more committed group of disciples!

Monday, August 9, 2010

in Charlotte after day in Baltimore w LutheranServicesInAmerica.Planning,visited/met nice people.
cabbie flagged down another cab in sweltering heat. now at airport. could be worse.
on way to Baltimore airport.Taxi is dying,stopped twice,now three.now stuck on side o road. errr... I wanna go home!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Charlotte airport for quick trip to Baltimore for LutheranServicesInAmerica. To a good week!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Winston City Council ok'd LSA zoning last PM.One more hurdle down.Effort led by Kesha Smith. Great job!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Medicare and Medicaid!

At it again. The Salisbury Post was nice enough to print my latest column in the paper today, and reprinted here:

Happy birthday Medicaid and Medicare! July 30, 2010 is the forty-fifth anniversary of the birth of Medicaid and Medicare. They were born on July 30, 1965 when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Social Security Act of 1965. At the bill signing, President Johnson enrolled former President Harry Truman as the first Medicare enrollee and Bess Truman as enrollee number two! Forty-five years later, the two programs have combined budgets of over $736 billion!

Two of the biggest questions asked about Medicaid and Medicare are: “What are Medicaid and Medicare?” and “What’s the difference?”

Medicaid is a safety net for indigent people. It covers indigent elders, pregnant women, children, the disabled, etc. In North Carolina, Medicaid covered 1.8 million people in 2009 at a total cost of over $11 billion. The number of Medicaid recipients has risen as the economic situation has forced many more people into poverty. Medicaid pays for physicians, hospital care, nursing homes, assisted living, medications, hospice, dental care, mental health services, and at home services for poor children and adults.

Medicare on the other hand is an insurance program. All employees and their employers pay in to the Medicare program. If you are 65 years of age and qualify for Medicare services, it will pay for hospitalization, short term nursing home rehabilitation, drugs under the Part D program, etc. In the case of a nursing home, Medicare will pay for the first 20 days if you meet their qualifications, and can pay for up to 80 more days after the recipient pays a substantial co-pay. It is a complicated system, but you can email me at tgoins@LSANC.net for additional resources.

People like to throw rocks at the government and at Medicaid/Medicare. Medicaid and Medicare are huge programs, and growing. In a program that big covering that many people, it’s easy to find outrageous stories of fraud or abuse. Unfortunately, there will always be dishonest people.

Let me share two examples. The July 17, 2010 Salisbury Post ran an Associated Press article on three dozen people being arrested for defrauding Medicare out of $251 million! Outrageous! Another example: Medicare/Medicaid nursing homes are monitored and reimbursed through an antiquated, wasteful bureaucratic system. Outrageous waste!

While those criminals should be prosecuted to the fullest extent and the system should be revolutionized, we should not throw out the baby with the bath water. The far left seems to want to pay for everything, which we cannot afford. The far right seems to want to pay for nothing. Common sense must prevail, because in most instances for most people Medicare and Medicaid are America at its best.

American society was built on Christian principles including the biblical charge of caring for the widow and orphan. Our society has done that through the church, like the creation of Lutheran Services for the Aging where I work, and through government programs like Medicaid that care for those who can’t care for themselves.

We have to be able to afford services, so we as a society can’t pay for everything. But where do we draw the line? Do we not pay for an operation for an elder or a baby because they can’t afford to pay? Do we tell an 80 year-old who could live for 15 more years they can’t have that medical procedure, or that medicine? Do we deny nursing home care to our grandmother who is too sick to stay home and needs 24-hour care? While there is abuse and waste that needs to be wiped out, look at all the good Medicare and Medicaid provide.

Happy Birthday Medicaid and Medicare, and many more! Thank you for caring for the most vulnerable, frail members of our community!

Friday, July 16, 2010

LutheranHomeHickoryWest public hearing big success! Hearing officer then toured West. Looked great! Officer understands need.
Big day. In state public hearing in Hickory for new LutheranHomeHickoryWest.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

TrinityOaks had surprise State inspection all day. Not one deficiency! Exceptional! Congrats to every TO team mate!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The new Lutheran Home in Wilmington is really coming along now. The roof is going on. We'll see shingles any day. Sprinkler piping, etc. are already being installed. McKinley Construction, Architect David Polston, and LSA's Administrator John Frye are doing a great job, and building a building we can all be proud of.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

At 4or4:30 AM cooks and other food service staff rolled out to get to work to cook a great breakfast for our 1200 customers! Dedication!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

LSA's MaryAnnJohnson led statewide grantwriting training. Evaluations: 17-5s (top),3-4s, nothing less.Comments very complimentary! Superior!
More honors for Will Johnson, son of Bill at LutheranHomeTrinity&Lydia at AbundantLiving: 1st Team AllState in baseball! Go Will & Johnsons!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

NC Lutherans Work for Diversity

The St. John’s (Salisbury)Lutheran Church African Descent Strategy Team is studying strategies to become more open and welcoming of people of different races and cultures. St. John’s is piloting the work of the N.C. Synod’s African Descent Strategy Team at the congregational level. Synod Vice President Diana Haywood and Synod team member and LTSS professor Dr. Julius Carroll are working with a task force of St. John’s members on strategies, diversity training, and developing diversity resources.
I've been a member of the Synod team since its inception and am a member at St. John's. It's a great opportunity to influence diversity on a larger scale. LSA has been very involved in diversity efforts for many years through staff training programs, priority of recruiting a diverse Board of Trustees, and the purchase of of a large nursing home in Winston-Salem whose residents are predominantly African American and overwhelmingly indigent.

At its third task force meeting, Dr. Carroll shared a story by Saunders Redding about a young boy named Conway who learns about racism from a white friend and his bigoted father. Every person of African Descent has a Conway story. The task force viewed a video entitled, “Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible.” The powerful video focuses on white people coming to terms with racism and white privilege, and demonstrates that there are many people who have come to understand the issues and are working for healing and growth.

(the accompanying photo shows Dr. Julius Carroll, St. John’s member Karen Puckett, and Synod Vice President Diana Haywood at the June 19, 2010 St. John’s (Salisbury) African Descent Strategy Team meeting)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

AbundantLiving ED Barbara Garwood quoted on Salisbury Post page 1 asking US Senator Kay Hagan good question about future!

Monday, June 14, 2010

AbundantLivingAdultDayServices Exec.Dir. Barbara Garwood with U.S. Senator Kay Hagan at meeting this AM. Way to represent LSA, Barbara!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Wilmington Raising

They're raising the roof in Wilmington. Construction on the newest Lutheran Home is moving fast. Almost all the pad is poured. The metal studs are being set. Now the roof trusses are being lowered in place with a crane! Amazing progress!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Candyy Beach rec'd her RN yesterday! Longtime CNA/CNAII @ LutheranHomeHickoryWest, and winner of LSA scholarship! Congrats, Candyy!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

LSA Office on half day retreat: team building, fellowship, fun. Important for today and future.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

just as important, Will's mom Lydia works at LSAs AbundantLivingAdultDayServices. Lydia is just a little proud!
LutheranHomeTrinityOaks administrator Bill Johnson's son Will helped lead East Rowan to state title! Congrats Will and Johnsons!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Home from state Lutheran mtg.Kicked off LSA capital campaign.Fellowship.Fun.Great support for LSA across state.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Kick off at state Lutheran mtg 4 LSA 3-yr capital campaign. 40 residents,Board,staff, friends participated. Went great! Thanks to all!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

At BB&T luncheon in Charlotte. Listening to CEO Kelly King on bank, economy, future. Fascinating.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

LutheranHomeHickoryWest held event where teens and elders discussed future of aging services. Great idea!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My smart wife found book, Food Rules: eat food, mostly plants, not too much. Google it. Good common sense for health and wellness.
TrinityOaks for singers/ringers and community concert. Huge crowd, great music, big fun!
TrinityOaks for singers/ringers and community concert. Huge crowd, great music, big fun!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

oops, ZanBramley,John Frye,Helen and Bob Stansbury visiting construction of new LutheranHome in Wilmington.
Good day in Wilmington! Zan Bramley,John Frye,
Good day in Wilmington! Zan Bramley,John Frye,

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lutheran Home - Wilmington progress

We've got a pad! Or at least the northern half of the building. Really making great progress now that regulatory and start up issues are behind us, and weather is cooperating.

Friday, May 7, 2010

7 AM at LutheranHomeTrinity.CNA GeraldineClodfelter honored for over 10 yrs~no absence or tardy! What a saint!
7 AM at LutheranHomeTrinity.CNA GeraldineClodfelter honored for over 10 yrs~no absence or tardy! What a saint!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

oops, improvement to long term care in NC: professionals, state officials, legal. Good change coming!
in Raleigh with 12 leaders plotting major improvement

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

John Frye and the LSA team are really making progress now. Warm weather and less rain has allowed us to really make progress: plumbing, electrical conduit, curb and gutter, steel, and fire walls!

LSA Recruitment/Retention Committee conf. call about recognizing.After,got Martha Parrott email recognizing Kesha Smith for above and beyond! Her full email: Since you just mentioned in our conference call how people need to be recognized……. I RECOGNIZE KESHA.

When I was trying to change out my old phone for a new, she went over and beyond her duty in helping me get one before going out of town. She even worked with Verizon and myself when she was home over the weekend. She truly went to a lot of trouble and time to get me the phone right away. What made her so special was that she handled this situation with such kindness and eagerness to help. There are not words to express how wonderful she was. She needs a “THAT-A-GIRL”. Thank you for hiring such a great person and love working with her on R & R.

Martha Parrott
Director of Admissions/Marketing
Lutheran Home at Trinity Oaks

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Yesterday, April 16, 2010, LPN Linda Bowman retired from Lutheran Home - Hickory on the exact date of her hiring, April 16, 1966. She served the residents of the Lutheran Home -Hickory with distinction for 44 years! That is exceptional, especially in this day and age. My mentor, Isaac Kuhn, called her 44 years ago after he heard she had just received her LPN. He asked if she would work temporarily to fill a gap for the Lutheran Home before she found a permanent job. 44 years later Linda delighted in telling people that she had been there temporarily for all those years!

I worked with Linda for the last 19 years. She worked in the assisted living area. She was beloved by her residents and the staff she worked with. She had a wicked sense of humor and I enjoyed sparring with her for all 19 years.

Yesterday, a large number of staff, family, and residents gathered to honor her with a plaque, presents, and a reception. In the accompanying photo, Linda is opening a present presented by Administrator Amber McIntosh with DON Rena Wagner in the background.
LSA's mission is to express God's love in Christ to all we serve. Linda fulfilled that mission for 44 years. Well done, good and faithful servant!
Linda Bowman honored at LutheranHomeHickory on 44th anniversary and retirement. Serving elders since 1966! What a life of service!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

LSA's AbundantLivingAdultDayServices is highlighted across the US in LutheranServicesinAmerica annual report!ALADS deserves recognition. This also has the fingerprints of LSA's Mary Ann Johnson, who does such a great job of getting LSA ministries noticed! LSA is fortunate to have so many good things happening, and for staff to be recognized for their good work!

Monday, April 12, 2010

at LutheranHomeAlbemarle w NC State Rep. Justin Burr. He was very good with residents. Strong supporter of Lutheran Homes!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Visiting elders

I'm at it again. Here is a column of mine the Salisbury Post printed today. Hope you find it helpful. Please pass it on if you have a chance.

The last time I wrote a column for the Salisbury Post, the subject was our elders and how much we can learn from them. People say small-town newspapers aren't being read. Well, I can tell you the Salisbury Post is alive and well, and well read. So many people commented on the column and how they should or would do better at visiting their elders. A number commented that they didn't know how to visit or what to say. If there's that much interest in visiting our elders, then by all means let's talk about how to do that.

First, you have to identify your quarry. Elders are not generally elusive and are easily located. The best place to look is in your own family, or right next door. You may have an older family member or a next-door neighbor who'd be happy to have some company. The better you know someone, the easier it is to visit with them. Fellow church members are another ripe source of elders. Again, you have a connection that helps open the door.

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are a gold mine of visiting opportunities. You'll find six or 90 or 120 elders living in one place, and almost every one is happy to have you visit. If you know a person who lives in one of our fine local facilities, go visit. You'll probably have to sign in at the entrance, as safety is a concern for children, elders and the rest of us.What if you don't know anyone at a local nursing or assisted living facility, but would like to volunteer to visit a person who lives there? Becoming a volunteer is slightly more complicated, but for the sake of our elders, don't let that stop you. My friend and colleague Bill Johnson is the administrator at the Lutheran Home at Trinity Oaks. He encourages as many one-on-one visitors as possible to keep elders tied in to the community and the community tied in to its nursing facility.

Like many other organizations, the Lutheran Home requires volunteers to submit to a background check and complete an orientation program as a common-sense security precaution. While this is a bit inconvenient, nothing is more important than the safety of our elders. Most nursing and assisted living facilities will have their own security requirements. Call or visit to find out what those are. Now, we are in the place the person calls home, whether a house or a nursing home. What do we talk about? The late Chaplain J.L. Peeler is one of those people who could be the poster person for how to visit a resident. We can learn from him, and you don't have to be a chaplain. He picked a Bible verse for the day, went in and visited, read the Bible verse, said a prayer, then moved on to the next resident. He did this whether the resident responded or not.

We never really know how much a person knows or hears. Even if the person is unresponsive, and these children of God are the most difficult to visit, they may be hearing every word you say. Your words will bring hope and comfort.Another tack is to bring the newspaper. Read the first few paragraphs of each story and start a discussion. You can make a 15-30 minute discussion out of the front page of any Salisbury Post. Elders have opinions, often strong opinions, so be ready for a spirited discussion. And don't get fooled into the theory that you can't discuss religion and politics. With dignity and respect, you can discuss anything with a new or old friend. There are plenty of other things to talk about. Depending on the time of year, you can talk about the nearest holiday or special event. This time of year, you could ask about March Madness, Easter celebrations, Easter egg hunts, health-care reform compared to the passage of Social Security or civil rights, the start of baseball season and on and on.

Elders that do not respond or do not respond appropriately may appear very challenging, but they don't have to be. Treat them exactly the same way. You may have to do more of the talking, but you never know when you are getting through. At the very least — and this is huge — you are spending time with another person. Both of you will benefit, and equally!If you are uncomfortable going it alone, ask a friend to come along. The more the merrier. If you'd like a list of questions and topics to discuss, e-mail me at tgoins@lsanc.net. I will be happy to send a list to get you started. I also am posting a running list on the LSA Blog. You can see that blog at LutheranServicesfortheAging.blogspot.com. When you do visit, please post your experience on the Salisbury Post blog and the Lutheran Services for the Aging blog. I'd love to learn from you and encourage others to follow your example.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I am in awe. I just finished a 2-week whirlwind tour of every LSA facility, participating in the quiet phase/staff phase of the Keeping The Promise capital campaign in 8 of our 9 operations. Over 80% of staff have contributed, though it was a very soft sell. Many can’t afford to contribute due to the current economy. I am humbled that so many staff are participating. KTP is our statewide $5 million capital campaign, which happily coincides with our 50th anniversary. We kick off the campaign publicly at our June 2010 Lutheran Synod Assembly.

There are too many people to thank. Lutheran Home at Trinity Oaks Environmental Services Director Maggi Blizzard and Lutheran Home - Hickory Maintenance Director David King have co-chaired the statewide staff campaign with our 1,200 staff members. Local efforts were led by: Todd Rogers at Lutheran Home -Albemarle, Becky Good at Lutheran Home - Hickory, Susan Young and Amber Morrison at Lutheran Home – Hickory West, Marcy Strickland and Fleta Grant at Lutheran Home at Trinity Oaks, Sherrie Jacobs and Shonnette Patterson at Winston-Salem, Jonathan Forrester at Crescent View, Nita Cheek at The Elms, Donna Barnes and Diane Hundley at Trinity Oaks, and Lydia Foy, Brenda Sheets, and Meta Fisher for the LSA Office, Abundant Living Adult Day, and LSA Pharmacy. 80% response rate is phenomenal, especially in light of the economy.

For what it’s worth, I have included my notes below. It may help someone understand the campaign and LSA a bit more.

• Thanks for letting me be here and for all your hard work to fulfill LSA’s mission to express God’s love in Christ to those we serve.

• Every 4 years a Lutheran agency gets the chance to have a statewide campaign. Our last turn came in 1985, so we don’t get the chance often. We are trying to raise $5 million from major donors, Lutheran churches, former and current families, staff, and other friends.

• My primary job is to discuss the inside panel of the KTP brochure: the campaign projects. Projects.
1. $2.6 million is our down payment on 4 new nursing facilities: Wilmington, Winston, Hickory West, Clemmons.
2. Explain Winston as good example: 100% Medicaid/indigent, 65% African American, dedicated staff but bad conditions. LSA has proven you can run a good nursing home in a bad building, but every resident deserves a nice place to live.
3. $1.4 million because we need to keep our current facilities in good shape. Each of our current facilities have projects that will be aided by the campaign.
4. $750,000 to take our expertise outside the walls of our facilities into the communities we serve: home services, geriatric care management, home improvements to keep people at home.
5. $150,000 as seed money in Raleigh area.
6. $100,000 to offset campaign costs. We keep expenses low, but it costs to print brochures, travel the state, etc.

• Let’s put the dead rat on the table: none of us even got a raise this year and here I am asking you to make a donation to LSA. People understand that the economy and Medicaid made that impossible. We’re all happy to have a job, when many have lost theirs, and more are losing theirs. And people understand that LSA has to keep growing to stay strong to fulfill our mission and to keep us employed.

• But take your employee hat off a minute. A fund raiser told me that an employee of a not for profit should include that NFP as one of their top three charities. If they don’t, something is bad wrong. Staff might give to their church, maybe one other, but LSA could and should be in the top three. You all see the love and care that takes place here more than anyone else could, so it’s natural LSA would be one of your top three.

• I have drunk the Kool-Aid; I buy into the mission of LSA 100%. I told Chief Development Officer Betty Kuhn I wanted to lead this campaign, so what would it take. I’m the president of the organization and the highest paid employee, so I need to put my money where my mouth is. After I came to, I went home and discussed and prayed about it with Cheryl. I wasn’t planning to share this, but it will eventually be public anyway and it’s no big secret: I have pledged $25,000 to the campaign. It’s more money than I ever thought I’d be able to afford to give or would give to anything, maybe other than church. But that’s how important I think LSA is.

• Everyone can’t make a major gift, but I hope you will use the same prayer and decide what’s right for you. Almost everyone can give something. Just $1 per pay period probably wouldn’t be missed, but if 1200 employees did that, imagine what that would say to the people of NC. This is a very soft sell. If you can’t or don’t want to give, that is perfectly fine.

• Thank you for your hard work, and for letting me come and share this campaign. With your help, we will have a successful campaign and we will lay the foundation for LSA’s next 50 years.
testing new PingDroid app. what will they think of next?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wilmington on the Move!

Administrator John Frye sent new pictures yesterday of progress at Wilmington. Footings, concrete block, sewer lines! Better weather has allowed McKinley Construction to really take off. Stay tuned for progress and updates!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

We'rrrrre Building in Wilmington!

We're building!!! Lutheran Home - Wilmington Administrator John Frye sent these photos on 3-18-10. Drainage and sewer are being installed. Footings are being poured! We are off and running. McKinley Construction, Architect David Polston, and LSA working well. Building will take off now!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

3-18-10, I drove to Lutheran Home - Hickory to be there at 10:00 PM. That gave me time to visit around before 11:00 PM shift change. The place looks great and residents and staff are welcoming as always.
The new Bistro is almost complete. It is breathtaking! There is probably nothing like it in a nursing facility in NC! The Bistro will be a comfortable place for residents, families, and staff. Great work, Lutheran Home - Hickory!
Then I worked third shift as a nursing assistant. I worked 4 hours in skilled nursing with CNA Glenda Johnson, then 4 hours on the Alzheimer's unit with Elisa Bolick. Glenda and Elisa are among the very best I have ever seen: busy all night, by the book, gentle, and loving, and tolerant of me!
Every time I do this, I am humbled by the love and hard work that staff throughout LSA exhibit every day and every night--all night. And I am humbled to serve every one of our 1200 employees!
After my shift was over, I had intended to drive straight to Salisbury to my bed. But I had been booked in to help with the kickoff of our statewide capital campaign at Lutheran Home - Hickory at 1:30 and 3:30 PM. So I walked down on assisted living and they sent me to an empty room for a few hours of sleep. Except for being awaken by a very surprised housekeeper, I got a couple hours sleep.
The two meetings was among the best I've ever seen. LHH has these regular Town Hall meetings. They start with prayer by a staff, then two-way sharing of info. We explained the statewide $5 million capital campaign, but made it a very soft sell as the economy is tough and many can't afford to give. But get this, 114 staff made pledge. Some were for one dollar a pay period, some more. Only 14 staffers did not feel they could participate. It makes my hair stand up to write about it. Again, I am humbled by the commitment of LSA staff to our mission.
Lutheran Home - Hickory continues to lead LSA, and long term care in our state and our nation!
When I dragged in to Salisbury Friday night around 6 pm, I was tired, but smiling!
Worked as nursing assistant at LutheranHomeHickory Thurs.PM.Great night.CNAs work hardand with great love and care. As always, I am in awe!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Friendship and Rotary

I was asked to do a short talk at Rotary today on the third part of the Rotary 4 Way Test: will it build goodwill and better friendships. You might find a tidbit. The 4 Way Test was not invented for Rotary and it fits all of us.

Quotes on friendship:

"One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives."- Euripides, Greek playwrite

Think about your best friend, current or past? What made him or her so special?

"A true friend stabs you in the front."- Oscar Wilde

From Rotary website: In 1932, Herbert J. Taylor wrote down four questions on a small white piece of paper to serve as an "ethical yardstick" for his employees. His simple creation has come to be known as The Four-Way Test. Revered by Rotarians, it has been translated into more than 100 languages and recited weekly at club meetings around the globe

The 4 way test is the filter thru which everything we say and do is filtered.

My topic is: does it build goodwill and better friendships. Why does it matter is we build goodwill and better friendships?

Sam Hemphill, distant relative. Gave copy to children. He went to Wharton, and I didn’t even know what that meant. He wrote pamphlet entitled The Worth of a Man. What has a man been worth to his friends? Has he refrained from indulging in the easy habit of discussing with others the misfortunes and frailties of his friends? Or has he refrained from such practices by always being supportive during the misfortunes of his friends and rejoicing in their accomplishments and happiness? Have his friends been able to trust him and consider him an honest man? Has he been aware of the needs of these friends when a card or a word of encouragement means so much? Have they been the type of friends who know the man and still consider him their friend?

I get the opportunity to volunteer with a first grader at school through Communities In School. The teacher says point to who you are responsible for. Kids point to themselves. True in 1st grade, but in society, it does take a village. We have to look out for each other.

When George’s tenant left the window open and it was raining like mad, I felt compelled to stick my nose in and get word to George. I’d want him to do the same for me.
That reflects our Christian heritage. I’m not a preacher, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express. Sounds a great deal like the Good Samaritan. We are our brother’s keeper.

Does everything have to be one up and one down, one winner and one loser? Is there an opportunity to have a win-win? Collaboration, good will and friendships, can create a win-win. Or at least it gives us something to strive for.

I am a pragmatist. The real world doesn’t always work that way but it gives us a better path to travel. Does it build good will and better friendships?

Letter in Rotary magazine:
I read with interest your article about The Four-Way Test, but here is why it is wrong and should not be promoted by Rotary: 1) Is it the TRUTH? The truth is variable. It used to be the “truth” that the world was flat. And if you didn’t accept that truth, you were burned at the stake. Then for many years it was taught that the world was round. Now they say it’s elliptical because of the pull of gravity. Which is true? 2) Is it FAIR to all concerned? This seldom works. Is it fair to the villagers in Afghanistan when we have to bomb out a house where terrorists are hiding? The fact is that in life, you can’t always be fair to all concerned, and you have to try to make a good decision about what is best for the majority of people. Or, perhaps, your group. 3) Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? Lawyers know that this is not the way the world works. When there is a dispute, to settle it in an amicable way, one has to reduce the level of unfairness that each party feels, and get the parties to agree to something they don’t like and don’t feel is fair but will accept to avoid further stress and conflict. Arbitrators often say that a good settlement is one where both sides feel cheated. It doesn’t build goodwill, and it certainly doesn’t lead to better friendships, but it does decrease stress and conflict in society. The backslapping, salesman type who is always trying to be liked and create goodwill is a thing of the past, if that sort ever existed. 4) Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? This is certainly not the way the world works. Almost invariably, what is good for one person is negative for another. There may be some “win-win” situations in life, but it’s important for mature people to realize that not every action can be beneficial or even fair to all parties concerned, and that for life to move forward smoothly, some people have to sacrifice. Merv Hecht Santa Monica, Calif., USA

More friend quotes:

"Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies."- Gore Vidal

"There is nothing in the world I wouldn't do for (Bob) Hope, and there is nothing he wouldn't do for me ... We spend our lives doing nothing for each other."- Bing Crosby

In Sunday School this week we talked about Joy mentors vs joy killers. There are people in the world who bring joy, share joy, make us laugh or smile. They instinctively work to build good will and better friendships. And many of those joy mentors aren’t Rotarians. But the principle didn’t start with Rotary and it certainly works outside Rotary as well as within. Conversely, joy killers are those people who are never happy and perennially negative: the black holes of our little universe.

Many of you saw or met our dog Friday night at Pottery 101. In her advancing age, she has learned to ride our elevator and to bark her way down to the 1st floor. You can teach an old dog new tricks.

Are we joy mentors or joy killers. While it’s hard to change, killers can become mentors. Us old dogs can learn new tricks.

I am interested in how we can continue to build goodwill and better friendships: get to know that new Rotarian, stop and speak, rotate seats a bit, refer business to each other, visit a sick Rotarian? How about in our home lives, in our business lives?

Most of you remember Albert Monroe, a former Rotarian who died a few years back. Sent a note to Hickory welcoming me as their new neighbor before we even moved to town. It was addressed to Ted, Cheryl, Meggie, and the daughter in college. Albert’s note created goodwill and friendship ripples ever since. I tell that story often, and have failed but tried to be a better neighbor and friend in memory of Albert. In my few years knowing Albert, he exemplified the 3rd of the 4 way test, to build goodwill and better friendships. I welcomed my new neighbors the day they moved in. Albert is rubbing off!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

CrescentView 3-12: luncheon for potential residents-large #/excited,kick off staff capital campaign-great support,enthusiasm!!Long,good day!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Just received letter from family at Elms. Grateful for care provided to mother. Thanked all staff for wonderful care. Elms staff rocks!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Social Media Journey

I had the opportunity to participate in a session on social media at our American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging's Future of Aging Services conference in Washington, DC last week. I presented with AAHSA's Craig Collins-Young, Eric Schubert of Ecumen, and Larry Zook from Landis Homes. My part was primarily about Facebook. You might find it interesting, at least to know how we're thinking:

I am intrigued by technology, and now by social networking. In 1996, we had three shared computers in the NF where I served as administrator. They were used for accounting and care planning. I had decided I needed a computer so I could get with the program. At the same time, my uncle decided he was old enough to not need one, and he made it to retirement. I was 20 years younger, and didn’t think I could make it to retirement, and that was before the quantum changes we’ve seen in technology. I asked my boss for a computer and he told me NHAs didn’t need a computer. I went out and personally bought a $4,500 top of the line laptop. In just a few months I was using it to draft the verbage for a certificate of need application. It turned out I had a better computer than any in our organization. I never regretted the purchase. And they bought me my next computer.

Think where we’ve come in the last 14 years: cinder block heavy laptop, slow as smoke dial up, frozen software, delicate hardware, no battery life, etc. Remember the executive that said there was no place in business for a personal computer?

Many don’t see the need and don’t participate in social networking like Facebook. It’s not a necessity of life, and it’s not for everyone. But many people need community and communication.

We stay in close contact with our spouse, children, best friends. That’s usually by telephone, email, and now text. There’s a second tier of family and friends that seem well suited for Facebook: the tier one people plus neighbors, friends from work, school friends, etc.

I am not a Facebook expert, just someone who is involved in it and agreed to share my story. I consider myself a novice and not even a huge Facebook fan.

I signed up for Facebook about a year ago for one reason, my granddaughter. Our daughter was in Monterrey with our only grandchild and stopped emailing pictures. When asked, she told me all photos were on Facebook and she wasn’t sending multiple emails and posting in multiple places. Since they have been in Monterrey and now San Antonio, my need for community and communication pushed me into Facebook.

If they weren’t on Facebook, I don’t know that I’d be there today. But have did get interested in how many people I connected with. Not life-sustaining, but interesting and enjoyable.

I’m also a minimalist when it comes to Power Point, so I have three slides of 3 Facebook pages.

At LSA, we talk about development in terms of raising friends and funds. Facebook is a great way to raise friends. We just recently set up a Facebook page for LSA, which now has 145 members. Not huge, but people interested enough to follow us. We are raising friends.

Our marketing person, Mary Ann Johnson, has been tireless in pursuing a social networking strategy for LSA. For her birthday, she asked our Facebook friends to donate money to LSA in honor of Mary Ann’s birthday. She raised over $400 due to one little Facebook post. That’s about a one-minute post to produce $400. When I considered that return, I began to see Facebook in a whole new light.

Our LSA page is generating some interest and helping us make new friends. One gentleman from the Midwest has taken a liking to our ministry, and now just randomly and occasionally sends us $25 or $50. Again, Facebook is bringing us friends and funds.

Somewhere in the process I saw another very important role for Facebook. I have become friends with a fairly large number of staff from across our org. It has been fun and important to learn about and share family moments. Much of my life I have heard managers talk about personal problems being left at the front door, and don’t bring your personal problems affect your work. That sounds good and is impossible. When we work with a person, we get the whole person.

AAHSA doing good job of making friends and communicating.

That brings me to my last point, policies and procedures. LSA has not added any additional policies. Our policies allow staff to use LSA computers for personal use, as long as it doesn’t affect their work and our speed. We haven’t worried about porn or the like since our policies reference actions unbecoming an LSA employee.

Some orgs. deny all outside computer access so it’s not an issue. But I was talking to a person in mid Feb. whose husband works at a company that blocks all social networking sites. But he was Facebooking from his Blackberry from his desk.

Harvard Business Review article of 2-3-10 encourages orgs to allow social networking. They say it creates a better work environment for employees which will yield better productivity than trying in vain to stop social networking.

Some orgs. worry that staff will speak ill of them or the org. I’ve decided I’ll just have to get over it. You can’t stop it. Our policies on confidentiality and on employee standards would apply. But you can’t stop people from talking and you may not even know who it is if someone wants to be anonymous.

Allison Fine wrote Momentum – Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age. She writes that communication is no longer a one way street. The internet allows people to talk back and say whatever they want, and that’s whether we like it or not.

I am reminded of the advice: if one person calls you a horse’s rear, ignore that one person. If two people call you that, you might need to buy a saddle. My hope is that I’m not the horse’s rear, and that the lone voice of discontent will be drowned out by the overwhelming majority who are on board supporting the org.

Facebook addresses our need for community and communication. It’s amazing that it’s only been around since 2004. More amazing, it may not be around next year. The next big thing might be Google Buzz or something that doesn’t exist yet.

We’ve decided to join the journey. We don’t know where we’re going, but we are having fun and doing some good along the way.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Lot to Learn from Elders

The Salisbury Post was nice enough to print the below for me as a column on 2-15-10:

My mother forwarded an email from a friend, 95-year-old Grace, formerly of North Carolina and now living close to family in Sacramento. Grace was accidentally in the Sacramento Marathon a few months ago. She and her daughter-in-law had to dodge runners while crossing the road after church. In the email, she also reflected on Dec. 7, the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1941, Mrs. Cloninger and the church choir were in a radio station in Billings, Montana performing a Christmas concert when their performance was interrupted with the news. Mrs. Cloninger wrote her email in such a light, happy tone. The telling of new and old news and current events indicates a woman who is keeping up better than I am. Oh, and she’s emailing!

That reminds me of 104-year-old Pauline Iddings, a friend who lives at the Lutheran Home at Trinity Oaks in Salisbury. A Catawba College student and I visited Mrs. Iddings in mid-November. She graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne University in 1926, me a few years later. Mrs. Iddings and I snickered over LR beating Catawba at football, but the student, Dana, noted that hasn’t happened very often lately. To carry on an enjoyable conversation with a 21-year-old and a 104-year-old is a treat.

Remember in the ‘60s when the hippies said never trust anyone over 30? Now where do we draw the line: a hundred and five? Every person has so much to share, regardless of age. There are so many home-bound elders with wisdom to give, and so many others who need that knowledge. This is what I call a chocolate and peanut butter moment. Their wisdom (the chocolate) and our need to know (the peanut butter) combine to create something that is even better! Can you tell I like peanut butter cups?

One of the most enjoyable and important things I’ve ever done was to join two friends from church in visiting a home-bound man from our church. We called in advance. His wife was thrilled at the opportunity, and she told us his favorite ice cream. On the appointed day, we three arrived with a pint of homemade butter pecan. He was not very talkative until the ice cream was gone, but then we learned things about him, our church, and our community we’d have never known. I need to do more of that, as do most of us. It’s good for all of us, chocolate and peanut butter!

A retiree approached me years ago about volunteering at one of our Lutheran Homes. He had determined that men don’t have enough man stuff to do. For over ten years he has adopted every male resident in one of our facilities. He comes weekly to visit every male resident. What a blessing for each person he visits! What a blessing to him!

Our elders have a lifetime of memories, experiences, and life lessons that we can enjoy and learn from,…if only we would take the time to stop and listen. How do you go about doing this? Just look around. You have a neighbor that rarely gets out. You see an older couple at church. Every nursing home and assisted living in the area has people that need you right now. You can walk into any nursing home and assisted living and in a snap be paired with a person who needs you. Almost everyone loves company, even if it’s just to sit and visit. But let me warn you of one dangerous side effect. Visiting your elders is addicting! The more you give, the more you get. Before you know it, you have a whole new family, a whole new set of friends!

Go visit an elder this week. Ask him where he was on Pearl Harbor Day. Ask her where she was on New Year’s Eve when she was 21. Ask her what her favorite Valentine’s Day was. Ask. You’ll be amazed, entertained, and entertaining!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A recent picture of site work as we prepare to build a new Lutheran Home in New Hanover County.

Wilmington Update

John Frye is LSA's Wilmington construction manager and will operate the Lutheran Home in Wilmington when he gets it built. He has agreed to occasionally send us an update, which I will post here. So here is John's update for today:

I wanted to share an update on the progress of the new facility in Wilmington.

After the bids were opened in July, and the contract was signed with McKinley Construction of Wilmington in September, 2009, then the lengthy process of dealing with the permitting agencies began. The plans have been reviewed and approved by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and permits were applied for from the NC Dept of Environment and Natural Resources for our water main extension, and also for storm water management, from the Dept of Transportation for driveway and access permits, from the US Army Corps of Engineers for wetlands delineation and discharge permits, from the New Hanover County Department of Engineering for plan approval, special inspection coordination, and for a permit for a “land disturbing activity” to maintain soil erosion control. We thought we had everything we needed in hand when we discovered that the New Hanover County Division of Environmental Health had to complete a plan review in order to issue a permit to operate a food service establishment prior to the issuance of our county building permit. This involves evaluating everything from our prospective menus to who will be servicing our dumpsters, and has not been completed and awarded as of this date, but we are working diligently to make it happen.

We have been able to do site work, however, and have been installing the underground infrastructure to prepare for the actual beginning of construction. As is usually the case, some unexpected issues have been discovered that have caused a delay in our overall progress and have complicated our path toward completion. The most critical issue in the discovery of a layer of unsuitable soil on the building site, which is not uncommon in New Hanover County. This resulted in some redesign to the foundation plans and some additional expense for removing and replacing the unsuitable soil. But the solution has been within our ability to accomplish and we are again on the way toward construction.

Next week marks the beginning of the excavation of the stormwater retaining pond, which will be a milestone in site preparation. Some of the soil from the pond will be used to build up the construction site, and soon thereafter we will be ready to pour the foundations and building concrete pad.

More news on our progress will be shared as we reach new milestones, and we eagerly anticipate this journey toward our new Wilmington Home.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Snow Thanks

I received what may be a first. Joni, the weekend RN Supervisor at Lutheran Home - Winston-Salem sent me a letter praising the LHWS maintenance staff of Bo, Willie, and Keith. They worked long hours to get adequate nursing staff transported to the Lutheran Home in the snow, so our residents are cared for. As you know, we don't close for snow! When they weren't transporting staff, the three were shoveling snow, salting sidewalks, and generally keeping everyone safe. Joni commented this was all done cheerfully and courteously!

Bo, Willie, and Keith would not be considered by some as essential care providers. I have said and written many times that it takes every staff member in every department on every shift to fulfill our mission. In this case, where would our residents be if staff couldn't get to work. All of a sudden, Bo, Willie, and Keith took their place at the top of the list. And as always, behind them are over one hundred fellow staffers that are cleaning, cooking, washing laundry, providing activities, providing care, paying the bills, and on and on! Every job is vital!

This Winston-Salem story is played out at every one of our facilities, with the same dedicated, vital staffers.

Oh, one more thing, it is rare that a staff member takes the time to write a letter to her administrator and copy me to praise other staffers. It is refreshing and lots of fun. Thanks Joni!

Thank God for all our faithful saints across LSA!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Insurance company goes too far

It is so easy to take a good thing too far. A large insurance company (who shall remain nameless) created an advertising campaign that has now evolved into their responsibility project. Their definition of responsibility is doing the right thing, so their project is to help us do the right thing.

One of the project’s commercials includes a scene of a woman trying to decide if she should place her dad in a nursing home. The spot ends with dad sitting around the happy family dining table as everyone laughs and titters, and dad (who seems slightly confused) sings.

Now I freely admit that the ministry I work for is in large part a nursing home provider, so I am biased. But why does one group have to lose and another one win? It doesn’t have to be that way. I don’t know many people that choose to go to a nursing home. People go their because they need care from skilled, loving professionals 24-7. The people who live in nursing homes require near-constant attention: nurses to monitor and assess, medications, meals, toileting, activities, housekeeping, laundry…. Many people are there for intensive rehab on their way home from a knee or hip replacement. It’s quite a production, and it happens every day and night including Christmas!

Ask someone if they want to go to a nursing home and the answer is no. Ask someone if they want to have brain surgery and the answer is no. Oops…unless the person NEEDS the nursing home or needs brain surgery. Then the answer is a resounding yes! It is cruel and disingenuous to offer a choice where there is no choice.

I have never seen a nursing home that wanted a person who didn’t need to be there. I am in favor of staying in my own home as long as I can, and the same for you. But we are working real hard to make sure that North Carolina is creating the type of nursing home I want to live in, if and when the day comes when I need nursing home care.

Nursing homes do not care for people who can stay in their own home, unless the people are very wealthy. Anyone who says otherwise is telling you a half truth. A person who needs a sitter a few hours a day, or a nurse to drop by a give a shot once a day, or visits a day care center 2 days a week, does not need a nursing home. Nursing homes are for people who need skilled professionals around the clock. 24-7 certified nursing assistant care alone would cost at least 33% more than skilled care, and that doesn’t include housing, utilities, nurses, and all the other services provided by a quality health care provider.

While the insurance company is on the right track with the responsibility project, they were irresponsible in subtly bashing nursing homes. Dad” and everyone else involved should decide what is the best place for Dad to live. Then it doesn’t have to be a win for some and a loss for others. Let’s all win.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

It's a new year! Salisbury was dead quiet this morning when I came to work. Since it's a holiday and a Friday there are a number of people taking the day off. But there are still five or so folks working at the LSA Office - always work to be done and things happening in an organization of our size that cares for people 24 hours every day, including the New Year's holiday.

LSA operations are completely different from the rest of the world and I want to make sure the world remembers that. At the stroke of midnight last night: nursing assistants were making rounds to check on and meet the every need of hundreds of residents around LSA; laundry staff are washing clothes, nurses were assessing and monitoring and delivering care. Some residents stayed up to watch the ball drop in Time Square, and shared a "Happy New Year" with staff. Many of our independent living people were partying, or at least stayed up to watch in the New Year. At 5 and 7 am this morning while many of us were asleep, cooks were starting the stoves, nursing assistants started assisting residents with all of their daily activities, independent living residents headed for breakfast and to lead their normal lives, nurses began treatments and delivering medications, staff put all the washers and dryers in service, maintenance staff is monitoring and repairing, housekeepers began mopping and cleaning, administrative staff arrived to answer phones and go about their neverending work, and on and on and on.... Over 700 staff will have worked before the day is over!

We take for granted that all of that care and service just happens by magic. Care and life doesn't just happen at LSA either. Care and life happens at every long term care organization, hospital, etc. in the world. And it happens in our homes as we care for loved ones there.

Let's pause to remember all those in need and all those care givers who meet those needs! Let's remember! And let's say a prayer for all. Happy New Year!