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 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 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?