By Attorney Rick Law of the Estate, Asset, and Retirement Tax Law Firm at Law Elder Law in West suburban Aurora. When we are asked by families to recommend a skilled care facility, our old refrain is; “Choose the care, not the curtains!” In other words, investigate what it’s like to live in a facility – don’t just judge the place by the décor and the architecture. This is an excerpt from an interview I had back in 2009 with Anthony Clark, R.N., then Clinical Nurse Manager and Physician Liaison for Countryside Care Center (now Symphony of Orchard Valley). After telling me some of his favorite lawyer jokes, he showed me a whole new way to think about long-term care nursing. Q: Anthony, why do you serve here at Countryside? A: I had wanted to get an operating room position, but due to circumstances, I decided to apply here. Actually, an operating room job can be easier, because you never get attached to the patients—and most of the time… you win!—the patient gets well. But in a nursing home facility, you experience just the opposite. You spend long periods of time building relationships with people, and then you face the reality of their inevitable death. You have to learn how to deal with your grief. That’s one of the real challenges of being a part of a long term care setting. Ultimately, you will lose someone you care about. I try to focus on providing our residents with comfort, care, and friendship. I have a lot of friends who live here. Q: How do you and your staff find job satisfaction working in the nursing home at Countryside? A: One of the greatest things we have here at Countryside is our Reminiscence Boulevard; that’s our memory enrichment wing. Our staff go out of their way to love and care for our residents. They smile, joke, sing, and dance together. The staff on the Boulevard take pride in what they do. They do their work well, and the residents and the residents’ families come to trust each one of them. Q: What is one of the big reasons that you chose to work at Countryside? A: Formerly, I did work in a fancy and totally remodeled short-term rehabilitation center. Before the new construction, it had been an older, smaller facility. The nursing team had been able to provide the highest quality of care. But, after the reconstruction, we had a state-of-the-art building in which it was physically impossible for us to safely serve our residents. Here, we can see all of the rooms from either end of the hallway. Q: What is a special point of pride for you? A: The staff must be emotionally up each time they come through the door, or it will show to our residents. I am proud that every day, this care team shows up emotionally ready for the day. Too many families needlessly lose everything they have. Don’t let that be you. If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free. We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family. Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options! Sincerely, Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees. 8 times named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine, Rick has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future. Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care. Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!