Sunday, March 31, 2013

Reflections of Nursing Homes and more

It's been quite a few years since B and I were involved in traveling and oversight of many contracted nursing homes in the Albany, NY and outlying area.  B, an extraordinary master level's nurse is long retired and I have long since moved into an entirely different position (dabbling with data and technology).  Despite the lapse of time, I am taking this opportunity to share some thoughts and reflections in regards to nursing homes and related issues of aging.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Long Term Care (LTC) Insurance - not for me

Some time back, Kristi on her popular "On the Edge" blog asked readers the question, "Should I purchase long term care insurance".  I had commented at the time that I believed this question included a large philosophical decision in addition to the financial risk management analysis that is generally applied to the decision.  It occurred to me that I should elucidate this response in a full posting.  For many years, I served as a licensed social worker coordinating a contracted nursing program for a large organization.  In addition to this posting in regards to Long Term Care (LTC) insurance, I am also planning a future post in regards to nursing homes in general.

What is a nursing home?

While this question appears simplistic and unnecessary, I wish to dispel the notion that a nursing home is somewhere you go when you get old and need a "little" help.  The word "nursing" is key; in billing circles nursing homes are referred to as "skilled nursing" facilities which designates a "level of care."  Long past are the days of nursing equating to maid service and bed pans; today's nurses are highly skilled technicians.  When someone needs a nursing home, it is not because they need a "little" help; it is because they need "a lot" of help. Indeed, in order for one to "qualify" for this level of care, they must score appropriately on a formal assessment referred to as the Patient Review Instrument (PRI).

Monday, March 25, 2013

A review of grocery options in Albany, NY

Good news for Albanians, our grocery shopping options have exploded in the past few years.  In this post, I'm going to review my likes and dislikes of some of the most prominent choices.  It should be noted that the large players described below offer several shopping locations and it should be expected that your shopping experience may be different based on the location you choose and the time that you choose to shop.  I'll also comment up front that this may not be my most exciting post, but hey, at least I didn't tease you with any naked pictures of vegetables... so here is my naked truth regarding grocery shopping in Albany, NY:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Basics Beer and the return to the butt ugly

Ok, so maybe naked pictures wasn't my best idea, but this blog is meant to be a reflection of the author... after all the name is My Turn Quips and that includes both the twisted sense of humor and the imperfections along the way.  For those offended or still wavering whether they should sneak a peek, I say, "go for it".  I can't imagine these naked pictures offending many folks at all.  With that said, on to my next quip...

Recently, I was making pancakes for the kids and happened to notice the milk jug - it was ugly, real ugly.  We routinely purchase the store brand for many staples such as milk, but this time it gave me a bit of a flashback to the times when "Basics Beer" was found in the beer section and even toilet paper came in a "Basics" version.  The packaging for the Basics line was minimalist; simply stating "Basics Beer" in bold black letters and a white background.  Although money was tight during my stint as an enlisted person in the Army, I only stooped as low as "Meister Brau" and "Red, White and Blue" beer.  Without a doubt, you had reached bottom, if you were drinking "Basics Beer" and I suspect the packaging alone did much to turn off the consumer which is why I was surprised to see such an ugly milk carton.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Naked Pictures and thanks for the aid, Geneseo

It’s that stressful time again.  Daughter #2 is preparing for college; she’d like to become a doctor and I hope she does.  The disappointment was palpable after receiving the most recent financial aid package from the State University of New York at Geneseo.  Geneseo was the “affordable” pick as it is a state college and as such it is understood that they do not have large private endowments to draw upon.  Regardless, I can’t help but being a bit offended by the verbiage which reflected that she was entitled to “aid” (no kidding, that is the word that is strewn throughout the letter).  This “aid” consisted of a parent loan of about $7500 per semester and student loans of about $4000 per semester and $0.00 in grants or scholarships.  This financial aid letter asked her to sign and indicate whether she would accept this “aid” in whole or in part (or not at all).

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A look at Windows 8 Craigslist+ App

In my prior posting, "7 iPad Apps I like..." I note that there is a big difference between apps that I select and use for my Android phone versus the apps that I select and use for my iPad.  In particular apps that are based upon delivering features of an established website, such as ebay, Craig's List, your financial institution, etc must offer more than can be gleaned from the base site.  If the base site is great, then the compulsory question for any app is "What is the value added?"  On the small screen of a smart phone, the answer is often that the app delivers the content in a manner that is usable on the smaller screen.  However, for the iPad, screen size is not such a big issue, so the "value added" for an iPad app must be something other than to adjust the features of a site to the screen size of the device.

I have also discussed Windows 8 in a couple of prior postings.  As many know by now, Windows 8 heralds Microsoft's maiden voyage into moving their dominant operating system into the world of touch screens and apps.  Like the iPad, apps for Windows 8 on a laptop must be prepared to deliver more than a "resizing" function for users such as myself to adopt them.  For this posting, I selected one of my favorite sites, Craigslist, and will compare the user experience of the site itself to the Windows 8 Craigslist+ app.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

5 ways to make your blog better

My regular readers likely have spotted some of the recent changes to MyTurnQuips.  I hope you like the changes and look forward to making MyTurnQuips even better in the coming years.  These updates were made to improve the blog.  Unfortunately, it occurred to me after the fact that writing about this process would make for a great post.  Thus, I don't have "before" and "after" pictures.  These are some of the ingredients and enhancements that I have made to improve my blog:

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Telework, Yahoo and throwing out the baby with the bathwater?

Well the wolves are howling at Yahoo after CEO Marissa Mayer announced the end of telework.

As I reported in my post, Jobs, Doctor's Notes and Modern Reality, my employer is a supporter of telework and as a result I have had a number of years of direct experience both good and bad with telework.  There are some obvious benefits to the employee; foremost a substantial reduction or elimination in time and costs for commuting.  Likewise, there are often benefits to the employer such as reducing or eliminating the size of the corporate "office".  Additionally, if the position is 100% telework, the employer opens the door to a much wider panel of talent than perhaps could be acquired by requiring a fixed geographical presence.

The root of any telework program is a two prong assessment: