An Odd Coincidence
May 6, 2008 by: Susan Goldsmith
Long time, no blog. I’m sorry about that! A very odd coincidence happened to me while I was away for a few days in Orlando for my “other” career passion, at the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (GCM’s) Annual Meeting. My sweet Bill minded the store while I was gone! I’ve served on GCM’s national board, edited their quarterly newsletter for seven years and sat on the Western Regional Board as well.
I am invested in the organization and the ever-growing membership of now thousands of professionals whose shared passion is working in eldercare.
I started practicing care management in 1979 (I was just a child!) as a clinical social worker and trust officer at US Bank. I created the job with help from now US Senator Ron Wyden and my dad. and worked with special needs trust clients, mostly elderly or chronically disabled. There were four of us doing this unusual work in the country. After that, I owned two care management consulting firms using Masters level Social Workers (MSW’s) and RN’s as teams working with trusts and privately referred clients.
My license to practice psychotherapy (LCSW) requires annual continuing education hours, so seeing dear friends and colleagues from across the country and learning about advancements, new technology, medications, legal and estate planning updates, Alzheimer’s and dementia research and other tools of my other trade keeps me on my toes. It’s a good balance to the B&B business, which is care management in a different, more luxurious form! The news from the eldercare front is actually quite optimistic! Among the good news for aging baby boomers, is an Alzheimer’s vaccine in the pipeline, along with medications that will dissolve the amyloid plaque that forms in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, and new high tech ways to keep elders safely at home, always my top priority! It’s not a bad time to be getting old!
The coincidence was that my niece, Amy, who didn’t know I was in Orlando, called me on my cell and when she found out where I was, informed me that my brother Jeff was also in Orlando leading a weekend retreat for a large physician group. In fact, his hotel was within perhaps a half-mile of mine as the crow flies. Jeff (Goldsmith), is a nationally-known health care “futurist” who writes, lectures and consults with hospital and physician groups, technology firms and a variety of organizations about future trends, policies, technology, hospital and physician practices and all kinds of health-care related changes. His predictions have been right on the mark. He’s also a really witty speaker. i’ve seen him turn an audience indifferent and naive about his subject into fascinated listeners. It’s quite remarkable. He has a new book coming out next month for baby boomers called The Longest Boom (or something like that–I will have to get it right so I can promote it properly!). What are the odds that Jeff, from Charlottesville, VA and I would be in the same place at the same time? We spent a couple of hours together in Orlando. Nice!
These types of rather bizarre coincidences happen to me often. They also happen at the B&B with amazing regularity. I will blog about them sometime. These coincidences have taught us to never, ever say anything negative about anyone because it is a sure thing that a guest will know or be closely related to them! We insult no cities or towns because one of our guests will be from there, and the mayor is their dad. I conclude that it’s good to stay positive.
It’s also very good to be back home in this little slice of heaven. Orlando isn’t lovely (I’m not being negative, am I?) and my hotel was a big cement blob, albeit with nice rooms, with little relationship to the land and bland customer service. Very different from Boreas and our attitude–hopefully. But it was nice and warm in Florida! It’s finally spring time here–no more weird and unseasonal snow. The greens are gorgeous, we saw seven bald eagles yesterday, the gardens are popping up, the last clams of the season are being dug and the air at the beach feels fresh. Take care, everyone!