Economic times are hard. With changes in Medicare, reimbursements, and the general economy, the world of the physical, occupational, and speech therapist is in a time of flux. I was thinking about this new reality while completing some mundane paperwork. I was in a slump which, for me, means coffee cup number 3. Then I heard from the far side of the therapy gym these sweet words, “I don’t know what we did without you.” I listened harder – the praise kept coming.
The speaker was a 98 year old woman full of vitality. She was working with her PT on shoulder and neck maneuvers in our newly-remodeled therapy gym at the Hearthstone. I sat back and smiled. I thought about jotting this phrase down – “I don’t know what we did without you,” and just the idea got me revved up. To be honest, I’m still revved up. I started to really listen to the vibrant community around me. The next resident came in – her level of gratitude was equally impressive. A third resident came in, this time with an OT – and once again I heard grandiose statements of exponential improvement and appreciation.
First, I thought about our therapy team and how great it is to be around such incredible motivators. Truly, our small and dedicated team is amazing and I have always believed that we are more than our awards. That’s a given. What I truly realized, though, was how motivating our residents can be to us. I’m looking around the therapy room now: despite everything, I’m smiling! Everyone in our therapy gym is smiling! It turns out symbiosis is an incredible tool. I don’t know what we would do without such great residents!

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