My Grandma vs. Northern Manor


My grandma had her hip replaced a few weeks ago and has been recovering/receiving physical therapy at a place called Northern Manor.

What an awful place.

It’s basically a nursing home that also has some physical therapy on the premises. I say “some” because my grandma hasn’t really been receiving the physical therapy she needs. She told me she met another patient the other day who is also there for hip replacement “treatment.” The woman has been there since May. 

On top of that, the staff at Northern Manor don’t take care of her well at all. They’ve made mistakes with her medication. They only bathe her once a week. If she needs help going to the bathroom, she’s often left waiting for hours before anyone shows up (even if she has diarrhea). And the patients who are there for physical therapy are mixed in with all of the other patients who are there with severe mental illness. My grandma said that she keeps her door closed at night because there are patients who wander the halls screaming. Every night. All night. She’s terrified.

Let me repeat, my grandma is there for PHYSICAL THERAPY, and is only there because she had to switch insurance companies due to cost (her new insurance wouldn’t cover the cost for her to stay at Helen Hayes Hospital, where she usually goes to recover from surgeries). She’s not at Northern Manor for long-term care, she’s not there because she’s too frail to independently care for herself or because she’s ‘losing her marbles.’ And yet she’s seeing first-hand what too many of our senior citizens experience when they have no one else.

Unfortunately the nursing home stereotype is true at Northern Manor. When I last spoke with my grandma, she was so upset and scared about the entire situation. I tried to cheer her up by reminding her that she’s only there temporarily, that she’s going to have some very interesting stories to tell after this experience, and that I love her.

My family is trying to get my grandma out of there as soon as possible.

Should We Chat About E-Readers Now?

Photo Credit: The Guardian

Oh yes. I brought it up and you knew it was coming. A blog about books and writing without one post on e-readers? I couldn’t let The Anxiety of Authorship be too unique.

I’m breaking down to talk about this now because I do have some information from the publishing industry. Not huge information, but something on the subject. A few weeks ago, we received an email that a new digital/e-book sales team was being implemented. This means it’s real. E-books are a real thing that are going to have their own nook (no pun!) in our company. It was a smart business move–publishing houses have to keep up with technology and do what they can to be monetarily efficient. So the professional in me feels good. The consumer in me is a little worried.

I guess before I got the email, I didn’t really believe in all of it. Not that I didn’t know e-books are a big deal–and I even have a Kindle I received as a graduation present last year–but I just couldn’t see it. I couldn’t see all of the books on every shelf in the world becoming invisible.

Well, that’s extreme. I still don’t think that will happen. And I’m definitely not opposed to e-readers at all. They’re a spark in our culture where reading for pleasure isn’t a given for the majority anymore.

I think there’s too many people out there who are passionate about the individuality of each book–the art, the feel, the smell–to let what happened to CDs happen to books. Maybe it’s because we all saw how Napster and subsequent MP3 programs ruined the CD–and we were all probably part of that demise too.

These changes don’t have to be evil, though. To reference the keynote speaker at my college graduation, Michael Korda (Editor-in-Chief emeritus of Simon and Schuster, actually), the change from paper books to e-books could be as monumental as the change from etching words onto stone and parchment to the advent of the printing press. We don’t need to resist it.

I just don’t want it to kill the industry. I don’t want to see authors and publishers not getting paid for their work because everyone is just downloading books illegally. And I certainly don’t want to see all of the bookstores, both indie and mainstream, close up forever. Poor Borders.

A happy medium would be amazing. But is it possible?