There’s a little knock outside my door,
Oh, it’s a resident who has come once more
to ask me if she’s going home
she can’t leave her children there alone.
Yesterday she came to say
“Have you seen my mom or dad today?”
You see this lady is very old,
she’s confused and will again be told
“No ma’am your folks aren’t here right now”
she’ll cry and I’ll comfort her somehow,
Because for one brief moment it is clear
that her folks have passed and her home is here.
Her children are grown with lives of their own
but they knew mother couldn’t be left alone
so they brought her to our home for care
but they’re filled with guilt leaving mother there.
It’s my job to make her feel secure,
and safe and happy and reassure –
her family – that the staff is good
and we’ll care for her like they think we should.
So every night as I kneel and pray
I ask the Lord to guide my way.
To give me patience and to understand
that the residents need a gentle hand.
I ask for strength to endure
When I’m called upon to reassure
When the residents feel the need to talk
and to smile when I hear that little knock.

Kathy LantzMy name is Kathy Lantz, and I am a regional vice president for Medicalodges, a long term care company based in Coffeyville, Kan. I have worked in health care for the past 30 years, starting out in occupational therapy, providing services to area nursing homes in my home town. It didn’t take long for me to realize that long term care was where I wanted to be, all the time—not just on a consulting basis. I returned to school to become credentialed as an administrator, and the rest is history!

Lantz can be reached at or (620) 988-0341.