The Oscars kind of bug me. In the gloom of winter, it can be hard not to notice that the extravaganza is filled with self-congratulatory workers wearing clothes that cost more than the yearly salary of several nursing aides.
Rather than stew, however, about the puzzling priorities of the world, I’ve decided to award my own Oscars.
Drum roll, please…
The award for best Costume Design goes to those workers who rock their uniforms. Holiday-themed ensembles, crisply starched tops, well-groomed hair and a kind attitude all speak volumes about the people who wear them, the pride they take in their work and their willingness to help elders.
Best Production Design goes to the maintenance departments, who manage to keep facilities functioning on an essential level and ensure that the surroundings look top-notch. From repairing air conditioners to fixing dresser drawers to rectifying all the many behind-the-scenes glitches, the maintenance crews renew well-worn buildings, creating inviting, trustworthy foundations for care.
Best Foreign Language Film goes to CMS for their efforts to provide guidance to long-term care operators and staff.
Best Original Score goes to the recreation staff who tirelessly provide musical entertainment, engaging activities and meaningful pursuits in a setting more focused on the health of bodies than on that of minds and hearts. Therapeutic recreation is the soundtrack in the lives of residents.
Best Makeup and Hairstyling goes to the aides who thoughtfully tend to the appearance of their charges, helping residents feel worthy of personal attention and more like their best selves in a frequently impersonal environment. A shout-out to the barbers and hairdressers who come into facilities and work their magic for modest fees for people in need.
Best Documentary Feature goes to the geropsychologists who spend their days talking with seniors about their lives, their loves and their losses, assisting them in navigating medical problems, end of life issues, family concerns and institutional living.
Best Visual Effects goes to the housekeeping staff who transform trashed rooms into sparkling accommodations, keeping residents, families and staff free from contagion and healthcare-associated infections.