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This year was different in many ways. Personally, I remember being in high school three decades ago and stopping by Klondike Manor as a volunteer on a Thanksgiving holiday just to make sure no one was alone on that painful day for our elders.  But now my kids really have this down.

First, they were up early making homemade cards  led by Jackie, my creative daughter. She developed an assembly card production system with Luke drawing a pretty rough turkey, Ava telling them she loved them in pencil, our au pair, Victor, adding standard greetings, and me adding pictures of crosses and football pictures – these were no masterpieces, but we made a hundred in a few hours and off we went.

The entire Steier entourage headed to the newly renovated Signature of Palm Beach and the kids did not complain, actually telling me they enjoy “the Steier family service days.” But this year the place was in real harmony…

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Ann is always the best greeter ever.  We donated some cash to a resident hosting a fundraiser for the Philippines victims at the front door, and the kids wanted to meet the Catholic priest named Terrence the full time chaplain who had just packed the 10:30 service on the rare Hanukkah-Thanksgiving combo labeled “Thanksgiving-kkah.” We witnessed an amazing holiday feast going on down the hall packed with three to four generations at most tables eating away, smiling stakeholders giving me great feedback on this leader named Nancy as we went room to room, and at a least three dozen residents in the Excelerated Care program who wanted to tell me how great our Signature Rehab therapists are, and that they planned to be home in a few weeks. They seemed grateful.

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There was a brain-injured resident last year on this same day, in the exact same patient room, that cussed my daughter out, telling her to keep the cards and leave her alone. But this year Jackie went right in and she smiled ear to ear. That seemed to make Jackie really understand what our clinical teams must go through in terms of high and lows.

We hung out with our dear friend Richard (last year’s featured story), the best fighter since Ali who is still going and has MS on the ropes. We met Swedish residents who seemed Holy Spirit led and hugged every resident who would accept one. We talked with two residents over 100 years old who looked better than a few of my high school friends, telling the kids clean living was the key. Our au pair, Victor, almost found an American wife upstairs, and we prayed over a few who were in painful sleeps. But my kids noticed something special was happening at Signature of Palm Beach!

My oldest son, Joseph, commented, “Dad, that was an amazing place, people seemed so happy and engaged, that was OK.”

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This is what every  great Signature HealthCARE center should feel like, and no matter what ObamaCare brings, our compassionate teamwork, diligent trained clinicians, one-of-a-kind spirituality pillar  and creative quality of life programming will always be needed, no matter what healthcare policy is enacted.

Thanks to the entire SHC of Palm Beach team for a great day and powerful visit!

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