Robert Albert: Casey’s Pond is unrivaled |

Robert Albert: Casey’s Pond is unrivaled

Ditto to Madeline Butler’s letter to the editor, “Grateful … in Steamboat.” Casey’s Pond is to nursing homes, what Steamboat/Yampa Valley are to every other place in the United States: unrivaled.

My intention today is for those of you reading this to intentionally think of ways to make Casey’s Pond “Steamboat Employer of the Year 2018.” Indeed. This from my human self — an inarticulate, anti-charismatic, Afro-Latin American workaholic, who thinks of nothing but nursing homes 24/7.

I’ve had major trauma, been on life support for weeks, have hardware galore, learned to stand and walk again. My degrees are in nursing, health administration and soon(ish) a masters in aging services that have also helped me undertake this work I love so dearly. The same way Steamboat folks can intuitively see an elk is about to attack some tourist’s dog, an imminent avalanche, the best line.

And, I agree with Dr. William Thomas, co-founder of the Eden Alternative, a radically different philosophy of nursing homes. He essentially stated, “all nursing homes in the United States need to be razed to the ground and rebuilt with the intention of becoming actual homes for our elders/elderly.”

Not the well-intentioned institutions for the poor/frail they began as centuries ago. Prisons and hospitals are institutions: rigid schedules, questionable food, authority figures planning your every move. The Eden Alternative wants to abolish institutionalized nursing homes.

Casey’s Pond is an Eden Alternative Registered Home — a walled garden, an infinite repository of wisdom, knowledge, love and affection. Like your home, only bigger.

Ski bums to billionaires, former neighbors, now living together under one roof. Casey’s Pond’s hidden-in-plain-sight, super-hero power is the CNAs, coming from Steamboat/Yampa’s finest families, often as a stepping-stone toward nursing and physician careers.

I’ve worked 20 years in healthcare (paramedic/RN) in six cities across the nation. I know Steamboat has remarkable raw talent for this entry-level position. Casey’s Pond trains or finds the most clinically competent, yet also delightfully caring people from amongst them. And the remarkable physician’s assistant already at Casey’s Pond, wowing you with every single interaction. All helping Casey’s Pond’s board of directors fulfill a deliberate promise to Steamboat — to create a very special home with and for many of Yampa’s pioneers and soaring eagles to thrive in until the end.

Through my clinical and Eden eyes, I’ve seen the realization of the Eden Alternative’s vision. Like when all the resident elders and their families and CNAs on-duty enjoy sitting together for a meal, talking about hopes and dreams together — convivium — “a meal that embodies powerful symbols of love and acceptance.”

The Curse of Yampa Valley has my all. To leave a legacy that forms your intention to help make Casey’s Pond, “Steamboat’s Employer of the Year 2018,” is all I have left to offer. Verbalize (with your friends), visit (for neighborly happy hour socials), volunteer. Then vote.

Gratitude for letting me into your town’s greatest home. It has been an exceptional learning experience, honor and sincere pleasure. Indeed!

Robert (Robbie) Albert

Steamboat Springs


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