When I finished reading HALLOWED GROUND, I called Larry Minnix to congratulate him on writing the ultimate reference for professionals and non-professionals if not anyone and everyone who chooses a career in aging services. Maybe senior care organizations should give out the book to every new employee as required reading, a  plug for Mr. Minnix, but there is truth in that statement. Larry Minnix is kind enough to convey the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding that he gained from his rich and rewarding personal and professional life to our benefit.

For those of you who do know of, about, or heard of Larry Minnix, he was the CEO of LEADING AGE, formerly the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging., where he served for close to twenty years and profoundly influenced the quality of the lives of thousands of patients,  residents, family members, staffs, as well as health leaders, legislators and those who were fortunate enough to meet him.

Like few before him, he captures that aging services, senior care, or however one references our field is an emotionally charged environment, and that emotion impacts the mission and the day-to-day operations and management of any senior care organization in ways that are hardly scientific but require sensitivity, empathy, and, of course, a sense of humor and wisdom, the major lessons of HALLOWED GROUND.

Examples of his lesson plans:

  • He is a master story-teller, which not only adds an element of readability but evokes experiences that we know and understand.
  • Personal experiences mold us, and Larry is able to present the good, bad, and ugly of his own life to the benefit of his readers. His relationships and experiences with his aging parents, relatives, and his and their friends translate into principles and secrets of the aging experience that enlighten, teach and entertain.
  • One of his favorite expressions, “organ recitals” (now one of mine!), refers to the banter that requires our undivided/divided attention and tests our patience but reflects the necessary component of senior care, i.e., emotion,  that distinguishes our field from any other.
  • The titles of a sample of his chapters (“Attitude,” “Intimacy,” “Whether to Laugh or Cry,” “Dying and Death,” “Retirement.”) suggest that he has injected a sense of reality that impacts and can override the all-to-essential regulatory, financial, and other management Over and over, he writes of how we cannot forget that we are dealing with the quality of the lives of those we serve, which challenges us but also creates rare opportunities for self-actualization.
  • He reminds us that humor adds a dimension to wisdom – for example, he notes that when Johnny Carson was discussing aging with George Burns and asked him about the last time he had sex, Burns looked at his watch……A Classic.

Bless you, Larry, for taking the time and making the effort to write this book, which I .enthusiastically recommend. You will smile, laugh and cry and have an enlightened appreciation of our world.

Check out HALLOWED GROUND – available on Amazon – please!

Julian Rich