In this week’s episode of the LTC Heroes podcast, we speak with Deke Cateau, Chief Executive Officer of A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab. A.G. Rhodes is a premier nursing home in Atlanta, providing senior care services in Atlanta and Marietta.

Deke is also the author of ‘Brush Fire: Covid-19 and Our Nursing Homes’. A lot of the episode focuses on the book and Deke’s creative writing process.

The episode begins with Deke sharing his current challenges, which are staffing and occupancy issues at A.G. Rhodes.

We then talk about Deke’s optimism in the industry, before discussing his book in more detail.

Deke sharings his creative writing process for the book. He talks about which chapter he started with and which was particularly difficult to write. Deke also speaks about the unique reactions he received after publishing the book and what he’s learned about the industry from the process.

We also hear about some of the important people Deke has met from working in the long-term care industry.

Toward the end of the episode, Deke answers a series of rapid-fire questions, including advice he’d give to young people wanting to work in the long-term care industry.

Discover the creative writing process of a long-term care leader and so much more, by tuning into the latest episode of Deke Cateau, Chief Executive Officer of A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab.

Rapidfire Q/A

What advice would you give to driven college students considering joining the long-term care industry?

The first thing is going to be to grind and work hard. I have no apologies for that.

A lot of hard work went into this. The other thing I would say about this industry is: don’t believe a lot of the statements. Some of them are true. I wouldn’t be the first to say there are less-than-genuine providers out there.

But for the most part, this is an industry of hard-working, industrious people who care and mean to do the right things. Don’t believe those stigmas, and understand that this could be as good as a social sector or business enterprise you might want to get into.

Will one of your kids end up in long-term care?

I don’t think so. My kids grew up in a nursing home. They grew up volunteering in a nursing home. My staff knows my kids. 

I’ve tried to encourage them. I think there’s no more worthy a profession. But I don’t think they quite have the bug or the passion that I had for it. And that’s all good as well.

What’s a lesson that took you a long time to learn?

I still haven’t fully learned it, but chill out and calm down. I’m an extremely intense individual. I’m still learning it, by the way.

What job would you be terrible at?

NFL quarterback after the first hit.

What are you most grateful for in your life?

My family, my mom, my wife, and kids.

God has given me a great life, family, and friends around me. That in itself is enough for me to be grateful.

Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

I’d like to get my mom or dad back to see my kids grow past the boat. I would love to have one of them around to see my kids growing.

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