What did you do before joining the RAH team?
I started out about 25 years ago as a Certified Nursing Assistant/Home Health Aide. I cared for patients in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and in their own homes. But when I cared for my mom in her home, my passion for home care was ignited. I was in awe of how beneficial one-on-one home-based care was and discovered the struggles that family caregivers face.
At that point, I pursued my nursing degree so I could offer and provide even more services to people in their homes. The individualized care with a personal touch makes such a difference in people’s quality of life. It also helps them maintain dignity.
How has your role changed at RAH since you started?
I first started working caregiving shifts when I joined Right at Home in 2011 because I really enjoyed providing one-on-one care. I had worked at other agencies, but until RAH, I hadn’t been able to find one I really enjoyed working for. Because I had my nursing degree, I began to make skilled nursing visits, when I quickly found that doing med fills, wellness checks and changing dressings was not my passion, even though these services are critical components of the care we provide. My passion was helping individuals and families learn about options that could increase their quality of life, and my role transitioned into just that. Now, as Director of RightCare Solutions, I meet with families, introduce them to our services and help them develop a plan to get the care they or their loved ones need.
What are some of your proudest moments?
I've had so many proud moments at RAH. I went to a meeting with a family that really wanted to get their loved one home from a rehab facility. This gentleman had transitioned to hospice, and the family had been led to believe that he couldn’t be cared for at home. But he had one wish: to be home with his beloved dog he hadn’t seen for a while. I went to that meeting, because I really believed it was possible to get him home. The meeting went well because I had a “yes we can!” attitude! We transitioned him home successfully, and he lived many months with his family until he passed away peacefully.
Another time a client’s daughter called to express how she really wanted to get dad back home from rehab. Not only was she very busy, but she had been told that his “failure to thrive,” depression and inability and unwillingness to stand was preventing him from being transferred in a regular vehicle. I had a good relationship with her father, so I went out to visit with him. I was able to lift his spirits, get him to stand and got him in my car. I got him home and we were able to provide a 24-hour caregiver within hours.
How do you overcome the challenges you face in your role, and what are they?
When I'm faced with a challenge, like families reluctant to move forward with us because they might be in denial about the need for services, I take the time to stay in touch with them and connected to them. This includes periodic wellness checks; emailing or calling to check in; or serving as a resource for questions related to an individual’s health or living situation. That ongoing communication helps to establish trust and typically leads to them giving us a chance.
What three words would you use to describe RAH?
Passionate, dedicated, trustworthy.
What’s your approach to solving problems?
It’s looking at things from a variety of angles to identify the best way to a solution. I’m persistent. I don't give up, and I don’t give in.
How do you define personal success?
It’s my ability to take experiences, good and bad, and use them to improve and move forward. I never take negative experiences and allow them to have an impact on the future. Learn, make better choices and move forward.