George Mattera joined Right at Home Landsdale, Pennsylvania in December 2016. When asked what motivated him to become a caregiver, he regarded his wife’s passing as the turning point. “I have worked in a hospital environment most of my life as a CT scan technician,” says George. “But when my wife was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, I took time off to care for her at home. After she passed away in 2008, I found it difficult to return to work. I wanted to find something more meaningful to do with my life.”
He decided to go back to school to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA) instead of retiring in five years. “What good is it to just retire and sit around all the time? I’d so much rather be of service to people. I have no regrets about it; this was absolutely the best thing for me. I’ve gotten to have a whole new experience in this life,” says George.
Treating the Elderly with Care and Respect
George worked at a rehabilitation facility after becoming a CNA, but he found that working with a constant stream of patients was not as rewarding as he had hoped; “There really wasn’t enough one-on-one time with clients. I was starting to burn out, so I decided to try home care to make a bigger impact on my clients’ lives.”
Through Right at Home, George has worked with myriad of clients whom he enjoys making meaningful connections with. “At the beginning, you don’t know them and they don’t know you—it’s sort of like a marriage,” George says. “You have to take time to get to know people. After a while, you become part of the family. It’s really very humbling to be invited into someone else’s home and life. It’s a huge honor for me.”
“You can’t be motivated by money to provide care for someone. You have to be motivated by empathy, patience and a desire to really become involved with other people in order to develop deeper connections with them,” says George. “When you treat people with respect and dignity, you’ll get it right back from them, and it’s really rewarding.”
Caregiver Training and Alzheimer’s Care Tips
To equip himself with knowledge and skills to care for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, George took the initiative to educate himself by following the GEMS® approach to caring for clients with Alzheimer’s disease developed by the occupational therapist and educator Teepa Snow. The GEMS® method teaches caregivers to see “individuals as precious, unique and capable” and encourages a care partnership through the process. Caregivers also learn to categorize the different stages of the disease and personalist the experience of memory care.
A client’s family member highly recommended the Alzheimer’s care George provided and said:
“Making the decision to invite caretakers in your home is hard… admitting needing help for a loved one, which company to choose, who can you trust, which caretaker will be a good fit… So many decisions! This was a “right” decision for us! I cannot say enough about George! He is so caring, thoughtful, kind and genuinely values his work. George took the time to learn more about my father and his disease process (Alzheimer’s) – engaging him in conversation, trying to spark memories and stories, listened to him, took walks with him, gave him space when he could see he needed it, and (most importantly) kept him safe!”
When asked if he has tips to share with caregivers for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, George says; “one, never get into an argument with them. Instead, find ways to redirect them or change the subject. Two, find their triggers and make a conscious effort never to push their buttons. And, three, if you can laugh with them, instead of at them, it can be a really good thing. Laughter really is the best medicine!”
“I really understand what it’s like to be on the other end of the caregiving experience, so I have total compassion for my clients and their families,” George adds. “I always just want to help make everything better for the people around me.”
And we are proud to have George on our team to improve the quality of life for those we serve in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Thank you George!
Right at Home Landsdale's 2017 Caregiver of the Year
From the desk of Jerry Lawson:
I am very pleased to announce Roselaure as our Right at Home 2017 Caregiver of the Year.
Roselaure has a quiet and gentle spirit. She is deeply committed to her profession as a Home Health Aide. Her clients love her because of her knowledge, the care she provides and her kindness. We always hear “she just fits Right in with us” from the families. While adhering to the clients care plan, she knows well how to make adjustments to meet any client’s needs or requests of the day.
Roselaure is a “worker bee”. She always treats the owner and staff with the utmost respect. She always keeps us updated on her client’s needs and changes. In her selfless attitude, we have never heard her complain about her clients, how much she works or any conflict with other caregivers. It’s those that go about, quietly doing their work and doing it exceptionally well that can sometimes be overlooked amidst the clamor of an average work day. But we have been watching Roselaure and seeing her rise and excel the past year in her job responsibilities, quality of work and growth as a team member that we could not pass up the opportunity to recognize her.
Congratulations Roselaure on a “Job Well Done”!
Jerry, Victoria & Elizabeth
Caregiver of the Quarter "Right Care Award" Winners
Meet Natasha Rivera, our 3rd Quarter 2017 “Right Care Award” Winner!
We are very pleased to announce Natasha Rivera as the 3rd Quarter 2017 “Right Care Award” winner. Tasha joined Right at Home, Bucks & Montgomery Counties PA in 2012, making her one of our very first employees! Tasha is an experienced CNA and has been caregiving for over 20 years. She provides care to our clients with complex health issues and has the ability to connect with all her clients. Her faith based clients appreciate her willingness to participate in their daily devotions, which are important to their spirituality and also plays an important role in their daily overall well-being.
Tasha accepts many assignments: long-term and last minute shifts as a fill-in, which makes her dependable for our high skilled clients that cannot go without care when a shift comes open. Tasha has excellent communication and interpersonal skills, which are evident in her ability to engage her clients and effectively communicate with our Right at Home office staff. Her professionalism makes her a joy to work with.
We want to take this opportunity to thank Tasha for doing an excellent job so that together we all can continue to “Improve the Quality of Life for Those We Serve!” We are proud to have her on our Right at Home team.
Congratulations Tasha on a “Job Well Done”!