I began my career in a nursing home where I stayed for over nine years. During this time, I realized how fragile the elderly population is; all it takes is one fall and they can quickly decline. I knew I needed to help the elderly population more, there had to be a better way to care for an elder than the traditional nursing home structure.
I heard about Caregiver Homes (CGH), Seniorlink’s intensive care model, when I was working at the Visiting Nurse Associates (VNA) in Boston. I met Scott* who was taking care of his mother, Susan* who was in her late 80’s. She suffered from a stroke and Scott was going to put her in a nursing home when the VNA referred him to Caregiver Homes. I did some research on the program and was instantly intrigued by the educational resources CGH provides families with while keeping them at home in their local communities.
In March, 2016 I became a full-time employee at Caregiver Homes and I’ve never looked back. Interestingly, one of my first families was Scott and Susan. It was unbelievable how well she was doing in the program. When Susan was at the VNA she suffered from bedsores, and wasn’t doing well. In CGH she’s never been hospitalized, and without the care and educational resources I provide them with, I’m afraid she would end up in the hospital every month. It’s amazing to see how far she’s come since when I first met her.
Aside from the amazing families like Scott and Susan, there are so many things I love about my job, such as the flexibility. I can manage my own case load with my families. I know the times of the day they want me to stop in and times they want to be alone. It’s like I’m a part of their family after a while, there’s a certain trust they gain because of how often I see them, they know they can depend on me to always be there and answer their calls if they need something. My coworkers are also great. We depend on each other and are always there as support, we’ve grown into our own little family.
After working in elder care for most of my career, I truly believe patients do better at home and in their communities. Knowing they’re being taken care of like family and by family is a rewarding feeling.
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*Names changed to protect identity