Celebrating International Employee Care Partners!
Employees in Eldercare communities around the world are making an extraordinary difference in the lives of others by applying the Eden Alternative Philosophy and creating a life worth living. At the 2014 Eden Alternative International Conference, many employee care partners were recognized for the difference that they make in the lives of others every day.
Starting with Wanda Bunch from Ridgetop Haven Healthcare Center in Goodlettsville, TN. Wanda demonstrates her caring by making sure each Elder care partner’s room in clean, tidy and reflects their unique home. She also brings in treats and sweets to brighten people’s days. She is just one example of an employee care partner, with a big heart, that goes above and beyond!
Then there is Carla Davis at Windsor Place in Coffeyville, KS who is dedicated to building strong relationships with Elder and employee care partners that are a part of her life.
Kenna Kay Delano, also from Windsor Place in Coffeyville, KS, supports Carla, and other employee care partners through the education and coaching that she provides daily. She advocates for the Elders by ensuring that their care partners are confident in their skills so they can be their best. Her belief in the Eden Alternative Philosophy influences the training she provides and ultimately the quality of life the Elders experience.
Growing nurse care partners is a huge responsibility and one that Deborah Gorby at Kingston Nursing Center in Conway, SC knows well. She is a very vocal supporter of the Eden Alternative lifestyle with all care partners (Elders, employees and family members). Debbie continues to grow and educate herself which inspires others to keep moving forward and not fall back into old habits.
Every organization needs a champion who keeps the Eden Alternative and its Principles in the forefront of conversations and actions daily. That is a role that Frances Heaton at Mission at West Jordan, in West Jordan, UT, embraces fully. She is always making sure the new Eden Associates understand how they can get involved and is always thinking about new ways to get the word about The Eden Alternative to others.
Like her teammate, Kara Larsen at Mission at West Jordan, in West Jordan, UT is an excellent leader. She teaches others by setting a good example. She is a connector, helping care partners get to know one another and form new friendships. She is a champion for embracing and implementing simple pleasures. Conversations with Kara are usually about what new things they ought to be doing to make life more personalized to each Elder.
As Quality of Life Director, Tatum Lyle of Signature HealthCARE of Erin, TN has been instrumental in creating a home environment full of excitement and joy; a unique skill that should be honored. Her strength is with connecting Elders and children in a manner that promotes lasting and cherished relationships.
Karol Marquez from Clermont Park in Denver, CO like many care partners fulfills many roles, such as wife, veteran, care partner, medical supplies coordinator, artist, teacher, and Eden Associate facilitator. Karol is adamant about promoting creative opportunities with Elder care partners. For example, the quilting group that she supports on her own time. She is a great example of how true leadership is a volunteer job.
Patchwork Place, a neighborhood at Riverview Health Care Center in Prestonsburg, KY has a Mayor Representative. Her name is Jackie McCarty. In her role as a nurse care partner, Jackie is skilled at weaving the Ten Principles into the daily life of the care partner team. She coordinates special events to help build relationships. She leads neighborhood huddles to improve communication. She started a private Facebook page for the neighborhood where she includes postings that educate others about the Ten Principles. She is a true servant leader to the care partner team.
The Elders at Llanfair House in Wayne, NJ love their special breakfasts. That is happening in large part due to the efforts of Pam Mendoza, an employee care partner. She is constantly seeking ways to engage the Elders in ways that maximize their strengths. She also teaches family care partners about the Eden Alternative Philosophy.
Another example of passionate Quality of Life Director can be found in Lana Parisek from Signature HealthCARE of Trimble County in Bedford, KY. She has a deep seeded belief that Elders should be as independent in choices in their daily lives as possible. Elders are fully supported to continue their life experience, celebrations, find meaningful activities and opportunities to serve. Lana is working right now on opening a Country Store and a backyard farm for the Elders. She keeps the community growing in new ways.
Ruth Pomeroy, from Denali Center in Fairbanks, AK is the founder of their Dream Team. This team identifies and makes Elders’ dreams come true. For example, they arranged for an Elder to travel to Seattle to see the Mariners play; an amazing dream come true for the Elder. Ruth has been known to start an impromptu volleyball game in the Spruce Court Mall area. Many will tell you that when Ruth is involved, things are just more fun!
Then there is Candice Salas from Garden Square of Greeley, CO who brings the spirit of the Eden Alternative journey to her community, making it a warm and welcoming home. Lynn Salonen from Mission at West Jordan, in West Jordan, UT makes sure that everyone’s simple pleasures are shared and happen. Cindy Shearhart with Windsor Place in Coffeyville, KS is always focusing on ways to improve the Elders’ home, encouraging them to speak their minds.
Stephanie Warbritton with Oak Manor Health Care Center in McKenzie, TN is the go-to person in the community when anyone needs help with anything. She advocates for the Elders, ensuring their wishes are met and their independence optimized by making sure their strengths are well-known. She continues to grow herself through leadership training and has now obtained her Administrator’s license. She has a heart for what really matters – creating home for the Elders.
Kelly Yantzi has been an employee care partner at Willow Lodge in Tatamagouche, NS for 26 years. There is nothing she won’t do to make life meaningful on a daily basis. Whether it is shucking corn, making paper roses, dressing up as a clown, doing flower arrangements, popping corn for the Olympic game watching, or spending tender moments with an Elder, she always seems to be where she is needed most. She is also a Master Gardener either growing the garden with the Elders, or plotting what they will grow next year. She has a magical way of meeting Elders’ unmet needs and alleviating the Three Plagues as a natural part of how she lives life in the community.
Therese Ziegler has been an employee care partner at LindenGrove New Berlin (WI) for 18 years now. She does gardening with the Elders year round. They care for plants during the winter. She engages the Elders in seed sorting from plants that were dried out over the winter so they are ready for spring planting. She makes caring for the little things mean so much more in daily life.
Employee care partners are one of those hidden wonders that may get overlooked in the busyness of daily life. We hope these amazing employee care partners have inspired you to find others and celebrate all they are doing to create a life worth living for those around them. Who will you be recognizing tomorrow?