Life Care Centers of America’s Whatever It Takes And Then Some program honors associates who go beyond their job descriptions in caring for residents, their families and fellow associates. Here are three of the inspiring stories from our September 2014 winners:
Terry Voogd, van driver at Westview Health Care Center in Sheridan, Wyoming, made a special trip for a resident who wanted to see a friend of hers in another local nursing home before her friend passed away. He made sure the friend was up to a visit and made all the arrangements before driving to the other home. The resident was grateful to be able to spend some time with her.
Voogd has taken residents with no family in the area to their homes to pick up items, and he has come in on his days off to take residents to family get-togethers. He has shoveled snow at doctors’ offices so residents could get up the ramps, and when a resident accidently broke the frames on her glasses, he went to three different places to find someone who could repair them.
Kerrie Safford, unit manager at The Oaks in New Bedford, Massachusetts, went way beyond her duties when a resident was nearing the end of her life. The resident’s only family lived in Japan, and when other associates couldn’t reach the resident’s granddaughter by phone, Safford sent her an email asking when they could speak. They set up a time to talk, and Safford was able to explain the resident’s condition. Safford later set up a Skype call so that the resident could see and talk to her granddaughter and young great-grandson so they could say goodbye. When the granddaughter decided to fly out to see her grandmother before she passed, Safford made herself available to help her schedule the trip. She set up the resident’s room so the granddaughter could comfortably spend time with her grandmother.
When the granddaughter arrived, Safford went even further. She noticed that the situation was difficult for the great-grandson and offered to take the boy into her own home to take care of him while the granddaughter attended to her grandmother.
“Kerrie and her family, including her own young children, cared for and welcomed this young boy from Japan who spoke very little English into their home, and soon the little boy felt like part of the family,” said Katelyn Sylvia, health information management director. “Kerrie humbly went above and beyond to make sure that the resident passed with dignity, as well as to ensure that the only family members she had were able to speak and say goodbye to their loved one with as much love and peace in their hearts as possible.”
Robin Lester, MDS coordinator at Rimrock Villa Convalescent Hospital in Barstow, California, volunteered her time off to accompany residents on an outing to a local rodeo. She did this even though she had just completed a full day of work because she wanted there to be adequate supervision so all the residents who wanted to could attend. While out at the rodeo, a resident began to choke on a hot dog, and Lester successfully performed abdominal thrusts and reopened the resident’s airway.