The recent wind and rain storm in the Puget Sound area played havoc with many people’s power. Initially over 70,000 people were without power. One of our clients is among the 25,000 who was still (72 hours later) without power on Friday afternoon. As many of you know, power outages are tricky; always waiting to see when those lights and heat are going to magically switch back on. Our client and caregiver were creative in the first 48 hours, but the call came in yesterday that the emergency wood pile for the fire place was getting thin. Our Manager of Finance, Lara Davidson, stepped up and arranged for a caregiver to pick up more wood. On Friday, November 20th, our caregiver called once again. The wood was almost gone and there was still no power. Rebecca Hannon, BSN, RN and care manager for the client called a conference with other care managers here, Davidson, the live-in caregiver and the client’s adult children (who live out of town). Davidson called our power company to see if we could discover the possible time of restoring the electricity. She persisted through the messages “we can’t tell you when the power will go on” and talked to a helpful live person. When Davidson described the situation of a vulnerable adult, she was able to ascertain that it was predicted to come on by Sunday (another 48 hours without power). Hannon then called the client, client’s family and suggested we arrange for moving to an extended stay hotel with his live-in CareForce caregiver. With the information that it might be another 48 hours without power (thanks PUD), the client agreed to be moved by cabulance, The caregiver and client were nice and cozy with a TV and ability to make hot food over the weekend. On Sunday, it was ascertained that power was on and the client and caregiver went home. Thanks to all for their quick work to find some warmth and safety for our client.
Brain trust began as a term for a group of close advisers to a political candidate or incumbent, prized for their expertise in particular fields. The term is most associated with the group of advisers to Franklin Roosevelt during his presidential administration. More recently the use of the term has expanded to encompass any group of advisers to a decision maker, whether or not in politics. (Wikipedia). At CareForce, we have a clinical brain trust. On any given day our five Registered Nurses (RN) and one Master of Social Work (MSW) poll each other’s opinions and ideas about managing client issues or caregiving dilemmas that arise . In addition, our very capable Home Care Staffing Specialists who have worked day in and day out with caregiver and client questions may weigh in on a solution to a given problem. Our Director of Home Care and Human Resources often is included in these discussions. Our Director of Financing , Payroll and Billing Specialist, and Receptionist who thru communication with client or caregiver might have an innovative idea…or a piece of information that is relevant to the problem. Of course our amazing caregivers often come up with solutions as well. On a daily basis I observe these caring individuals asking the questions: How can we do this better? What might we do differently? They pick each other’s brains. They are bold in their recommendations. The whole is most definitely greater than the sum of its’ parts. The clinicians add so many components yet their specialty is making certain that the recommendation is safe and achievable in terms of the best practices in home care. As their CEO, I am so very proud of the work that is done here for the clients that we serve.
Ms. Susan “Sam” Miller, RN, MN, ARNP, right, enjoyed the opportunity to spend a few moments visiting with former U.S. Surgeon General, Regina Benjamin M.D..on April 30, 2015 at the University of Washington Dean’s Club Reception. Sam was invited as a member of the U.W. School of Nursing Advisory Board. Ms. Miller and husband Diedrich Meinken, MSW, are co-owners of CareForce. Together they and benefited from an excellent presentation on Prevention in Health Care by Dr. Benjamin. Sam directs all clinical services at CareForce and serves on a number of Boards in the Puget Sound area.
Kathy E., NAR, an outstanding member of the CareForce team for over 13 years was recognized by the Home Care Association (HCAW) as the Home Care Aide of the Year for 2015. Kathy was chosen from many excellent home care aides throughout Washington who were nominated for this special honor. Kathy’s special ability to work with memory impaired clients and her willingness to fill in on short notice when needed were among the reasons Kathy was selected. CareForce is extremely honored that Kathy earned this well deserved honor. This is the 4th time in 15 years that a CareForce Home Care Aide has received this coveted award. Kathy was joined at the HCAW’s annual conference on April 17th by members of her family and Jolene and Elizabeth as her special CareForce operation staff. This is the 4th time in 15 years that a CareForce Home Care Aide was honored by HCAW. Congratulations Kathy! Kathy is pictured below with her Award, her family and CareForce Staff and Owners.
Since 1999, CareForce has provided support that has allowed over 4,000 seniors and persons with chronic or disabling illness to remain in the comfort of their own homes. CareForce has repeatedly won awards for the excellence of its caregivers and customer service representatives. Since opening, CareForce has demonstrated more effective practices and better client outcomes for our clients and for our industry colleagues. By doing so, we help not only the individuals and families we serve, but we contribute to improving the quality of care for the broader community in which we live.
In early October, Team CareForce walked in the Breast Cancer Awareness Walk in Everett, WA. Composed of CareForce team leader Veronica de Gier-Marlow, Lara Davidson and the Girl Scout Troop 42047, our team not only raised money for this very worthy cause but won the Pinkest Spirit Award. One look at our picture and you will understand why. Go Team CareForce. Thanks for raising money for an important health issue and for showing so much team spirit. And a big thank you to Shannon Davidson for having this great idea to have a Breast Cancer Awareness Birthday Party….you have a wonderful heart!!!
Once again Lara Davidson rode for the cure in the Washington Bike MS. This time she inspired her daughter Shannon to ride with her (and her husband). This isn’t the first time Lara has inspired a new rider for the Bike MS. Sam MIller was inspired by Lara 3 years ago to ride her first Bike MS. This year we all rode with 1700 riders to raise money to help with research, treatment, and education about this disease. With monies raised, so many strides have been made in treatment for some people with some types of Multiple Sclerosis. This year Bike MS WAshington raised over 1.6 million dollars. We have at least 2 team members that ride WITH MS. What in inspiration!!! So thank you to those who ride and thank you to those who support this ride and most of all thank you to those who live with MS who inspire us everyday with their courage.
Understanding the home care industry can sometimes feel like being in a traffic jam. And who is Seattle’s favorite traffic guy on the “4’s”? Paul Tosh of KOMO Radio flies high to direct all of the Seattle area to the safest and less congested route. Just like Mr. Tosh, CareForce nurses, social workers, caregivers, and home care specialists do the same for people who feel like they are confused and in a jam and aren’t sure which direction to go in looking for home care. One phone call to CareForce connects you with a geriatric care manager who can help you sort out which direction to go. Our clinicians have the 10,000 foot view of the senior care system just like Mr. Tosh views all of the traffic routes at once and directs you to get their safely and most directly. That phone consultation is a free service that CareForce has always offered. So we are your care traffic report on the 4’s or any time. Thanks Mr. Tosh for helping us inform your radio public about CareForce and for your assistance in helping direct people in a “senior care jam” to CareForce.
It has been my privilege to work with Lara Davidson, Director of Finance at CareForce, for over 6 years. And this past week she received the recognition for her spirit and giving that is long past due. The Home Care Association of Washington awarded her with the Community Service Person of the Year. Davidson is very active in her community. What makes her stand out is how she incorporates her work life, her work colleagues and her community in her volunteer work. While CareForce sponsors the Seattle Parks and Rec’s Sound Steps for Seniors….Davidson brought her daughter’s girl scout troop to walk with the seniors for an intergenerational event. While Davidson Bikes MS (as they say), the bike ride to raise money for MS research and treatment, she invites her work colleagues along to help raise money and raise the camaraderie amongst co-workers (and double to triple the fundraising that she gets done). There are few walks in the Puget Sound area that don’t find Davidson raising awareness and money for good causes: the American Cancer Society and the Alzheimer’s Association Western Washington as examples. At the awards banquet, I particularly loved her acceptance speech. Davidson challenged the Home Care Association to pick a cause and invite a co-worker along. She said…it will change your work relationship forever. And that’s a great thing. Thanks Lara Davidson for picking CareForce.
As the Director of Clinical Services, it is my honor to nominate our employees for awards that are given outside of the agency. Perhaps the most coveted in the home care world of Washington State is Caregiver of the Year. Once the nomination is sent in, a committee reviews nominations from throughout the state and selects one amazing home care aide. For the third time in 10 years, CareForce had an aide selected as the Home Care Association of Washington’s Caregiver of the Year. Jenelle Coale has worked for CareForce for almost 10 years and she is an incredible caregiver. Her relationship with her clients is immediate and she is very healing. Using laughter, conversation, and empathy, Coale is able to engage clients in a process of companionship, physical activity, and living their daily lives with joy. She steps up to the plate to learn new skills and is an active member of the care team here at CareForce. Above all she is a caring person who balances family, friends, and work. and in her acceptance speech on April 25 in Seatac, WA she said , as she always does, “I really love what I do!!”. We’re glad she does and that she has chosen CareForce as her work home. Congratulations Jenelle….we are so proud of you!!!