Tell us a little about Patricia.

Pat, as she is known to her recipients of care, is a care provider in Family Lifeline’s Home Care Program.  She embodies our vision of bringing health and hope into the home.  Providing hands-on one-on-one care to someone who needs assistance with personal hygiene, nutrition, as well as social interaction to combat loneliness is challenging work.  However, Pat always finds extra ways to serve her recipients of care and meet their needs while maintaining their dignity.  She has been working as a certified nursing assistant at Family lifeline for the last 2 ½ years and has 19 years professional experience as a care provider.

Pat puts the needs of her recipients of care and their family caregivers first and always goes above and beyond when providing care.  She takes time to get to know her recipients of care well.  She listens. She gives them a voice in the care they receive.  She asks how they like their hair done, what their favorite meals are, and/or what card games they like to play. To make someone feel special – she will paint their nails or fix that favorite meal.  No matter what her recipient of care needs or wants Patricia always finds a way to make them smile and brighten their day before she leaves their home. There is no task too small for Patricia to complete and no job too big for her to say yes too. Pat is truly a gift to the community.

How does Pat’s work impact others?

Here at Family Lifeline, we measure the impact of our care one recipient at a time; and, being on the frontline of care – Pat plays a major role.  We ask ourselves daily:  Have we helped them remain independent and safe in their own home; remain free from falls and hospitalizations? Do the families of those in our care feel supported and cared for as well?   Do we help relieve worry and stress by providing trusted, consistent, and dependable care? Have we helped the community by delaying the cost of more expensive nursing facility care?

But, how do you measure how a warm bath and clean clothes feel? How do you measure the benefit of a home cooked meal on the body or the spirit?  How do you measure what a kind word, a laugh or listening ear means in the life of another person who may be socially isolated?  These intangibles are at the core of Pat’s generosity.   She not only gives her time, her expertise and skills – she gives her heart – and with that makes a huge individualized impact on the life of every older adult she visits.  As one of our family caregiver’s said,  “Patricia is loving, caring…comes in with a big smile…talks to my mother, listens and includes her…”

She is also a mentor or role model to the care providers just starting out in this profession…we often use her standard of excellence in our orientations and trainings to help guide the next generation of care providers.

Recently, Pat has been experiencing her own health challenges; yet, she calls in to the office regularly to check on the care needs of her recipients of care and picks up every extra shift she can to ensure that everyone is receiving care. During the January 2017 Richmond snowstorm,  Pat was not scheduled to work that weekend; yet, knowing that the storm would impact care and that there were vulnerable isolated older adults in need of care, she called the office to see if anyone was in need of care and went to the client most in need of care that day.  Going above and beyond…that’s Pat.

Staff Spotlight by Jennifer Case, Family Lifeline’s Home Care Program Manager. Family Lifeline’s programming for older adults, people with disabilities and their caregivers strives to help individuals reduce social isolation and remain independent, in their own homes for as long as possible. To accomplish this work, we utilize inter-generational programming that works with two generations at a time to ensure wellness, healthy aging and caregiver support. Our intensive home based care-giving, delivered by home care professionals and friendly visiting volunteers, allows individuals and families to remain socially engaged maintaining their health, safety and dignity.