Who Cares for the Caregivers?

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Who Cares for the Caregivers?

Monique Miller has worked at Waypoint for a little over a year, but you wouldn’t know it upon talking to her. Due to the state of home and hospice care in the country, she has seen as many changes in her program as another coordinator might see in their entire career.

​​Waypoint is a licensed Home Health Care agency with a Home Care program that provides homemaking, personal care, nursing, transportation and connections to community support services for seniors and individuals with disabilities. Staff assist with tasks of daily living including maintaining a home (laundry, cleaning, bill paying), personal care (bathing, dressing), preparing nutritious meals, grocery shopping and transportation for essential errands.

The program relies on cohesive teamwork to meet the needs of its clients.

With labor shortages in the country and uncertainty in the world due to COVID-19, the Home Care program saw an immense turnover and transition of staff, requiring the individuals that were able to hold on (less than 50%) to pick up where others had left off.

“I thought about going back to school because I’d probably get my [nursing] degree before I could hire a new nurse,” Monique said.

The program only has six nurses at the moment, and Monique said they’ve been her rock through her year of steep learning curves.

Registered nurse visits are often able to provide comprehensive general health assessments, assistance with medications and communication with their primary care physician. They are vital to not only caring for their clients but making sure program managers like Monique, the office staff and the licensed nursing assistants are up to date on that client.

“I don’t know them as just an employee. I know who they are and what they go through. I have nothing but appreciation and compassion for what they do.” Monique said about the lengths direct staff go through to make sure as many clients can be thoroughly cared for as possible.

It weighs heavily on Monique’s heart to see a waitlist for individuals who require home care. For certain individuals, Waypoint’s Home Care program is the only program for which they are eligible. With those cases, Monique and her team are required by the state to open and staff them within 30 days. But helping those individuals who have nowhere else to turn is the exact reason Monique made the change from a for-profit agency to Waypoint.

“When you’re in that corporate side of things, you’re all about numbers and that whole mentality is why I came to Waypoint; because I wanted more. I wanted to be able to treat people with respect and value them without it being seen as a weakness.”

It’s clear that Monique has a lot of compassion for the often-overlooked population of people who require home care. Monique’s compassion extends to her office team as well. Whether it’s for furthering education and training or taking time off for themselves, one of Monique’s priorities is allowing scheduling flexibility. She is grateful for her team, who had done so much for her when she took on this role and she wants to help them to be the best they can be for their clients and their own families.

Working at Waypoint has allowed Monique the type of leadership she’s always wanted, to feel empowered by her team, to learn and to grow in her role.

“People say to me, ‘you could’ve walked a long time ago.’ But how could I do that? I have a dream team,” she said. “I have the most unbelievable leadership that I have begged for 35 years. They say the grass is not greener, but sometimes it is”

In November for National Home Care and Hospice Month, Monique and her team have decided to throw a celebration for the home visit staff to show them how much they are valued and appreciated.

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For further information on the work Monique and the team do, visit our Home Care for Seniors & Adults with Disabilities webpage. To support programs like Home Care, you can give to Waypoint here. Interested in becoming a Changemaker like Monique? Join our team.

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