Rachel Johnson | IMG October Customer Service Superstar

Congratulations to Rachel Johnson, the IMG October Customer Service Superstar!

We, at Warsaw Meadows Care Center, pride ourselves on our resident programming specifically in our dementia units.  We have made this such a focus over the last year that we are regarded in the community as the dementia experts for our area.  We train all of our staff on the causes of dementia, the progression of Alzheimer's, behavior management, and family/caregiver health.  Part of that training is centered on programming.  When we say programming we are not just talking about activities and following a calendar.  We are talking about the interpersonal day to day engagement of our residents with all staff.

Rachel Johnson was hired as an Activities Aide early this year.  She had never worked in an environment like this one before.  She wanted a challenge.  When she went through orientation and the subsequent dementia training we could tell she was excited about that aspect of the job.  She asked a lot of questions and when I said "Your only limit as a caregiver is your own imagination when it comes to dementia care."  She smiled and nodded.  A lot of people do that, but she was different.  She asked to be assigned to our dementia halls exclusively.  She thought she could make a difference.  And she most assuredly has.  Families and visitors comment on her on a daily basis.  She is one of those folks that finds that blessed zone in their work life they are perfect for. 

She has expanded on every activity we had scheduled prior to her arrival.  She put her own spin on the whole program and in her mind that meant hands on, head in, heart out meaningful engagement with all of our residents.  And her creativity is what has made the difference. 

We encourage our staff to know our residents the best they can, to get their histories from their families, and to plan individualized activities for them.  Rachel created invoices with the company name on it for a resident who believes he owns the facility and it is his factory he ran for years.  Every day, he sits and writes out invoices that she then "mails."  She also gave him a day planner with his daily schedule written out because he becomes anxious about when he will see his wife.  His wife, a nurse, loved this idea and helped write it out, including when she would call and visit.  She also has residents bussing tables, mopping and sweeping, doing laundry, rolling silverware, and helping take the meal carts back to the kitchen.  She has embraced our motto "Get inside their world, don't try to drag them into ours."

She has become one of our most valued assets and is most deserving of this recognition.

Thank you Rachel for not seeing the disease of dementia but seeing the resident and their potential!