At Seniorlink, May is one of our favorite months of the year. The weather warms, flowers bloom and communities come alive again after a cold winter season. Aside from the changing season, May also brings Nurses Week, a week-long celebration that occurs yearly from May 6-12. During this week, nurses across the country are celebrated and thanked for ensuring our communities stay healthy and thriving, no matter the season.
At Seniorlink, nurses are better known as Care Managers, and they play the important role of not only caring for the patient, but also the family caregivers we support. This year for Nurses Week, we'd like to highlight a special nurse from each state we serve in from Caregiver Homes, Seniorlink's intensive care model.
Andrea Tatalias has been a nurse for 31 years and has a passion for helping people.
"My most memorable moment of working at Caregiver Homes has been being a nurse for two consumers who lived to over 100 years old. Both were able to stay with their family members at home and were alert, oriented and loved being at home. They were able to spend quality time with their loved ones until the end of their lives. This was their wish and the Caregiver Homes program was able to make that happen for them.
Most people want to stay home with their loved ones in familiar surroundings, and I love that our program helps keep families together. I enjoy getting to know the caregivers and I’m happy I can offer them the support and the help they need so they can stay together for as long as possible."
Jamie Boswell has been a nurse for 10 years.
"When I was younger, my dad always told people I would help everyone in the world if I could. Nursing just seemed like a natural fit for me. I like building relationships with caregivers and teaching them about medical issues to help them better care for their loved one.
My favorite memory at Caregiver Homes was when my care team partner and I were able to help a consumer who was struggling with severe anxiety, and started having self-destructive thoughts. We helped her get set up with appropriate doctors, counseling services, and worked with her to come up with some ideas to keep her hands busy with things she enjoyed. She actually ended up choosing to start crocheting and made us each a blanket."
Jamie Ross has been a nurse for 15 years and is specialized in Home Health and Hospice Care.
"I knew I wanted to be a nurse as a kid, I always wanted to help people. In my group of friends I was always the one friend cleaning up cuts and scrapes when one of them had an accident.
My favorite part about working at Caregiver Homes is developing relationships with our families and helping them with all of their needs. I also love the team I work with in Baton Rouge, we always have each other's backs."
Jill Chakour has been a nurse for 20 years.
"My best memory from my time at Caregiver Homes was in regards to a consumer we have that is developmentally delayed. He is very interested in police and firemen. He was proud to have some t-shirts from local police departments or fire departments. I was able to talk to a few people and get a hat from my local police department, a patch from the Rhode Island state police as well as some shirts! To see his face light up when he was given those was just incredible!
As a nurse, I take pride in everything I do and in all the care I provide. Some of my proudest moments include being there for someone at the end of their life and ensuring comfort and peace. It was always a very rewarding and intimate experience to see my patients through their journey to end of life with comfort and to provide support and coaching to their families as to what to expect."
Patrice Heaton has been a nurse for 11 years, and decided to make a career change to nursing so she could help make a difference in people's lives.
"When my children were teenagers I returned to school and earned my psychology degree and then went to nursing school. I decided I wanted to work in a setting that would allow me to help others and make a positive contribution.
Monthly home visits are the best part of my job at Caregiver Homes! I really enjoy the one to one time with my caregivers. I have the opportunity to build a long term relationship and give them the education and support to help them care for their loved ones."
Tammy Harrison always knew she wanted to help others, and after working as a Veterinary Technician for many years, discovered her passion for nursing, which led her to her career as a nurse.
"My best memory from working here at Caregiver Homes comes from one of the families I serve. The patient has severe autism, and her mother was able to plan a trip to go on an Autism of Seas Cruise, which was also her first airplane ride. This new adventure gave both the patient and the caregiver the confidence to do things without the fear of behavior issues. I think I was just about as happy that they were able to go on a cruise as they were!
My favorite part about working with caregivers is coaching, educating and collaborating with our caregivers so they can care for their loved ones. I’m able to present information whether it be a medical or social situation in a new or relatable way that gives the caregiver new tools for their caregiver toolbox."