Meet Wellan!

Employee Spotlight: Wellan
Team Lead at Tonti Drive

What do you do for Our Family Home?

I am a team lead at our Tonti Drive home in Columbus and provide care to our residents. I help our residents get ready for the day. I make breakfast, engage in activities throughout the day and socialize with them.

How long have you worked with Our Family Home?

I have been with Our Family Home for five years.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I enjoy taking care of our residents and working with our families. Alzheimer’s is hard, particularly for families. It’s not easy to understand sometimes. I try to help our families and let them know we can handle this. That we can do this together. We want to help them through this disease too.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I enjoy spending time with my family. I have two boys and we enjoy bowling, movies and being together.

What have you learned working with the residents at Our Family Home?

The number one thing I have learned is to be patient. You need to be patient when you’re working with an individual with Alzheimer’s. I can’t just say let’s get up. I need to be patient. To give them time. I care for our residents the way I would want someone to care for me or to care for someone I love.

How does Our Family Home give residents and families more good days?

We want to make our residents happy and we do what we can to help them. One of our residents used to be an engineer. We asked him if he wanted to put a group of pipes together. He began putting them together. He smiled and he remembered.

This company has made me who I am today. Since I started working at Our Family Home, Evan has been there for me. He kept saying you got this. You have a big heart and you can do this. I’ve learned the most important thing about any job is the people you work with. How people treat other people. At Our Family Home, it’s a real family home.

How They Grew Up

The living room at our Dublin Longview home.

The home my mom grew up in was nice; a ranch with three bedrooms. However, there was no bonus room, no projector screens, no cappuccino machines. Her childhood home was simple. A radio and a turn table. Later a black and white television, then color when I was young.

Yet pick up a brochure from many of today’s memory care centers and you see a host of modern amenities: bright lights and large chandeliers, in-house movie theaters, spas, a 24-hour bistro. Amenities foreign to the way our parents grew up and especially challenging for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

As caregivers, it’s important to remind ourselves that individuals with Alzheimer’s likely will be able to recall personal and historic events from their childhood or young adult years more clearly than from the current day.

While adults with Alzheimer’s disease have challenges with short-term memory, often their remote memory can be left relatively intact. In other words, they’re able to remember events from decades ago, but are unable to tell you what they ate for breakfast.

While it’s very easy to get swayed by beautiful photos of piazzas, golf courses and courtyards, it’s important to picture the life our loved one may be experiencing in their mind.

I love when families tell me that their spouse or parent believes they are living in their own home because I know one of the greatest benefits of Our Family Home is that our residents can relate to and connect with the environment.

The secure, back patio at our Dublin Longview home.

Our homes feel familiar and comfortable, which helps reduce irritability and discomfort in people with Alzheimer’s. We often see changes in the demeanor of our residents after living in our homes. They’re more comfortable where they can eat at the kitchen table, relax in the family room and sit on the back porch.

If you have a loved one in memory care or are considering memory care, I encourage you to look past the flashy photos and ask yourself this important question, “Is this similar to the environment they grew up in or where they raised their family?”