Meet April

Employee Spotlight: April
Team Lead at Olentangy River Road

What do you do for Our Family Home?

I’m a team lead for our Olentangy River Road home. I take care of residents, and I manage a lot of the day-to-day activities in the house, such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, activities, scheduling and weekly orders. I like to compare it to the things you would do to manage your own house.

How long have you worked with Our Family Home?

I started with Our Family Home in 2013.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I feel like I leave home and come home. Working at Our Family Home feels like home.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my two grandkids and also spend time caring for my mother-in-law.

What have you learned working with residents of Our Family Home?

Patience. I’ve learned to be patient, understanding and calm. Caring for people with Alzheimer’s can take a lot of your energy, but it’s important to realize the residents pick up on how you’re feeling. If you’re ragged and your energy level is low, they will pick up on it. I always try to be in good spirits and try to be upbeat so they feel good too.

Have you had a personal experience with Alzheimer’s or dementia?

I have a close family member who hasn’t been diagnosed but is showing some points of memory loss.

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

Definitely the one-on-one attention and care we’re able to give our residents and families. Every resident is different and we can tailor our care to their needs. What works for one resident is not going to work for another. We’re able to take the time to narrow things down and get to what they need. We’re also able to interact with family members. Just like if you’re at home and have family members stop by, we’re able to talk with them, listen to any concerns and put them at ease.

For Us, It’s Personal

Many of our residents come to Our Family Home from unsuccessful situations in other care centers, and often begin to show improvements after joining Our Family Home. When we look at the common threads that help our residents improve, we realize it’s because for us, it’s personal.

Dementia care is the fastest growing segment of assisted living and we continue to see growth among larger, corporate-owned entities. While some individuals do alright in these settings, we find that our residents thrive in an environment that’s more personal.

Personal Experience

Evan DuBro with his Mother

Our Family Home was born out of personal connection to memory disease. Evan grew up around Alzheimer’s disease, caring for his grandparents, who had the disease, and later his mom. After his mom’s diagnosis, he realized nothing like Our Family Home existed. It sparked an idea for a new level of care.

The format of converting residential houses into smaller, safer and more familiar homes for individuals with memory disease originated from his experience, as well as his formal education in senior care management.

Evan also knew that successful care needed to go beyond the right environment. It had to include a commitment to forming a well-trained and committed care team. Equipping the employees with both personal and professional training opportunities would be the key to attracting and keeping staff that cared about the residents.

Our Family Home believes in giving employees the tools, training and techniques to be able to provide high level care for residents and take better care of themselves. We need to invest well in our people, so they invest well in our residents.

Personal Connection

While personal experience has contributed greatly to the foundation for Our Family Home, the guiding principle of the organization is really connection and livelihood. With a 5:2 resident to caregiver ratio, our staff is afforded the opportunity to spend meaningful time with residents. Often time our caregivers will refer to this as being able to get in their moment.

Being in their moment means putting aside your own agenda and focusing on what our residents need at that time. We don’t enforce a strict daily schedule because we realize that not all people adhere to the same schedule. Some of our residents are early risers while others prefer to get up later. We want to create an environment that relays consistency and familiarity.

This mindset also empowers our caregivers to focus more on the needs of each resident depending on where they are in the disease. We focus on what each person can reasonable do rather than setting expectations for a group that may be unrealistic for some. We’re also able to reconfigure our days, our tasks and our expectations based on how things are going each day or hour.

Being a caregiver is personal. It can be strenuous and emotional, but it’s also something we do because we care. At Our Family Home, everything we do – from the layout of our homes, to investing in the right training for our care teams, to engaging with our residents and their families – is because for us, it’s personal.