Meet Kellie

Employee Spotlight: Kellie Gerding
Team Lead Coordinator, Miami Hills and Bramblewood

 

Headshot of KellieWhat do you do for Our Family Home?

I am a team lead coordinator for our Miami Hills and Bramblewood homes in Cincinnati. I manage scheduling, setting up and conducting interviews, working closely with our caregivers and helping with our residents whenever needed.

How long have you worked with Our Family Home?

I have been with Our Family Home for three years. I started as a caregiver then worked to become an assistant team lead and now a team lead coordinator.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I enjoy being able to take care of our residents and also having the opportunity to be hands on with my team. I have an amazing team. I also love being a part of the on-boarding process and watching the relationships grow with my team and with residents.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Outside of work, I enjoy watching movies with my husband of 17 years. I like to spend time with friends and family, and I especially enjoy being outdoors.

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

Kellie with a resident
Kellie loves working with our residents and taking them outside on nice days.

Working with residents, I have learned that each day brings a new and different experience and I don’t know what the day holds. I am more patient and have learned to go with the flow. I have realized that one day may go a certain way and then the next is completely different.

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

Yes. My grandfather had Alzheimer’s. He passed away in 2016. I also had an aunt with Alzheimer’s disease, who passed away last year, and an uncle who has it now.

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

We give residents and families more good days by treating them like they are our own family. We’re able to provide close-knit, one-on-one, personal attention, giving family members peace of mind that when they leave their loved one will be taken care of. They don’t have anything to worry about. We also get to know and love each one of our residents for who they are and their unique personalities.

A Turnaround Story

Working with Alzheimer’s and dementia residents, we see challenges of the disease that are often perceived as “behaviors” of the resident. Memory disease can make people act in ways that are completely foreign to how they behaved most of their lives, making it extremely important to find the right care option for your loved one.

Unfortunately, we encounter far too many cases where residents have been moved to multiple facilities or over-medicated because of their “behavior.” Yet, we’ve been fortunate to find that these individuals are frequently our most inspiring turnaround stories. People like Anthony.

In 2018, we welcomed Anthony to Our Family Home after being discharged from another memory care facility for his “behaviors.” During our assessment, we learned he had been in three memory care facilities prior to us and was heavily medicated. He was bed-ridden, and his fists were clenched tightly, making him unable to use his hands.

After moving into Our Family Home, our team of nurses began working with a new hospice group to reduce his medication, slowly weaning him down from what were nearly toxic levels. Over time, they significantly reduced the medicine and added a small pain medication for severe arthritis. Working together through daily interaction and simple exercises, Our Family Home caregivers noticed not just that Anthony’s hands were opening, but that he could now feed himself and hold a glass.

Once bed-ridden and unable to use his hands, Anthony now participates in multiple, group activities – like passing around a pool noodle, throwing beach balls, and erasing the chalk board and folding napkins. We’ve also been able to work with hospice and his family to equip Anthony with a high back wheelchair to move around the house independently.

Just retelling this story can almost bring tears. We’re still seeing weekly improvements and getting to know Anthony even more, which separates Our Family Home from other facilities.

We realize that not every story and not every resident will have such a transformative experience with us. But, we do know that Our Family Home’s level of care and the real connection we have with our residents preserves their health, their dignity and their livelihood.