Meet Shega

Shega CaregiverEmployee Spotlight: Shega Kumnegere
Caregiver at Worthington-Galena Location

What do you do for Our Family Home?

I am a caregiver with Our Family Home at our Worthington-Galena house. My responsibilities include taking care of our residents, handling inventory and checking to see what we might need for the house.

How long have you worked with Our Family Home?

I have been with Our Family Home for seven years.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I enjoy seeing the residents happy. Working with our residents and helping them also makes me happy.

What do you do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Outside of work, I enjoy gardening. I like being at home. I find joy in doing things around the house, like cooking, cleaning and spending time with my son.

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

I am learning every day. Most of our residents in this house are non-verbal, and for many of them, this is the last thing they are asking for in their life. Even though they might not be able to talk, I have learned I can still communicate with them and love them. When I do something they like, I can see it in their eyes. When they aren’t happy, I can see it on their face.

How does OFH give residents and families more good days?

Our Family Home gives residents ‘more good days’ by thinking and being positive. Whatever is happening at home or personally, we try to keep it at home and only give them a smile. Making our residents happy and interacting them is our main priority. I’m always trying to look them in the eye and smile. I want them to know that everything we do; we do from the heart. I’m also trying to care for them the way I would want someone to care for me.

OFH Caregivers Selected as Finalists for Caregiver of the Year

We are very proud to announce that two Our Family Home caregivers were selected as finalists for the Athletes Against Alzheimer’s Caregiver of the Year Award. Swedie Harris and April Bullock were recognized at the 2019 Fedora Ball for the commitment to serving seniors with Alzheimer’s.

Swedie, Evan & AprilAccording to Evan DuBro, founder and CEO of Our Family Home, “The heart of our organization is our caregivers. They are the ones who work tirelessly each day to give our residents more good days. When I started Our Family Home, I knew that our success would be most heavily impacted by the level of care and service we can offer to those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. I am so proud to work alongside Swedie and April to care for our residents and am so happy that they are being recognized for all they do to serve others.”

The late Coach Earle Bruce was a long-time champion in the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease. Over the course of 12 years, Mr. Bruce hosted several events to raise money for a variety of funds and causes, with most efforts going to The Earle & Jean Bruce Alzheimer’s Research Fund at The Ohio State University. Through signature events and support, Mr. Bruce raised more than $1.6 million for the research fund. The Fedora Ball continues in his honor to support the work being done to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.

April & Swedie at the Fedora BallWe are extremely proud to share more about our amazing caregivers and finalists:

April Bullock is a caregiver and team lead at Our Family Home. As a team leader, she is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities at our Olentangy River Road home, including cooking, cleaning, laundry, scheduling and activities with our residents. April was nominated because of her remarkable commitment to her residents. She approaches every challenge with patience, determination and heart. Even in difficult situations, April has a special gift of establishing meaningful relationships with her residents. When one of the residents in her house was not eating well, April got creative. She remembered that he liked spicy food and started to sprinkle cayenne on some of his food and he started eating again.

When asked about her role at Our Family Home recently, April shared, “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.”

Swedie Harris started at Our Family Home in 2007 as a caregiver and is now a care team leader. In this role, Swedie oversees everything happening in the home, including supervising caregivers and overseeing daily needs, such as scheduling, menu selection, cooking, cleaning and personal care of residents.

Swedie holds a special place in our hearts at Our Family Home because she was the very first caregiver hired. She helped us establish our high standard for personalized memory care and even cared for Our Family Home Founder Evan DuBro’s mom. However, it is more than her role helping to build an industry leading model of care that makes her worthy of the designation as Professional Caregiver of the Year. Swedie has a truly special gift for engaging and calming residents.

A few years ago, a colleague remembers visiting one of our houses to drop off some materials shortly after she started working with Our Family Home. As she entered the house, she noticed one of our residents having a “tough moment.” Something had agitated him. Within no time, Swedie turned on a baseball game and began singing, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

The resident immediately began singing along at the top of his lungs. They stood with their arms around each other swaying, singing, and watching the baseball game without a care in the world. “It brought tears to my eyes to watch this resident go from such a difficult moment to pure joy all because this caregiver was patient and understood what he needed in that moment.”

We talked with Swedie last year about what she has learned working at Our Family Home over the years and she shared the following:

“I’ve learned that one-on-one care makes a difference. We have residents come from other places and are in bad shape. But, once we take care of them, give them love and attention, they live longer. We put our residents first. Our work come second. They do better when you take time and talk with them rather than rushing them into your own agenda.”

“We explain what we’re doing and ask them what they want. We let them have a say in what they do. We don’t rush them or force them into something. We also work to understand their personalities and offer care based on it. Sometimes that means telling jokes or singing. We understand that each person is unique,” Swedie added.

Please join us for the 2019 Walk to End Alzheimer’s

We are pleased to announce Our Family Home and CRT Realtors have partnered for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on September 22, 2019. We hope you will consider either joining our team or choosing to support our walk financially.

Our Team Page:  http://act.alz.org/goto/OFHandCRT

Check in for the Columbus walk begins at noon with a seated opening ceremony at 2 p.m. The walk begins at 2:15 p.m. and is approximately 1.25 miles. The route begins at Huntington Park.

On behalf of Our Family Home and CRT Realtors, thank you kindly for your support.

Together, we can end Alzheimer’s disease!

 

Can’t join us for the walk but would still like to help?  Join us for our Local Cantina fundraiser to support our team!

September 9-13

Happy Hour: 3pm-6pm

Buy a PURPLE Margarita and $1.00 goes to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s!