Meet Oumou

Employee Spotlight: Oumou Share
Caregiver at Longview Drive location

Oumou (right) at our recent team building event

What do you do for Our Family Home?

As a caregiver for Our Family Home, I provide care for residents in our Longview home in Columbus. I coordinate activities for residents, help them with personal care and eating and spend time with them.

How long have you worked with Our Family Home?

I’ve worked at Our Family Home for six years.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I enjoy talking with our residents and getting to know each of them. Most of all, I love when they tell their stories. Our residents are like family. We learn about each other and get attached to one another.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I enjoy spending time with my kids, going to the movies, restaurants or Chuck E. Cheese.

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

I learn from our residents every day. I enjoy hearing their stories and learning what their life was like. I’ve been working with seniors and individuals with dementia for a long time and understand how important it is to love what you’re doing.

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

Caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia isn’t always easy. Sometimes our residents are in a good mood and sometimes they’re not. However, when you take time to get to know them, you learn what they like and what they don’t like. Some people like music, dancing or activities. Others like to go outside or to sit on the patio. Some like their hair or nails done.  We try different things at different moments to learn what they like and what they don’t.

Being in Their Moment

At Our Family Home, we focus our training and care model around being in their moment. Not to be confused with being in the moment. Many of our residents can’t remember things moment to moment, so it’s important for our caregivers to focus on their moment not ours.

It’s easy for people to toss around the phrase personalized care without ever really describing it. A lot of memory care centers tout their personalized approach to care, and for those to new to the industry, it’s worth asking what that means.

For us, personalized care means allowing residents and families to influence their own lifestyle within our homes. We don’t wake our residents at the same time or choose to only serve meals at set times. This is part of the uniqueness of our care model. We recognized early on that each person in our care is different. In our homes, we have early risers and night owls and we should accommodate both.

Taking the time to understand each person’s schedule allows our staff the time to interact with each resident in the best way for them. Caregivers can feed or serve meals to two or three residents and sometimes one-on-one.

Personalized care also means connecting and building real relationships. With an industry-low ratio of two caregivers to five residents, we give our caregivers the chance to develop meaningful relationships with our residents and their families. Our ratio also translates to greater longevity with staff. When there’s less turnover among staff, there’s more time for connection, respect and trust to build.

Our favorite definition of personalized care is being in their moment. When caregivers aren’t pressured to meet unrealistic expectations for meals and engagement, they’re given greater freedom to react to what each person needs. Instead of a strict schedule for the day, we equip our staff with routines that are meant to ease our residents through the day. However, through ongoing training, we’re able to empower our residents to interject what is needed in the moment.

The caregivers at Our Family Home take time to get to know each resident allowing them to incorporate activities or tactics meant to ease tension that can arise when serving individuals with memory disease. They get to know the residents and take time to learn about where they are in their disease, what they were like before the disease and what reaches through the disease to relax and calm them.

Offering a level of care that is unique to each resident in our homes is important to us. It starts with the training we provide to our care teams and extends into our purpose to give residents and families more good days.

One of our team members recently shared this story about the level of personalized care in our homes.

“I walked into one of our locations in Worthington to do a site visit and drop off some materials when I noticed one of our residents having a “tough moment.” Something had agitated him. Within no time, one of our caregivers 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 that 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.”