“To take care of those nobody else pays attention to” are words of Catherine Nelson Black, who founded LifeCare Alliance in 1898. Throughout the last few weeks, I have been able to observe the daily logistics and operations of LifeCare, and how various small pieces come together to make the organization function and be successful. My desk is in the middle of the office, where there are open cubes, so without intentionally eavesdropping I often overhear a lot that is going on throughout the day. I hear a driver supervisor calling clients to make sure they are alright if they did not answer their door when their meal was delivered that day, a social worker calling clients for assessments, clients calling the front desk to cancel their meal for that day because of a doctor’s appointment, and another driver supervisor calling a volunteer to ask if they can cover a meal route, just to name a few examples. While these people in the office are not making direct contact with clients, they are a small but essentially large piece in making sure all 5,000 meals get delivered each day and all clients are served.
This past week, I was able to shadow a social worker complete in-home assessments, which are required by funders, to make sure clients are using LifeCare’s services appropriately. I was also able to lead bingo three times, serve lunch to clients at the park of roses, and work the front desk at Carrie’s Café. All of these things included interaction with clients and those that LifeCare serves daily. This was a great reminder as to why the services LifeCare provides are so important and needed in our community. Many seniors would be unable to stay in their homes, if it weren’t for Meals-on-Wheels or Help-at-Home. For example, one woman said she would be unable to cook for her and her husband because she cannot stand up for that long. I found it extremely beneficial to encounter and interact with those who benefit from LifeCare’s services. It was a really great reminder as to why each person in the office works extremely diligent to make sure clients are able to receive their meals or eat at a dining site. In addition, it was a great reminder as to why I am working with LifeCare Alliance this summer. I feel as if it is so important to take a step back every now and then to see the larger picture of why your small piece is significant in the overall operation. As I prepare for week five, I feel extremely motivated to continue to work on my projects to the best of my ability, because of the impact they can have on LifeCare Alliance and the people they serve.