*Master ATS*


9/13/2018 7:06 AM

5/1/2019 10:16 PM

Last Action: 







Employee Referral: 

Mark Turnbull


20180 NW PAULINA DR, , PORTLAND, OR, 97229, US

Recent Job Title: 

DementiaWise Coordinator

Recent Employer: 

ComForCare West Linn

Applicant's Story

Regarding your work experience, what's most appealing to you?

'The purpose of my work'

When do you know you've done a good job? 

'I feel it'

What's most important to you about working in a home environment?

'People's houses are their sanctuaries. They typically are a reflection of the people who live in them. Working in someone's house gives you so much information about a person - what they enjoy doing, perhaps what they've done over their lifetimes...through pictures and perhaps collections. You can learn about their aesthetics and family. It's like a window into their lives. What a marvelous way to learn about someone that you'll be caring for. Helping people remain happily and safely in their homes as they age, or during the course of a disease or medical crisis is a gift. Being able to help them be comfortable among their own things and in their own space, cooking their preferred food in their own kitchens....what a difference from working in a facility. There's no comparison.'

Share with us a time you created a positive experience for another person.

'In my work as a horticultural therapist, I worked for a time in an assisted living facility. I worked with a woman who was in her 60's who had been a teacher and had suffered a tragic skiing accident where she suffered a TBI that left her disabled. She was confined to a wheelchair and had minimal use of her limbs, although one arm functioned fairly well. She had profound tremors in her arms. Initially I did one-on-one visits in her room during my internship, then because it became obvious that our visits were the highlight of our week, I did pro-bono visits for about a year.
One fall, she wanted to make a mobile. It took us several weeks: we went out and collected leaves, pressed them in a dictionary. She carefully chose the leaves she wanted to use. I brought in clear shelf paper to encase the leaves. As she focused on pressing the leaves into the plastic, she would use one hand to guide the other carefully and slowly to the plastic. Then she would carefully press the plastic onto the leaf with her fingers...as she did so, the tremors would stop. I brought in a choice of branches to use as the hanging mechanism, and she carefully placed the plastic encased leaves where she wanted them to hang. We cut yarn to hang the leaves. Although I facilitated, she made all of the choices and did as much work as she was able. We hung it up in her window and she would tell me every week what joy it brought to her. It was hard for her to go outside, especially by herself, and we brought the fall season into her room.
I went to visit her several months later and she had reached a point in her health where they had moved her into long term care. I was so sad not to be able to find her again. But I am sure that her mobile is hanging in her window to this day.'

What relationship was most important to you growing up? And why?

'Oh my grandfather was my rock! I was adopted at an early age - my parent's first child. My younger brother died when I was about 3, so my world was shaken to the core. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents - visiting them in Vermont, where they lived. (We lived in Mass.) If I couldn't sleep, I'd sneak down to the living room and curl up with him while he was reading. It was so safe and loving. He would take me along golfing with him, walking those beautiful long summer fairways - a super special time alone with him. Then we'd have a "Shirley Temple" at the club house :) My grandfather was always there for me, through the good and difficult times. I was closer to him that to my own parents.'

Please share one or two memories you have with that most important person from your childhood...

'When I was older, I got to know my grandfather at his work - he was the president of a bank in town. I used to go spend time with him there and watched the relationships that he built with his customers. He was the most generous, kind and gracious man. He ran the bank with such a sense of kindness - he knew all of his customers and their names and families, etc. I remember hearing stories from my mom about him, and his kindness to his customers during the depression when they couldn't pay their mortgages back. Eventually they all did, the bank never was in jeopardy and he retained his customers. A huge lesson learned.
My grandfather always encouraged me as a budding artist. I drew a picture of the grinch from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"one year and sent it to him. He loved it so much that he sent it off to a friend of his who was involved in some sort of production of the show - maybe the movie, if I recall correctly. At any rate, his friend took the time to write me a letter thanking me for the picture - I still have it to this day. That's the kind of act of kindness that my grandfather would routinely do - he knew it would make a difference in my life.'

Other than giving you a job, if I could grant you one wish to help you on your journey... what would it be? And why?

'Well, quite honestly, you have given me not only a job, but something I was really looking for....my one wish, if you will. I've had many jobs, and been quite successful, but never really had the right combination of factors in any one job that fed my soul. Working with you, in my present role gives me an amazing group of people to work with, a strong team, a challenge and the opportunity to learn new things....and then to teach them. But you've also given me a job that feeds my soul. There's days, like today, when we met with the potential new clients, that I could REALLY see how we can make a difference in people's lives. I was ready to be his caregiver :) And days when I do group sessions that I drive hope practically high from the joy that I've been able to give and receive.
So that's the wish I had...maybe couldn't have enunciated it so clearly till you gave it to me!'

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