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When someone asks, “Why do you do this kind of work?” I honestly couldn’t picture myself doing anything else. I have always been very passionate about healthcare my whole life and I have always known that I would be working in an industry that is in the business of helping people. Coming from the geriatric psychiatric world, I have fallen in love with people who are living with dementia. After watching my grandfather decline rapidly to end of life, I have made it my life goal to work with seniors and to come from a place of love, compassion, integrity, and empathy while doing so.
When I found CarePartners, I felt like I had finally found a company whose principles, values, and beliefs reflected my own. I was very impressed with how committed they were to their residents and their families. I had finally found a company who was willing to do whatever was necessary to not only meet the needs of their residents, but also exceed their expectations. I am happy to call CarePartners my home now and I believe in what we do.
I have worked in the Healthcare industry for the past 24 years. Originally from Idaho, I moved to Washington State in 1990 and have remained in this area because I enjoy the Pacific Northwest and all it has to offer outdoors with the 4 seasons. I began my career as a Certified Recreational Therapist in both Rehab and Psychiatric settings but soon discovered that my niche is actually working with the Senior population. In 2002 accepted my first position in Sales and Marketing, where I gained a lot of experience working in Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living, and Adult Family home settings. I have remained in the Sales role ever since, as I enjoy offering the support and guidance needed as people make life-changing decisions.
I find that working with the Senior population is particularly rewarding because elders in general are so appreciative of the relationships they establish and they are full of knowledge and experiences that I find very interesting. We have so much to learn from our Seniors because they have experienced hardships and challenges that our younger generation may never understand, nor will they ever witness. I enjoy hearing each person’s story, their life hurdles and what makes them unique. Taking the time to really get to know an elder and their family is important in guiding their life-changing decision to move into a retirement community. I truly feel that what is crucial for an elder and their family is to make sure the community is a “good fit” for them. What is most important are the relationships and connections they will make when choosing their new home and for them to feel comfortable in their decision-making process.
I am very excited to start working for Care partners! I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and being a part of what is already a great, solid team!
I have been asked many times in my career, “How do you do this every day? It must be depressing doing your job seeing seniors and their families frustrated and anxious about what to do next when a family member needs care or help.” My answers to them is that I love what I do. I meet some of the most amazing individuals and their families who are just looking for the best solution to their problems. I can help them.
It is a journey that I am very familiar with both professionally and personally. No one wakes up in the morning and starts their day with a list of things to do – grocery shopping, pick up dry cleaning, take the dog to groomer, shop for retirement/ assisted living/ dementia care, manicure, plans for Super Bowl Party. We all envision ourselves being healthy, active and living in our homes until we die.
One day we notice that things that we have done for years are becoming increasingly hard. We don’t have the energy to do everything, and our spouse is having the same difficulties. As an adult child, you notice that your parents are calling more for help, and you are feeling guilty because you just don’t have the time to spend with them to help them with all their needs. You and your siblings all work and have families yourselves. There just are not enough hours in the day to meet all the obligations and needs for you and your parents.
What do you do? Where do you start? Who can help me and are there others who are struggling with this same situation?
The good news is that you are on the right track in educating yourself as to what is available. Let me help you on your journey. I know that I can provide you with the necessary resources and assistance.
I didn’t search out the Senior Living industry, it found me! Since then, I have found so much joy in assisting families find the right resources and solutions for their loved ones. I’m beyond grateful to be able to continue to do that with a company like CarePartners!
It’s in my nature to take care of others. Then there’s my commitment to good old-fashioned customer service and communication. These are little things that make a big difference.
I know how important family is and consider mine my biggest success! When I’m not at work, you’ll most likely find me on the sidelines of a soccer field, working in my yard, or baking something in the kitchen.
Kelley R. Smith
You have to love what you do. And when you finally find a company that has your beliefs and your ethics…its a marriage made in Heaven! I’m proud to have 12 different solutions to help families that need Assisted Living and memory care. I love my teams and the caring, wonderful staff we work with every day.
CarePartners is HOME…
“To love someone is to learn their song and sing it to them when they have forgotten”
So often I have been told by resident’s families: “I could never do your job!” but I can’t see myself doing anything else! I moved to Idaho from Montana in 1993 and my first job was working at a nursing facility as a NAC. Many times, I would go to the social worker when our residents or their families had needs or questions that I could not help with. During my time working there I decided I wanted to have the knowledge and help others the way he was able to. I enrolled in the local college, got my Associates then my bachelors and then my masters in 2001. I have worked in a variety of settings from schools to mental health to community advocacy and made full circle back to working with the elderly.
It often is a very difficult decision for both the elderly person who needs more assistance and for their families to make the transition to an environment that is not their own home. It is very rewarding when I can ease their fears and see the relief in the family’s eyes knowing that their loved one is now in a safe place and getting the help they need.
I have a passion for helping others and providing them with the tools for their success. I love my job and the people I work with. I enjoy being that go-to person that everyone can come to even when it sometimes is just a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on.
I started my career fresh out of college, working with troubled and abused children. After seven very fulfilling years in that field, I resigned and spent the next years raising our three sons. In 2007, I began a seven year friendship with an elderly neighbor, George. He and his wife had been our neighbors, and when she died, he was bereft. I decided I wanted to be an encouragement to him. On a weekly basis for seven years, we spent time together. During the course of this extraordinary friendship, I realized his lack of knowledge of community resources had caused him to leave his home of 35 years prematurely, and move into assisted living. I thought I would like to find a job working with other seniors and give them companionship and help so that they could stay in their homes longer, preserving both their independence and their nest eggs. I discovered the world of in-home care, and spent 2 ½ years as a companion/caregiver to seniors in my city. Through my experiences there, I discovered the tangled web of care options, medical issues, family conflicts, and decision-making burdens placed on adult children who are often unprepared and unfamiliar with the complexity of senior care options. I expanded my experience in senior care by working as a leasing agent for a local senior apartment community and most recently, I was an activity professional for a wonderful senior living community. Along this journey, I fell in love with seniors like George in ways I could never have predicted. I have listened as seniors in my community expressed their determination to maintain their health, independence, social relationships and financial solvency in their later years. I want to continue helping seniors and their families find appropriate care environments and reasonably priced housing for their loved ones as they navigate this challenging journey together.
April J. Berube
Ever since I was a child, I remember growing up in a loving, caring, and compassionate senior care environment. My mother owned an adult family home, where I grew up to learn to respect, help, and love our residents while making sure they were able to keep their dignity. Our residents became like a family to me which has translated into me being very passionate to help people and to make a difference in this world. My passion with senior care comes from the way I raised and the importance on advocating for people who have no voice. I strive to be able to educate people on the importance of providing the best possible care for their loved ones, just as I would want the best possible care for my loved ones as well. Working for CarePartners has given me the opportunity to provide not only the ability to educate our seniors and their families, but the opportunity to provide the best possible care with respect, help, dignity, and love.
Beyond receiving the rewarding feeling that comes with working with the elderly, there is also a great sense of joy and encouragement. Every encounter is an adventure and a glimpse into the past! I adore listening to the love stories, all the accomplishments and sometimes tragedy but there is always perseverance. Each family brings something unique and I consider it a privilege to be able to serve the ones I meet at such a time in their lives.
Working with seniors is my life’s passion. It started when I was a student and would go with my school to the local nursing homes and sing for the residents. That introduction to the world of senior care made me want to learn more about our greatest teachers: our seniors.
At 14, I earned my first job in the world of senior care as a certified nursing assistant at a local nursing home. I continued my education, adding certifications as an activity director and dementia practitioner.
When a loved one receives a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or related dementia, they and their family start on a path that’s unique to them. They have so many questions around their care, quality of life, and ways that they can continue to enjoy life, family, and friends. I use the knowledge gained in my 16 years of experience in Alzheimer’s care to answer their questions and concerns and help them find the resources they need.
I’m excited to start my role at Care Partners and can’t wait to get to know the residents; to learn their life stories and partake of the wisdom they’ve earned through the years. I’m eager to help the residents of the community and their families to find the support and resources that will help them in their time of need.
The Senior Living Industry has brought so much to my life over the past 10 years. I have been in some form of sales and marketing throughout my career, and this is by far the most rewarding. Every family I guide through the process of assisting their family making a move touches my heart.
I have one son and two dogs that keep me busy while I am not at work. We love being active outdoors and near the water. Thank you for entrusting your family with us!
Growing up in the south, it was mandatory that we showed the utmost respect to every senior citizen that crossed our paths. That simple life lesson still rings in my ear today, especially when I’m working with families to find the “right” housing solution for their loved ones.
Although, earning a BS degree in Marketing at Christian Brothers University gave me the knowledge and skill set that I use daily. It’s the love & compassion I received from my grandparents & great-grandparents that makes my role at CarePartners more fulfilling.
I show-up to serve.
I show-up to help.
I show-up to listen.
I show-up to encourage.
Before and after every tour, meeting or phone call I often remember words Maya Angelou shared, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
It’s my heart’s desire to make families feel comfortable and confident that I’m here to walk this journey with them.
In addition to working in the Senior Living Industry, I find pleasure while reading, practicing yoga, writing, traveling, attending concerts, shopping and completing DIY projects.
My journey started over 30 years ago working in the Senior Care Industry as Social Service Director in skilled nursing. The past 6 have been in Assisted Living. Working with seniors has taught me that everyone has a story and to be mindful of that not only in working with seniors but life in general, and to be an active listener. My work continues to inspire me daily.
When I am not at work I enjoy sports, exercise, music, reading, baking and spending time with family.
I discovered my passion of working with seniors in 1985. My best friends father started one of the nations first assisted living communities in Clackamas, Oregon. I worked that summer out of a sales trailer and the following summers while attending college. I gave tours, cleaned apartments, taught aerobics, served in the dining room and anywhere else I was needed. After college I spent a few years in the mortgage industry. Though I enjoyed it, I didn’t experience the passion I had serving seniors, so in September of 1993 I accepted a sales position for a large senior living management company in Portland, Oregon. Since then, I have worked for 3 large senior living organizations, been a placement specialist helping families navigate through the many senior living and care options available and been an independent care manager.
I am thrilled to join the team at Care Partners. I love serving seniors and their families and at the end of the day am a better person for having met them.
I often like to think of 2019 as the year the trajectory of my career changed forever. After graduating Eastern Washington University in 2005 with a degree in Recreational Management, I dabbled in a myriad of career opportunities that included social services, banking, and a committed stay-at-home mom. Each one taught me valuable lessons that I cherish, but it was 2019 when I found my calling. Taking a job at a local senior center and eventually becoming its Assistant Director, serving the local generation of seniors who built this community became a passion. In between senior dances, lunches, and good old-fashioned games of Pinochle, I’d hear our seniors speak about the challenges of navigating this golden season of life. They routinely had the wisdom to make the right decisions but would often need just a little help. That’s why when the chance to join Care Partners and be the ounce of help they needed arrived, I jumped at the opportunity. To serve the generation of Spokane County seniors that built this community is an honor for which I will forever be grateful that they allow me to be a part of their story.
Having been in all these roles, I found that my true passion is connecting with people. I love to connect with care staff, who are the real superheroes of our community. Families who are making a tough decision about care of their loved one. And of course, residents who I get to make many small connections with throughout each day.
Seniors aren’t my only joy. I also love reading, golfing, traveling, and crafting.
Venetia Dela Cruz
My name is Venetia Dela Cruz and I have been in the Senior Living business for 7 years. My passion for the elderly stemmed from my upbringing.
I grew up in a loving household in an ancestral home with my great grandparents, grandparents, grand aunt and grand uncle. They have been a big part of my life and my career in senior living.
Every elderly that I have helped, I considered them as my own granpa/grandma. I always made sure to treat them with respect as well as their family members too as I have an understanding that every decision making cannot be easy.
I am grateful to be a part of CarePartners team who shares the same value as I do when it comes to taking care of our seniors and their love ones. I am ready to help you as you decide to experience a passionate, loving, and caring chapter of your life.
When I am not working I make sure to spend time with my husband, two sons and our dog. We enjoy watching movies, cooking and baking together, bowling, and traveling.
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