Working with Heart

Caregiver Ellie Reisener celebrates Marisa Home Care’s 10th anniversary this year as one of the company’s original employees. Her thoughts on her career and on Marisa’s decade of success: 

“I am Ellie Reisener and I have been a caregiver for Marisa Home Care for 10 years, ever since the company began. I graduated from a nurse’s aide course I took through St. Mary’s Hospital in Livonia in 1974 and have been working in the field ever since. Once in a while, I veer off to try another line of work, but I always come back to the people who need assistance with daily living. 

Growing up, my mom was a geriatric social worker, and I think that was a big influence on the career I chose. I look forward to interacting with my older clients, whether it’s making them a meal or taking them for a walk. The key is flexibility; I don’t force my clients to do anything they don’t want to do, but I will try to motivate them!  

I believe it all has to do with compassion. You have to have a heart to have compassion. If one of my clients with dementia gets agitated I simply redirect with another activity, then return to what we need to do five or ten minutes later when they are calmer. I was an activities assistant for a sensory stimulation group and even Alzheimer patients who cannot communicate directly can respond to music, textures or someone reading aloud. There are always ways to reach someone with dementia or to help someone who is bedridden, and I am always looking for helpful solutions.

I have one client who just turned 100 and he likes to go for a walk every day, and I see to it that I make that happen. He’s waiting for me at the door when I show up for work and I can’t say “no we’re not going today.” I get him outside into the fresh air because he enjoys it and he counts on me — and that is part of my job.

If you’re going to make a career out of caregiving, you have to know exactly what you’re doing. Each one of our clients are different, and you should have some type of training and experience to back you up. I’ve worked for Christopher Corbett [co-founder and owner] at Marisa Home Care for 10 years and I never stop learning. I’ve taken a medical terminology class and an EKG technician course; everything helps when you are working with clients with so many different medical issues. Chris is very supportive–he has a big heart–and his wife Michelle Corbett [registered nurse and Marisa’s clinical director] is wonderful to work with. She is always available if I have questions about medication. No one should make guesses about meds!

Integrity is the reason I’ve worked for Marisa Home Care for as long as I have. They are good people who care about their employees and their clients. Compassion makes a big difference.”

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[Interested caregiver job applicants are welcome to apply online at http://bit.ly/MarisaCareers] 

Call us now at 248-354-7600.

Marisa Management