By Steve Whitaker
Being a compassionate and effective caregiver is an innate gift – if not a calling. Wesley Homes Home Health’s Steve Foss, NAC* [Nursing Assistant Certified], is an excellent example of putting his calling into action.
Steve’s path to becoming a certified caregiver began when his mother was in need of care. He was her caregiver for three years. Steve recalled that he wasn’t perfect. He made mistakes, but two vital points became clear to him: he had a real knack for being a caregiver, and he wanted to be more educated and formally trained.
His training goal was achieved about a year and a half ago, and soon after he began providing in-home care at Wesley Homes Lea Hill. Steve appreciates the training he’s received through Wesley Homes. “In-home care is a very important part of Wesley Homes’ services, and they have given me the tools to be a better caregiver,” said Steve.
As a Home Health NAC, Steve provides a wide variety of care to people on and off campus. Providing support, developing relationships, offering opportunities for independence in a safe environment and assisting in the adjustment process are vital roles that a well-trained NAC performs every day. Steve enjoys all aspects of being an NAC and strives to let his clients know that they have value.
Escorting clients to Wesley Homes’ salt water and therapy pools for low-impact exercise is one of Steve’s responsibilities. He also provides transportation for people shopping at Costco, to hair appointments and to the pharmacy. He assists people in getting ready for their day, provides in-home care after surgery and even takes care of pets.
Steve also enjoys learning how to work with varying personalities and client needs. He has learned there are two specific challenges when working alongside men and people with dementia. On occasion, providing care to men takes diplomacy. A client’s strong desire for independence can come across as stubbornness, adding another level of emotional care to a client’s recovery. However, Steve loves the successes that occur.
Caring for people affected by dementia is intriguing to Steve because he can observe how brains process information. “Communication can be difficult, but when a connection is made — that is wonderful,” said Steve.
Steve loves providing in-home care and feels Wesley Homes is an incredible place with wonderful residents and staff. “Everyone is so caring; it is a great environment in which to work,” said Steve.
If you feel called to be a part of the Wesley Homes team and provide quality service like Steve Foss, apply at wesleyhomes.org
*In Washington State, certified nursing assistants use the job title “nursing assistant – certified”.