Our Nurses Are Not Just for Our Residents, But for Their Families Too

No one knows better than our nurses the importance of having that special connection with families of the residents in a senior living community. No one has put it more aptly than Chelsey Hill, one of the team of nurses who serves families as well as residents in our Memory Care neighborhood.  “Right away I let families know I am their eyes and ears when their loved one is new to our community. When families see and understand that there will be a new normal for everyday living in Memory Care, when they see the routine for the first time, when I can reassure them that their parent or spouse will be totally looked after and fine, they gain a sense of comfort and confidence. That’s as important to me as it is for them,” explains Chelsey. 

Chelsey directed her path toward nursing right away upon high school graduation. Her grandmother was a young “50-something” who needed rehab at a skilled nursing facility. Chelsey saw there were some nurses who provided good care but a few others had a need to improve. She says she saw how important it was to be and to act like family—to be an advocate for a patient.  She thought that if she was going to train to be a nurse, then she would absolutely be the best she could be, not only for herself, residents and families, but also for the profession. 

“Especially in Memory Care we have to be an extension of their families, we have to care about our residents as unique individuals. In Memory Care residents can sense when they are new and someone/we are there to provide the comfort they need as they adjust to the new environment.  During the restrictions of visits due to Covid-19, more than ever, it was vital that our residents felt the sense of family.  Families depended on us in that same way, that we would treat residents as if they were family,” she notes. 

“The responsibilities as a nurse in Memory Care leads me to being honest and open about medical conditions; whether it’s time to make an appointment with a physician, whether a condition is stable or changing, residents and families want to know what I think could be happening with their health,” explains Chelsey.  “Residents want to depend on nurses to talk with family, they feel more secure knowing we can communicate and update their families.” 

Chelsey had not served in Memory Care prior to her current position; she was assigned wherever needed during her first year at Residences at Coffee Creek. “I had this sense of doing what I am supposed to be doing when I began to create relationships in Memory Care,” she says and notes that meeting a former teacher whose parent she was now caring for made a huge difference. “She had confidence in me working with her mother that I didn’t even have in myself at the time.  She told me she was calm and peaceful as well as confident knowing that I was working with their family.” 

One of the most humbling recollections Chelsey recalls,  is when the family of a recent resident who had passed contacted her personally to attend the memorial service and luncheon. “They introduced me to their entire family and all the while I kept thinking ‘I’m just her nurse.’” 

Chelsey is indeed more than “just a nurse.”  She is an energetic young woman with a purpose and a very full life.  Not only will she graduate as an RN in May, but she and her fiancé David have wedding plans.  They have a new home in Westville, and she says “We’re going to celebrate us” with a trip to Key West to be close to family as well. The couple has “fur babies” Milo the cat and a German Shepherd dog.  They are self-described “foodies”, trying out new restaurants and dishes and craft beers, and are especially fond of going into Michigan to try new venues. They are also “pool bums” who love tubing and boating as well.  

The energy and passion for family that comes so naturally for Chelsey makes such a difference for so many who live at Residences at Coffee Creek.   She is more than “just a nurse” to residents and their families—she is a trusted advocate and a compassionate connection who truly believes she is “in the right place.” We’re proud she’s a valued member of our team! 

Note:  If you or someone you know is an LPN, RN, CNA and shares the gift of caring for others, please contact us at 219-921-5200 to arrange an interview.  We’re looking for the very best to join our team! 

Click here to view our open positions and apply online!

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