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We have so much to be thankful for

November 25, 2014 | Mark Woodka


Thankful for our caregivers Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday each year.  It is about family togetherness, good friends, great food and reflecting on all we have to be thankful for, regardless of how difficult the year may have been.  Since we founded OnShift I frequently think about our nation’s caregivers at this time of year and the hard and, all too often, thankless, job they perform when taking care of our nation’s seniors. 

While I have met many caregivers working with our customers over the past few years, this year was different.  This time it was much more personal because my mom moved into an assisted living facility.  Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer and had to have half of one of her lungs removed.  After the surgery Mom didn’t bounce back as well as we had hoped.  She had been healthy as a horse for her first 83 years but the surgery and recovery knocked her back a bit. 

After spending some time in a skilled nursing facility we made the decision that she could no longer live at home alone.  Mom did fine in the skilled nursing center but when we moved into the assisted living community it hit her hard; she realized she wasn’t going home.  The staff did a tremendous job helping her settle in and are always warm, kind and gentle.  Mom continued to struggle and was heading towards needing a two person transfer because she had not kept up with her walking.  If we couldn’t get her back to a one person transfer she was going to have to move back to the skilled nursing center and none of us wanted that.  The Executive Director, caregivers and therapists rallied and put a plan in place to get Mom back on track, and they did just that.  Mom was able to stay and is better physically, and she is in the best emotional shape since having her lung surgery.

So this Thanksgiving, while I am thankful to all the caregivers everywhere, I am especially thankful for the entire staff at Emeritus at Oak Ridge and my sister for all taking such great care of my Mom and helping her transition to, and stay in, assisted living and making what could have been a very difficult move as smooth and warm as possible.  My mom has found her new home there, and we couldn't have asked for anything more.

Top photo by worradmu from Freedigitalphotos.net  

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About Mark Woodka

Mark Woodka is CEO of OnShift and has over 25 years of experience in enterprise software sales and marketing, having worked for startup organizations as well as Fortune 500 companies. He often leverages his extensive background in technology-enabled process improvements speaking at industry conferences as well as authoring articles on long-term care trends and issues.

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