ElderPlace PACE caregivers shine through

January 31, 2024 Rika Bering

Stranded TriMet bus blocks streetWhen an ice storm threatens to disrupt the lives of the frail elderly in our care, the dedication and resilience of ElderPlace PACE caregivers shine through.

Caregivers wore many hats and stepped in to help wherever needed. They did it for the love and compassion for those in their care, but also to ease the concerns of fellow caregivers who faced obstacles in reaching their workplace. Teamwork, a willingness to work long hours, and the ability to flex and troubleshoot to get things done, averted emergencies and ensured our participants received needed care.

We want to recognize these caregivers for their extra effort:

  • The phones at our Laurelhurst site—the link between PACE participants stuck at home and their primary care team at five of our sites—had to be turned on. To do this, Resident Services Assistant Andrea Marchant left home extra early to get to work. She crawled along at 10 mph, navigating treacherous back roads, and cutting through parking lots to avoid roads blocked by stranded cars, downed trees, and even a stranded TriMet bus, before finally reaching her destination. 
  • Transportation Patient Supervisor Michael James booked rooms in local hotels so his drivers would be available for urgent trips. Drivers Misty McCray, Ramon Mayor Chacon, and Greg Maclean rotated 12–14-hour shifts, and were often the sole vehicles on the road. They provided crucial transportation for caregivers to our sites and for participants with urgent medical needs.

ElderPlace at Glendoveer Residential Care Facility: 

  • Sadal Singh drove staff for swing, NOC and day shift, making sure that all staff had safe transport into the facility. He essentially placed himself "on-call" for everyone. 
  • Jen Young, day shift med aide, transported swing and NOC shifts, sacrificing her own sleep to make sure Glendoveer had appropriate staffing (very critical for our frail population). 
  • Fiori Bereketab frequently stayed the night and worked doubles to ensure consistent staffing and med aide coverage. 
  • Rahila Juya and Bisrat Habtu worked doubles and graciously stayed beyond the end of her shifts to make sure everyone had their needs met before she headed home. 
  • April Sedillo and the North wing staff worked feverishly to move a participant when his building flooded from a burst pipe. He was screened, accepted, and moved in (including setting his room up with proper safety equipment) in less than 24hrs, a task that normally takes days or longer to accomplish.
  • Claudia Allen. clerical assistant, and April Sedillo, administrator, stepped in to wash and deliver laundry so residents had clean clothes to wear. 
  • GV Kitchen Staff (Teera, Francisco, Kurt, Hadas, Reetu and Wan) all made it in consistently and car-pooled with one another to make sure they got to work safely. They also problem solved and planned their way through two missed food truck deliveries, adjusting menus to ensure that the residents still had hot meals.

ElderPlace at Cully Residential Care Facility: 

  • James Harrison, lead activities aid, drove staff to and from work. 
  • Iliana "Evelyn" Gonzalez Chavez, resident services coordinator, and Elida Martinez Menchaca, clerical assistant, made it in each day and helped cover critical tasks for fellow caregivers who could not make it in. 
  • Woini Gebrehiwet caught cabs to work to make sure all laundry was done.
  • Daniel Yohannes, Meaza Araya, and Ama Kofi covered their own shifts and those of others who could not make it in, making sure all meals were prepped and out for residents. 
  • Multiple staff crawled from the street to the front door because the parking lot was solid ice. Caregivers wore socks and masks on their shoes for traction. 
  • Caregivers extended their shifts, waiting for others to arrive when it took hours to get an uber or cab. 
  • Tara Wagner- Yoshiwara stayed up for all shift changes and supported staff by arranging transportation.

ElderPlace at Irvington Village Assisted Living Facility:

  • Tina Maslen slept at IRV for four nights and was indispensable in supporting morning time dining room needs.
  • Jeannie McMullen stayed on-call for challenging staffing coordination.
  • Michelle Pearia: helped transport fellow caregivers for work shifts and was back up for caregiver tasks.
  • Grace Ngere: Made it to work all week using public transportation and navigating icy sidewalks. 
  • Debra Macky, Ricky Carter, Ed Quinones, Micah Mitchell never missed a beat in supporting the kitchen the entire week.
  • RN Jean Rosetto, LPN Delia, all of the RSA and Lead RSAs made it to most, if not all, of their shifts. Many stayed a night or two at Irvington Village to ensure staffing was available.
  • All of IRV’s housekeeping staff were communicative, flexible and willing to support residents in whatever manner necessary.
  • John Donahue transported staff when cabs and Lyfts weren’t available.
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