Insightsthe blog of Porter Hills
Caregiver Spotlight – Shirley Evans: “My Second Family”
Shirley Evans loves her job as a care partner at Meadowlark Retirement Village in Sparta, and it shows. A 2017 recipient of LeadingAge Michigan’s Caring Spirit award, Shirley “has a very warm heart,” according to Life Enrichment Coordinator, Catherine Kuzma. “She genuinely cares about the residents’ wellbeing and will do everything in her power to provide for their needs.
Shirley says learning about the rich history of the residents is her favorite part of working at Meadowlark. “I love to hear about their lives and vocations,” says Shirley, including one resident who played piano and organ for silent movies as a teenager. “This generation is so appreciative and thankful for every single thing you do for them.”
Meadowlark utilizes the Household Model of care, which Shirley says has really helped staff get to know their residents. “It gives us more flexibility to attend to each resident’s needs and wishes. Because we care for the same residents each day, there is consistency and a feeling of trust that is so very important. They are my second family.”
With nearly 30 years of service at Meadowlark, Shirley is a highly regarded member of the team by residents and staff and has even cared for three generations of elders. Says Catherine, “Shirley is the one that other care partners go to for wisdom. She is very much valued here.”