Meet Our Caregivers
Home Is Where The Heart Is
Donna Bast, a caregiver for St. John’s, has been caring for aging and elder clients for almost 20 years. Her caregiver career started out in a nursing facility where she quickly learned that she was limited in how she could help people feel comfortable in their new and sometimes scary surroundings. When she heard about St. John’s Home Services Program, she immediately knew that this is how people should be able to live out their last years and she joined the staff. Donna feels that having loved ones at home, in their own surroundings, helps them to avoid coping with the anxiety of transitioning to an unfamiliar lifestyle of a nursing facility. She loves the companionship of the folks for whom she cares. She enjoys all the stories they share with her about how they grew up and the challenges they overcame. Donna realizes the values that are important to her clients and accommodates. It might be enjoying conversation while preparing a simple meal together, something other family members are no longer able to provide. Family members of clients say that Donna has a special way of connecting with each of their loved ones, allowing them to be respected while being cared for with dignity and compassion.
A happy heart makes a face cheerful!
The smile is infectious and she has a sense of humor that will leave you laughing. Donna Carter is a Home Services Caregiver for St. John’s Community Care. She has been taking care of the needs of clients for several years with a joyful heart! Donna always has something funny to say or a way to brighten a room when she enters. It’s her gift and she gives it freely. Her smile brings a special kind of energy to her work along with her easy going personality. She is able to connect to clients and can quickly make them feel at ease and loved. Donna enjoys preparing meals and we know from her clients they really enjoy her recipes and even put in special requests for their favorite dishes. On a sunny day, you may see Donna taking one of her clients for a walk outside and right along with them will be the client’s dog and you can bet they will all be smiling!
Let’s sing to the Lord!
Joy Dalton is a Home Services Caregiver for St. John’s Community Care. She cares deeply for the aging and disabled and wants them to be cared for compassionately and given the freedoms and respect they have come to earn over the years. Her natural grace shines through in her patient communications and compassion to care. She loves to sing songs to clients that help lift their spirits, ease the anxiety and fears that so many dementia clients experience. Joy is very skilled in understanding and anticipating the needs of clients and has been described by client family members as a kind of natural anti-depressant! She believes it’s the small things that can make the biggest difference in the lives of clients and their family members.
Sharing courage – giving hope
When you meet Alma Matthews, a Home Services Caregiver for St. John’s, you will quickly learn how grounded she is in her faith and commitment to serving her clients. Alma knows that when a loved one suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s and is hospitalized for any length of time it can be a frightening experience for the family and the loved one.
When a loved one has a medical issue and is hospitalized or needs rehab at a nursing home is when Alma does her best work. She offers one-on-one patient observation that helps to encourage a positive recovery. We know from family members that they are relieved that Alma is with their loved one when they can’t be by their side. Alma is there to ease the loved one’s anxiety, and to help with things like feeding, grooming, and seeking assistance. She also talks with her clients and has a gentle way of making them feel at ease. Alma provides them the care they deserve, as well as peace of mind to the family members until their loved one returns home.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
At a young age Judy Mayhall had to cope with the pain of losing both parents. She was left with an emptiness that needed to be filled and so, at the age of 18, she chose to fill the void with compassion for elderly and aging. Judy has been a caregiver for many years and has been with St. John’s for the past 21 years. She knows and understands that her clients need to feel safe at all times and in control as much as possible. Judy creates options that help her clients make good choices. We know from family members of clients that, because Judy is true to her word and never tells their loved one something that is not realistic, they trust her. Even the basic things like bathing a loved one for a family member might be a struggle. The trust factor is apparent whether she is assisting a client with bathing or helping them to make necessary doctor appointments or taking them on their weekly errands. Her sense of reality and nurturing help clients stay focused on necessary tasks that sometimes may seem small to others, but necessary to staying independent …Judy does all of them all with great love and trust.
Touching hearts and souls.
JoAnn grew up adoring her Godmother and cared for her after she was diagnosed with dementia. To JoAnn’s delight she was able to care for her and give back the compassion she had received from her. You see, JoAnn’s Godmother was always there for her in good times and not so good times in her life. Her Godmother was a great listener who never judged JoAnn’s behavior and always prayed for her. JoAnn has always lived by these same values and uses them daily when caring for her clients. Every day is special. She takes time to listen to the people she cares for and she asks them what they would like to do or need to do to help them cope with the struggles of aging. JoAnn delights in making those requests happen! Her clients certainly feel special and loved. Some of the requests she is asked to do have included singing uplifting songs they remember, praying and asking for God’s blessings. One of her favorite things to hear is a client’s request for a special meal or snack. Preparing the table and the meal right in the client’s kitchen makes for great companionship and conversations. JoAnn feels she has been called to serve people and has a sweet spot in her heart for the aging and disabled. She is dependable and her smile is a constant beacon of hope to those in her care.