Staff Spotlight: Joyce Bardwell

March 26, 2015 - Serving Seniors

Joyce has been with Serving Seniors for 17 years in the food services department.  ShJoycee’s hard to miss with her boisterous laugh, sassy personality and ear to ear smile. As a dedicated, long-time employee, Joyce knows our clients very well and they are all quick to express their fondness of her.  Part of her job is delivering meals to home-bound seniors who have come to rely on and look forward to her visits. She says, “The most rewarding aspect of my job is that I take pride in our organization, what we stand for and serving our seniors.”

Over the years, she’s had countless memorable experiences but she’ll never forget the time she found one of her clients badly injured from falling and unable to get up.  Joyce called for emergency help which promptly arrived and transported the client to a nearby hospital.  Without Joyce’s visit, it’s uncertain how long she would have lied there without help. Most of our seniors don’t have much, if any, familial support and outside of visits from our drivers they have very little social interaction.

After spending three months in the hospital recovering, Joyce’s client called her immediately and thanked her for saving her life.  “It made me feel like I have a real impact on our seniors’ lives. I love my job and I’m part of a great team of people,” she adds.  Unfortunately, stories like these are not uncommon and they illustrate the importance of the work our team does, especially for those seniors who are isolated.  Thank you, Joyce, for your commitment to our seniors and for brightening their days and ours for the past 17+ years!

Staff Spotlight: Marissa Mackiewicz

March 13, 2015 - Serving Seniors

Marissa Mackiewicz is a Registered Nurse and the Geriatric Care Coordinator at our014 downtown Wellness Center. She works directly with at-risk senior clients to educate and empower them to take control of their health and to promote healthy aging.  She has been with us for over two years and is currently pursuing her PhD in Nursing Science from the University of San Diego.  We are so pleased to highlight Marissa and the gentle yet powerful way she impacts the lives of seniors every single day.

Q & A with Marissa:

What interests you about working with seniors?

I love working with seniors because they have really lived!  They have so much valuable and interesting life experience.

Share one of your most memorable or impactful client stories.

I work with a gentleman who had a massive stroke about 30 years ago and his right arm remains somewhat paralyzed.  When I met him I wasn’t entirely sure what we needed to work on but since I’ve been seeing him, his nutrition has improved, he has quit smoking, he lost the weight that he gained as a result of quitting and he started a daily exercise routine.  We’ve worked on other things like understanding his health insurance and following up with medical referrals and scheduling appointments with specialists.  He also has a new cane, which is a bit unique, but perfect for the deficits in the range of motion with his arm.  Oh, and who can forget his first cell phone? It has been an absolute joy for both of us to learn how to text from a not-so-smart phone all over again.  Our next conquest is related to his dental health.  We are both anxiously awaiting his new teeth!

Every day I have small success stories and that’s what really keeps me going every day.

Why is your role as Geriatric Care Coordinator so important?

Sometimes you need someone to turn to and no matter what the issue is, I will do my best to help and if I cannot help directly, I am ever so determined to find someone who can.

Marissa’s passion for wellness and sense of humor are very much appreciated and we are fortunate to have her on our team.  Thank you, Marissa!

Volunteer Spotlight: Debbie Nelson

March 5, 2015 - Serving Seniors

The fabulous Debbie Nelson has been volunteering her time and energy to Serving Seniors for the past 15 years! We are so fortunate and grateful to have volunteers as wonderful and dedicated as Debbie.  Here’s what she has to say about Serving Seniors:

What motivates you to continue volunteering with us after 15 years?

I love seeing the smile on the seniors faces, visiting with them, listening to their stories when they want to share. I meet new seniors every month, and some of them I have seen for years now. Being a volunteer means more than just showing up and assisting in the task – it’s about being there and being able to serve and say hi, how do you do, enjoy your lunch today. I also love coming to the Wellness Center to catch up with the other volunteers who have been serving for awhile now.

Why should others consider volunteering with Serving Seniors?

It is a very rewarding feeling when you get involved with the senior community, but it’s more than that. You’re making friends, talking, and laughing with them. Not everyone can afford to give money but there is no doubt everyone can afford to give a little time.

What is your fondest memory of serving seniors at the Wellness Center?

I actually cannot name just one, there are so many, but the ones that stand out are the show of appreciation from the seniors when they clap their hands as the volunteers walk in to start serving lunch and when then they thank you in their sweetest voice with a smile when they are being served.  These things tug at my heart and it is always a joy to be of service to them.

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Thank you, Debbie!  We hope you grace us with your presence for yet another 15 years.

Interested in volunteering with Serving Seniors? Check out our Volunteer page!

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