Imagine this: you are a young woman in an exciting transition, preparing for a two-year Spanish- speaking mission in New Mexico with your church. You have given your 2-weeks’ notice to your employer and are busy with final details. Then you get a call from your Case Manager. They have a new client who needs service immediately. The shifts begin at 4 AM every day. They know it is an unlikely assignment for you, but wanted to at least offer it to you since she lives in your area.
If you are Danielle Wilcoxson, your answer would be something like this: If it would help you to get this new case stabilized, I would be happy to do it for my remaining two weeks. This would give you time to find the right person, and in the meantime I will take care of her.
This month, we honor Danielle as our Caregiver of the Month for November. We think you can tell a lot about a person’s character and commitment by how they act when they are on their way out the door and have nothing to gain personally from going the extra mile for a client and an employer!
Danielle has served Cascade Companion Care since July 2011. She has won high praise from her Case Managers for her sensitivity to all kinds of clients. Rachel comments that “Danielle is very kind-hearted with a sweet, caring spirit. She adapts to each client. She is dependable, willing to fill in last minute and always eager to help however she can. Her clients really appreciate and value her.” Jodi also remarked on Danielle’s dependability, promptness, and readiness to serve even less desirable shifts. For one client, she was willing to drive from Marysville to Shoreline to help a client through a difficult period.
Danielle has served clients with cognitive impairment, physical disabilities, and those requiring end-of-life care. On one occasion, she noticed that a client she was serving seemed to be increasingly depressed. She coaxed her through some initial reluctance to go on a scenic drive. She bought her a milkshake. The client’s mood changed significantly, and she told Danielle that she hadn’t been out of the house for three weeks! This is the kind of caregiving that is not just checking tasks off a care plan list, but carefully attuned to what a client’s needs really are and ready with a sensitive response.
It’s not often that we would honor a caregiver whose last day is in three days! We can’t think of a better send-off in Danielle’s case, however. Please join us not only in congratulating her for excellence in caregiving, but in wishing her Godspeed for her travels. Someday she will return to this area, and she will have a job waiting for her!