Malissa is an example of what career advancement can look like at Help at Home. She started as an administrative assistant at the office in Erie, PA, but her supervisors quickly realized that she could take on more responsibility. She became a care coordinator – and then a case manager. Who knows what she will do next!
“I will go as far as they will let me go in this company,” Malissa said. “I believe heart and soul in this company.”
Malissa appreciates that the work they do allows people to live independently at home longer than they would without in-home care.
“I really enjoy interactions with the clients. I know we help people in the community every single day. Every day, we are helping someone who wouldn’t be able to get a meal or get to the bathroom without us. That’s what fills my cup. I enjoy helping people.”
From administrative assistant to case manager
In her first role as administrative assistant, Malissa would take care of administrative tasks at the office – including sending birthday cards to all of the clients on their birthday. When she became a care coordinator, she got to be more involved in bringing both clients and caregivers on board with the company. She would do home visits – when COVID precautions allowed – to make sure Help At Home understood what help the client needed. Some people only need help with things like laundry – while others need help getting out of bed or fixing meals.
She would also coordinate new caregivers as they were getting background checks and being trained.
In her current case manager role, she has more day-to-day management decisions and she ensures that caregivers are scheduled that can meet the needs of the client. This can be challenging when schedules have to shift to accommodate a scheduled day off or a caregiver’s illness.
Sometimes that can be a bit like solving a puzzle – figuring out the mix of issues that can affect a placement. Some clients need help dressing – and so they want a caregiver the same gender as they are. Some clients need help running errands or going to the doctor – so they need someone who can help with transportation options. Whatever the challenges, case managers work to ensure that the caregivers and clients are matched thoughtfully.
A career that makes a difference in people’s lives
One of the most rewarding parts of the job is checking in with clients once every week or so, to ensure that everything is going well. While there is important information Malissa needs to get from these calls, she tries to always start by just asking how the person is doing – and really listening to their answer. One day recently, one of the clients said that Malissa’s calls were a highlight of her week. “That touched my heart,” Malissa said.
Somedays – particularly during the worst of the COVID pandemic – there were challenging scheduling situations – as caregivers’ schedules were affected by illness. Even if some days were harder than expected, Malissa finished the day knowing that she had made a difference for people who depended on Help at Home.
The team spirit that existed at Help at Home meant that everyone pitched in to get clients covered. “My fellow employees weren’t just there for the paycheck,” she said. Instead, they were motivated to help people live as independently as possible where they wanted to be – at home.
“I immediately loved this place,” she said. “Everyone cared. I’ve never seen such good communication. We were all in the same boat together.”