Our DSP this week is Twaminka. She has been with Living Well for three and a half years and primarily does overnight shifts at our Westchester home.
She is well loved by the people at the house and fills a critical role. Nights are not as exciting as day shifts where staff often accompany people on errands, adventures, and appointments. As a nonprofit who cares for people who need 24/7 care, we could not function or meet our mission without overnight staff. Paperwork, house cleaning, laundry, and general upkeep, as well as med passing, bed checks, pillow fluffing, bathroom visits and getting people settled after they wake too early, are tended to by dedicated staff like Twaminka who spend their nights with Living Well.
Program Manager, Julie Conrad, says, “Twaminka is a great advocate for the ladies and makes cleaning the house a priority. Twaminka is the go-to for open overnight shifts. Last winter when a snowstorm kept our daytime staff stuck in her parking lot, Twaminka came in to cover the shift. This was a huge lifesaver.” Julie lives 45 minutes away on a good day, so having a trusted resource for last-minute shift coverage is beyond appreciated. Juile adds, “She often trains in new staff that are hired for the overnight shift and is very helpful whenever there is a shift that isn’t getting covered. Twaminka jumps in and helps. She is a good advocate for the people we support and helps them voice their needs.”
Twaminka, we are grateful for your hard work and adore your willingness to work the dark and quiet nights. You help keep the house comfortable for the people who live, work, and visit Westchester.
Thank you for making a career out of caring. We appreciate you.
Number of years/months with Living Well: 3 years 5 months
Hobbies/Interests: I like to roller skate, sing, dance and read books.
Job Experience/History: I have a high school diploma and a Diploma in Business Technology. I have been doing PCA/direct care/home health care for about six years.
Favorite part of the job: The fun part of my job are the residents, putting a smile on their faces and helping them in any way I can.
Favorite or craziest work story: One of my favorite work stories is when I came in to work one day and I told my residents that I was going to be moving to another house, so I wouldn’t be working with them all the time but that I would come visit them and pick up from time to time. And they all said, ‘nope, you can’t, you are our Twaminka and we are not sharing you, so they can find somebody else or we are going with you.’ I couldn’t do anything but smile and laugh and cry, for me to know that I’m loved, and my residents really care about me. And for me to know I’m touching their hearts I’m doing my job.
What is your motivation for coming to work: My residents motivate me to come to work every day. I could be having a bad day, but as soon as I come in the door at Westchester, and I see Mary Ellen, my mood changes when she smiles and tells me, ‘my beautiful lady you got this you’re strong.’
What made you apply: I applied because I love working with people with disabilities and the elderly. Helping people is my joy—making a good impact in people’s lives feels good.
What would you tell people interested in joining the team: I would tell anybody to come and join the team at Living Well. It’s a nice team, and a great place to work.
When not at work what do you like to do for fun: When I’m not at work I go roller skating with my kids and family and my skating crew.
Do you volunteer in your community or school: I volunteer in my community once and a while with youth and single mothers.
Want to nominate a DSP? Please email email@example.com to nominate a Living Well DSP. Special thanks to Miles and Cheri Cohen for their support of DSP of Week. Want to join them in underwriting our DSP Shoutout Program? Please contact Devan Heinsen for sponsorship opportunities.