26 Jul 39 years and lucky
by Lynn Feldman, Director of Supported Living Program
I came to New Hope as an Occupational Therapist with three years of experience in acute care. As a young professional, long term care was not considered the route to go, so I assumed I would only be here a few years to gain experience. Thirty-nine years later I am still here, having found what cannot be adequately described. I cannot consider it a “calling”, maybe I was just lucky. I was lucky to have found a job that has given me so much joy, a sense of belonging, and an opportunity to be creative and to grow.
Joy comes from the individuals we serve. It comes from a smile, a conversation, a shared joke. It comes from knowing each as a friend with hopes, dreams, ideas and personalities. How many people can go to a job every day for 39 years and find joy?
New Hope is one big family (staff and clients). The staff are there for each other, offering support, assistance and encouragement when needed. The job is about people; as such it does not always run smoothly like a factory line. It has bumps and unexpected issues – as a family we work together to meet these challenges. This family includes the individuals as well. The advantage of long term care is getting to know one another and having shared memories. How many people have a job where they know they are not in it alone?
New Hope strives to be the best provider of care for individuals with disabilities. We do a fantastic job but can always do better. Questions like how can we reduce falls, ensure the best training for staff, meet the emotional or physical needs of an individual require us to re-evaluate current practices, develop new programs and look at a topic from a new angle. New Hope encourages open discussion and new ideas. How many people have a job where their ideas and perspectives are welcomed?
So, 39 years has brought me joy, friendship and growth. Not too many people can say that about a job. I am lucky.