This coming March, I will have been here for 32 years. When I first started at TLHA, I worked at Hope Residence as a Living Unit Assistant. I then became a Living Unit Coordinator and a Social Work/Program Manager, respectively, before becoming a Licensed Social Worker. When I first started working as a Social Worker, I split my time between Hope Residence and The Lutheran Home: Belle Plaine. I eventually transitioned fully to The Lutheran Home: Belle Plaine where I am still at today. A couple of years ago, I also spent some time at Kingsway Retirement Living when I filled in as a Social Events Coordinator.
Sarah is also a facilitator of the Alzheimer’s Support Group through the Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter. As a facilitator, Sarah helps families and community members cope with the challenges of having a loved one who is living with Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia.
Why did you choose TLHA?
At the time, I had just gotten engaged to my now husband. I was transitioning from Junior College to Minnesota State University-Mankato and I wanted to start my career. I just happened to land here at TLHA.
Tell us more about yourself.
I grew up in Jordan, Minnesota. I am now a Belle Plaine resident enjoying life in the country with my hubby. We enjoy spending time with our two grown children. A couple of our hobbies include growing large gardens in the summer and raising some pretty unique chickens. I graduated from Minnesota State University-Mankato with a Bachelor’s in Social Work. My daughter, Hannah, is now a Social Worker as well. In fact, she is working alongside me at The Lutheran Home. This is a great source of pride for me and I am grateful that the exposure she had growing up positively influenced her to go down the same path as I did.
What has been your fondest moment since you joined TLHA?
There are so many that I really cannot pick just one. The individuals that live here, their families and my coworkers really brighten my days. They are the reason I have stayed here so long.
What do you enjoy most about working at TLHA?
The opportunity of making the individuals that live here comfortable. I enjoy sharing my own experiences of giving comfort to other staff members and assisting them in making a difference in other people’s lives. It has also been a real honor being involved with culture change at The Lutheran Home. I do believe in the motto, “The only thing that should change when someone moves here is their address.” Residents and their families mean so much to me.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in working in this field?
Be open, flexible and learn from everyone you meet (i.e. staff, residents, families). I get so much more than I give. It is a privilege and honor to work with and share experiences with individuals and their families in this time of their lives.