After working 14 years as a commercial artist, I returned to college at the age of 42 to study social work. I wanted to work with the frail, aging population – my goal was to become a BSW/ licensed social worker and to work for the Area Agency on Aging. But I found I liked studying and continued to finish a Master’s Degree in social work, specializing in both medical and geriatric clinical social work. I worked for Washington Regional Home Health and Hospice providing in-home social work services for cardiac, psychiatric, pediatric and general home health care throughout Northwest Arkansas. It was this work that taught me the importance of the home assessment and providing the right plan of care in the home. I then worked two years at Northwest Hospital’s acute rehabilitation unit as a case manager for Dr. Wayne Brooks, a great physiatrist and pain management specialist. In 1999 and 2000 I served as adjunct faculty for the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock teaching both medical social work and geriatric clinical practice.
My goal to work at the Schmieding Center for Senior Education was realized in 2002. As the director of community services I facilitated all groups, taught in caregiver education classes, wrote educational materials regarding dementia care, published educational materials on aging, lectured at many educational conferences, and helped to create the Schmieding care management program. When leaving the Schmieding Center I became the Program Manger of Faith in Action, a non-profit supported by Washington Regional Medical Center, which serves the aging homebound and disabled population who have no support to remain in the community. While interning at WRMC in 1995 I had helped design this great community service and it was an honor to return to provide these greatly needed services to the ageing who are alone and in need of support.
CareSupport Services, PLLC, was established in 2000 to provide many services. It has been my goal to create a community resource to provide care information and a directory of services for all of Northwest Arkansas. This web site will provide that service.
I also enjoy working with the aging and the disabled in their homes to create a care environment that will allow them to remain independent for as long as possible. I have seen the benefit of support, planning, education and care management for many years, serving many people, and I am pleased to be able to provide this service to our community. My goal for a client is to create a care plan which will provide the care and support they need to maintain the highest quality of life and independence in the least restrictive environment possible. I have also learned the importance of providing the CAREGIVER with supportive counsel, education on the disease process, access to respite care, and ongoing assessment of the caregiver’s emotional needs. Too often our medical community attends to the patient without considering the physical and mental stress of the caregiver. In my work with individuals who need care and their families, I always include a full assessment of the needs of the patient, the caregiver and the family system.
My husband Coy and I live on a farm west of Fayetteville. We share a love of horses, of riding and traveling with our great gaited horses and dogs. At our age we have many grandchildren who keep our lives interesting too! Bird watching and gardening are major interests and I am the past president of the Audubon Society of Northwest Arkansas. I have served on the state board of the National Association of Social Workers and also have many other community interests. Northwest Arkansas is a great place to live, and it is a pleasure to be able to work with so many elders of our communities.