We want to continue to highlight the work of our amazing adult foster care home providers in Oregon.
Matt Gannon spent some time talking with Provider Holly Green, owner of High Lakes Care Homes in Central Oregon. Please read below to learn more about Nurse Holly.
How long have you worked in the adult care home business?
We were fortunate to open our first home in Sisters, Oregon in 2019.
I studied for my nursing degree at Mt. Hood Community College, which then lead me to work as an ICU Nurse in Portland at the Vibra Specialty Hospital. I later worked as a Nurse Manager in skilled nursing rehabilitation. I also spent time as the director of nursing for a memory care community in Bend.
My nursing career began with falling in love with the elderly. Having been in positions to get to know and care for many elderly patients/residents, this made me realize how much I appreciate serving elders; however, I also realized I couldn’t totally give the best care to each of them like I wanted and how I believed they deserved. Sad but true, but when there are too many people in one place needing quality care and you cannot commit to real one-on-one time, you are always left feeling you wished you could have done more.
I was then mentored by another licensed care home provider about how nice it is to care for people in care homes, so I became intrigued. We eventually pursued an adult foster care home in Central Oregon and seized the opportunity to make it ours. That decision has allowed our care team to serve people in the one-on-one way I’ve wanted all along. We opened our second home in Bend, Oregon in February 2021. Both of our homes are licensed as level 3 adult foster care homes.
What do you believe makes adult foster care homes special?
Providers are able to specialize by having a one-on-one all-around service of care. We don’t have to only focus the work on tasks alone, we also are a part of the meaningful activities for our residents, the food they like, the people in their lives who are important to them, and we create individualized care plans specifically for their best interests, in their home-based environment. This makes their experience of care more fulfilling.
What do you love most about the work you do?
What I love most is when you are consistent with care, and really get to know each of the residents for who they are, you are then in a position to give to them the time they require - it is so rewarding. When we first opened, we had five residents who were all on hospice. With enough time and consistent good care from our team, each resident no longer needed hospice and was discharged.
This was a real example of how giving the necessary time to patients or residents, wherever you may work, can really benefit everyone involved. The choice we made to become care home providers has allowed me to be a nurse in the way I always hoped for, where people become more than patients or residents: they become more like family.
...when you are consistent with care, and really get to know each of the residents for who they are, you are then in a position to give to them the time they require - it is so rewarding.
What do you believe makes someone’s work successful?
Self-care - by being a model of self-care to my team so they know I understand how vital it is and how important it is to me to support their own self-care. If a caregiver is burnt out, everyone loses and it is not fair to them or anyone else. When a caregiver feels they are being taken care of, they can reach their full potential. If they feel taken advantage of, you cannot expect them to perform at a higher level.
We decided our starting wages will always be at the top or above the going rate for caregivers. In order to do so, we had to position ourselves to be a highly-rated and respected adult foster care home people want to live in (with an ongoing resident waitlist). We also tell residents and their families from the beginning that all care costs are at a flat rate. There are no extra add-on charges after move-in. We find they appreciate it more this way because it assists in their comfort level and understanding of what a good and fair price is and will remain to be over the course of time. This erases the unpredictability of costs.
Anything else you’d like us to know about you?
I have learned how having a super supportive partner, family and friends makes all of the difference, and how none of this would be possible without the backing and assistance of my husband who cares for our children and our overall home in such a supportive way. By intentionally building a small village of family and friends who understand the sacrifice our work demands, I can be successful, which ultimately means our team and residents, our entire family, we are all successful, together.
By intentionally building a small village of family and friends who understand the sacrifice our work demands, I can be successful, which ultimately means our team and residents, our entire family, we are all successful, together.
About the Author
Matt Gannon is a consultant & provider services coordinator with Oregon Care Home Consulting & Training.