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 Nelson Kabue, LPN, operator of Orchard Adult Care Home in Multnomah County. Please read below to learn more about Nelson.
Tell us a bit about your background and what lead you to work in care and service.
I relocated from Kenya in October 2012. I initially lived in Seattle, Washington. After a while, I settled down and started hustling for a job to be able to make ends meet, and I did not know much about healthcare. After some advice, I noted how as an immigrant I needed to work extra hard. One of my friends introduced me to CNA classes, but I had to come up with $500, of which I did not have as I had used all of the money processing travel documents. I ended borrowing and enrolled into a CNA class in Federal way, WA. I graduated and got a job in a skilled nursing facility home in Renton and had a second job in Federal Way.
One day, my host requested me to visit one of her friend’s homes, and so I agreed and accompanied her. Once there I noticed that this family works from home at their own schedule and I was so amazed, as I was overworking myself with two jobs and no time for myself. It was then in my heart I decided this is my dream, and the idea of owning a care home was born.
After a few months, I decided to relocate to Boston, Massachusetts and got a job in a skilled nursing care facility. While in Boston, I was lucky to meet the love of my life, Josephine, and I was able to share my dream with my love. Josephine supported me by encouraging and supporting me to enroll in nursing school, as she was already a nurse herself and graduated in 2017 as an LPN. I worked at a skilled rehab in Massachusetts and acquired skills like tube feeding, catheter care, wound care, diabetic management including insulin, dementia care, stroke care, and more.
It was then in my heart I decided this is my dream, and the idea of owning a care home was born.
Why did you decide to start your own adult care home?
While working as a nurse in long-term care, I discovered that I was not able to give attention to all my patients and advocate for their needs to their doctors. This issue bothered me for a long time, as I could not feel as I was meeting their needs. This was not attaining my goal as a nurse.
I felt having a care home with few clients was a noble idea, as I would be able to advocate for patients, tailor client care plans, be able to monitor clients, and communicate with doctors and get feedback in a timely manner and take action without delay. I also loved the idea of working at home and being able to apply my skills at home while still being there for my family.
Tell us a bit about what you have learned running your own care home business.
Having and running a care home needs a lot of dedication. Its not always easy but I love that it gives me the autonomy to meet each client’s needs immediately. I am able to provide person-centered care as I only can have five clients for whom I am able to dedicate more time to rather than when I was employed in a big facility. I have actually surprised myself in seeing that I have leadership and management skills that I doubt would have been explored had I not opened my own home.
Having and running a care home needs a lot of dedication. Its not always easy but I love that it gives me the autonomy to meet each client’s needs immediately.
What do you believe makes the adult foster care home model of care unique?
The adult foster home model is unique because we are able to provide medical care in a homelike environment, which is quite comforting for residents. This is especially so when time comes that one has to chose a care home, or when families have to send their mom or dad to a care home, they feel comforted because the setup is just like a home. Residents are able to continue with their day-to-day activities in a homelike and safe environment where 24hr care is available. At the same time we are promoting independence safely.
Residents are able to continue with their day-to-day activities in a homelike and safe environment where 24hr care is available.
What do you love most about the work you do, and is there anything else you would like us to know about you?
What I love most is the satisfaction I get when I see a resident move in to our home, settle in, and blend in with other residents and begin to regain some of their strength back. I love the joy and contentment I see in the faces of residents' families when they know their family member is well taken care of.
Also, I am a father of two girls, ages 5 and 8 years old, and I love sports - especially soccer and basketball.
Orchard Adult Care Home: A Serene Place to Call home
Where Seniors and Adults with Disabilities Receive the Care and Respect they Deserve