“She’s fun, she makes working in the Memory Care fun, which is a tough job,” says Mary Bryan, nurse manager at Waukesha’s Linden Court, “residents respond very well to her.”
This fun loving and joyful team player is none other than Waukesha’s Care Partner of the Quarter, Certified Nursing Assistant, Deangela Harris. “I love the teamwork here, I love the compassion that the care givers and manager have shown me,” she shares, “it made me feel right at home.”
Starting in 2019 with LindenGrove’s Nursing Pros, Deangela’s cheerful personality and positive attitude quickly won over both her co-workers and residents. “She brightens it up,” says Mary Bryan, “not everyone is always pleasant to work with, but she’s funny – even when I’m having a bad day, she’ll just do something, and I look at her and just laugh.” Her charisma in contagious, “We have a couple of residents here that really love to dance and model, when I see them walking with their walker I say, ‘Show me how you would walk as a model’ – just engage them, bring a smile to their face.” Deangela beams. “I’m just an outgoing person, so I just want to bring to them out of their shell, make them comfortable and bring a smile to everyone.”
At age 14, Deangela began working at a grocery store handing out samples to customers. With her drive and determination, she rapidly advanced to the assistant manager, however retail wasn’t her calling. “When I first started, it was to help my grandmother; I have a passion to help elders,” she reflects, “My goal is to strive to help others learn more about memory care. I’ve been working in the memory care field for about 7 years now and sometimes it can be a very difficult field.”
Embracing the difficulties, Deangela finds her career path very rewarding, “It can be a challenging job, but the thing that stands out is being able to see the bright moments that you can see in the residents,” she explains, “Being able to engage with them and find out their stories before this horrible disease took over their life. When you see them having challenging moments you just help them to return to the light. It will give you a different perspective on life and just be more joyful and live in the moment, be happy for the light that you share because sometimes peoples’ circumstances change.”
Sharing that light with her co-workers is just as important, “I love my team here,” she says, “they’re very helpful. It’s like we’re on the basketball team and when the ball is not in our court, we’re just always there to assist each other and to make sure that everything runs smoothly. We come together in difficult times; we always have each other’s back.” Her supervisor, Mary Bryan agrees, in her nomination application she wrote, “Deangela is a great team player, has a good attitude and is very reliable. She has a good rapport with residents and their families, and she goes above and beyond to engage the residents.”
Upon receiving the Care Partner of the Quarter recognition, Deangela says, “I wish that we could all share it, all my co-workers because we all have a key part that we bring to LindenGrove that have us all stand out together as one – I would love to nominate all of my co-workers because we all work really hard.”
Congratulations to Deangela Harris for being nominated as LindenGrove Waukesha’s Care Partner of the Quarter! Your positivity brightens everyone’s day!