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Client Stories

Being Present Ignites a Spark

Mary Schenack and Vicki CondonSparking lives doesn’t happen overnight. There’s a process that takes place before you open yourself up to another person and trust them with your wishes, goals and fears about aging.

Mary Schenach has formed a bond with her Nurse Care Manager that has changed their relationship from nurse to surrogate daughter.’ Mary says of her Nurse Care Manager, ‘she’s my eyes and ears and I count on her for everything.’ But her spark wasn’t ignited right away.

Six years ago when Mary met her Nurse Care Manager, Mary had just moved from Spokane, Washington to be closer to her siblings . Mary’s daughter, Marie, lived in Oklahoma and needed a partner to help navigate her mother’s transition because she lived out of state.” During those early years, the Nurse Care Manager helped Mary move into her independent living campus, found her a primary care doctor, drove her to dermatology appointments and took her grocery shopping. But as the bond between Mary and her Nurse Care Manager grew, Mary began to anticipate their weekly visits. For Marie as Mary’s daughter, Mary’s Nurse Care Manager was a lifesaver because she gave her peace of mind knowing her mother was taken care of so well – ‘everyone needs someone like you in their life if they have aging parents,” she told the Nurse Care Manager.

“Aging can be scary for people,” Mary’s Nurse Care Manager explained. “If my presence gives her peace of mind, then I’m doing my job. I never get tired of sitting and talking with Mary. I appreciate her wisdom and I look forward to our time together.”

When she visits Mary each week she often brings her little things to brighten Mary’s day. “Mary was thrilled when I brought her batteries for her hearing aid and the smile on her face when I brought her a telephone that amplified sound so she could hear better made me feel equally overjoyed.” And when health scares proved challenging, her Nurse Care Manager never left Mary’s side and did what she could to encourage a spark once again.

What makes Mary’s story so real is that her spark is ignited simply by her Nurse Care Manager’s presence. When we focus on people, on the things that matter most to them, that’s when we see results. “I live to see you. You know how much I appreciate you, right?” said Mary told her Nurse Care Manager. “You are always so helpful.” And that’s sometimes all we need to feel sparked.

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