An industrious daughter surprised her father when she walked into his nursing home wearing a staffer’s uniform. She had taken a part-time job washing dishes and mopping floors at the home in Minnesota, knowing it would allow her more time to spend with him.
For many care home residents’ family members, waving through windows has been the closest they’ve been able to get to their loved ones since early 2020.
Lisa had reached out to Good Samaritan Society home in Stillwater in December, and they were delighted to hire her to fill a vacant position, having struggled to find staff during the pandemic.
“I was shocked, really. I was kind of dumbfounded,” said 87-year-old Harold Racine. He asked his daughter, “How did you get in?” and recalled her arrival as one of the happiest days of his life.
Yet Harold wasn’t the only one happy to see Lisa. Good Samaritan’s administrator, Rene Racine, is Lisa’s cousin. “Having her reach out and wanting to come to work was an absolute godsend for us,” she admitted.
While the job is a far cry from Lisa’s vocation as a project manager for a printing company, she enjoys the work and has loved meeting the residents. Surprising her father was the icing on the cake of her ingenious plan, though.
She maintains a part-time position at the home, working evenings and weekends, and jokes that, “It’s quite glamorous.” The extra time with her dad, however, is “priceless,” she says. “I can’t believe they pay me for this.”
Harold and his late wife raised eight children together. “The trials and tribulations of raising that many children, in the end it certainly paid off,” he said. “I’m getting my rewards back, tenfold.”
Now, many states are easing restrictions on in-person visits at long-term care facilities, since residents have received vaccines, according to AARP, the American Association of Retired Persons. As a key worker, Lisa received her CCP virus vaccination alongside her father in February.
She plans to keep her job at the nursing home on an on-call basis.
“I could take a yoga class or do a happy hour,” she said, “but I’d rather come and mop the floor and clean dishes so I can see my dad.”