Lenett James Named State Caregiver of the Year
enette reads with one of the residents at A Better View Adult Family Home.
Some people find their calling early on in life. The idea starts as a little spark and eventually develops into a flame of passion. Lenett James found her spark early on in life.
James says she always knew she would become a caregiver. “I've always enjoyed being around the elderly,” says Lenett James. “They have so much to teach us.” She's jokes that it's not for the money. Instead, she reaps her rewards through the relationships she builds with people and the help she is able to provide.
James studied the Nursing Assistant Program in high school and has since then completed multiple certifications. “I've been in the care giving profession for more than 13 years now,” she says. “I have a wonderful husband that supports me so I can devote my time to working.”
James' passion has lead her to nursing homes, group homes, in-home elderly care and adult family homes. For the past three years she's worked as the resident manager at A Better View Adult Family Home in Nine Mile Falls. The adult family home is licensed by the State of Washington to care for up to six residents.
They are an alternative to skilled nursing homes and assisted living facilities, yet they provide room, board, laundry, housekeeping, necessary supervision, assistance with activities of daily living, personal care and nursing services.
“I like working in adult family homes the most,” James says. “There is more one-on-one time with people and I think the more we move away from institutionalized facilities the better. A Better View is the ideal situation because it's just like a home setting.”
In this home setting James helps the elderly with their daily routines, medications, cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. Her hard work and dedication caught the attention of A Better View owner Lori May-Kenney and this past October, James was rewarded for all her efforts.
Lenette helps residents with the activities of daily living.
For the first time ever, the Washington State Residential Care Council of Adult Family Homes (WSRCC) awarded James and five other people a Caregiver of the Year Award. The WSRCC is an organization that works to educate and train other caregiver providers. The organization also works with elected officials to enact public policy and gain the rights of collective bargaining with the state over reimbursement rates. It is a statewide organization with 12 chapters and Lenett received her award for the Spokane Regional Chapter. “It was really quite an honor to be given the award and chosen out of the whole state,” James says. “I still feel really honored and am proud to bring this recognition to our little area.” May-Kenney nominated James because of her dedication to resident care and her selflessness in taking care of James' developmentally disabled sister.
The recognition has helped foster James' desire to not only help other people, but open her very own adult family home. Until that time comes, James will continue to instill all of her love and passion into her work. “It's really nice to work with a variety of different people,” James says. “Helping people is just something I've always loved doing.”
There are about 3,000 Adult Family Homes in the state and almost 20,000 frail elderly and disabled persons are cared for in these homes.
A Better View Adult Family Home is located at 12420 W. Sunridge Dr. Nine Mile Falls. For more information call 509-465-4735.