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CDS attendant Lanena McPherson goes “above and beyond.”

We would like to shine a spotlight on attendant Lanena McPherson.

Lanena has worked for her current MERIL CDS participant for almost six years. When asked what her greatest quality was, the participant said that she is always nice to everyone and very helpful, even on days the participant may be grumpy. The participant has experienced some health concerns, including surgery, over the past six years and stated that Lanena is always there for him. He said Lanena goes above and beyond as his attendant, and this allows him to remain independent.

From all of us here at MERIL, thank you for working so hard and supporting our mission to help those who have a disability or who are aging remain in their home and live as independently as they choose!

CDS attendant Mary Jo Tapp provides reliable and kind support.

We would like to shine a spotlight on attendant Mary Jo Tapp.

Mary Jo has worked for her sister (a MERIL CDS participant) for 10 years, and the participant said she values their close relationship.

“Mary Jo cares for me,” she said. “More than that though, she cares for everyone and tries very hard to be as helpful and kind to everyone she meets. She is a very kindhearted person.”

In addition to Mary Jo’s compassion, the participant said she respects her integrity.

“Mary Jo is very honest,” she said. “She always comes back from an errand with a receipt so that I can keep track of my finances. She is my sister and she loves me, so I know she’d never be anything less than honest with me, but her honesty is very admirable.”

Like all CDS attendants, Mary Jo provides personal care services so the participant can live independently in her own home.

“Mary Jo helps me with the things that my heart condition and my arthritis keep me from doing,” the participant said. “Mary Jo helps me with little things like putting my socks on and keeping my hair neat and clean. Mary Jo also helps me with things like taking a bath and makes sure I am safe while doing so. There are times also, when I need her to go to the store or around town paying bills for me and she does these things for me too.”

Jay Claywell, the MERIL CDS specialist who works with the participant, said Mary Jo and the participant are a great team.

“This participant/attendant pairing have been together longer than I have worked at MERIL,” he said. “Over the course of my tenure at MERIL, I have seen the participant’s health and mobility ebb and flow as the years have passed. Sometimes, simple things like the weather get in her way, slowing her down. Despite the participant’s challenges, the constant in her life has been her sister, CDS attendant, Mary Jo Tapp. Mary Jo and the participant work together to ensure that the participant’s CDS service plan is delivered in such a way that her independence is maintained at a level that the participant has grown accustomed to over the last decade. This pair is a shining example of the effectiveness of the CDS and IL programs here at MERIL.”

We recognize CDS attendants Debora Simerly and Connie Thomsen!

We would like to spotlight two sisters who take exceptional care of their mother.

Debora Simerly and Connie Thomsen are fantastic attendants for their mother Virginia. Virginia said the girls are very close and know that Virginia’s preference is to stay away from the hospital and nursing home.

Virginia praised them for their flexibility, honesty, and willingness to learn new things such as assisting with dressing wounds. She said the biggest blessing she feels from having her daughters serve as her attendants is that they always do what is best for her.

Like other CDS attendants, Debora and Connie provide services such as personal care, housekeeping, and transportation so Virginia can remain independent in her home.

What is exceptional about this pair is that they are a solid team, alternating their work weeks to share the responsibilities and care of their mother.

Virginia said she is happy to have the girls available to do things that she can’t see well enough to do or move around well enough to do for herself.

Virginia knows all about teamwork, as it really runs in her blood. She was born a triplet (two girls and one boy) and has five daughters of her own. She said she has instilled a lot of love and work ethic into her daughters and grandchildren, which makes them perfect candidates to work for her.

The attendants said they appreciate being compensated for their work and the flexibility of the job, but above all they are very passionate about making sure their mother is well taken care of.

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