HFAM Spotlight – August 2010

HFAM Spotlight Icon HFAM Spotlight showcases the best of Maryland’s long-term care provider community – from our dynamic residents to our outstanding employees to our dedicated leaders. If you have a recommendation for a future HFAM Spotlight, please contact Susan O’Brien at sobrien@hfam.org or 410-290-5132, ext. 102.

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August’s HFAM Spotlight
Mrs. Cindy Keys

Most of all, I just try and make them feel loved…

Mrs. Cindy KeysThis month’s Spotlight focuses on an outstanding volunteer from Genesis Health Care’s Waldorf facility – Mrs. Cindy Keys.  Originally from a very small town in South Carolina, she graduated from a small college where she was the band director. Mrs. Keys eventually moved to the DC area in 1981 and was introduced to the Washington Redskins Band. For the next 20 years, she served as the renowned band’s drum major and then associate director.

Mrs. Keys recently spoke at the American Health Care Association’s (AHCA) Driving for Quality Care press conference that took place at the Waldorf center.  Her message was clear: Congress must pass the extension of enhanced federal Medicaid dollars to help protect vulnerable adults in long-term care in Maryland and to save critical jobs of front-line caregivers. And Mrs. Keys knows firsthand how important this funding is – she visits her mother-in-law, Anne Roberts, daily and spends hours at the facility speaking with all of the residents. We recently caught up with Mrs. Keys to ask more about her commitment to her “family” at Genesis Waldorf.

HFAM interviewed Mrs. Keys for this month’s Spotlight:

HFAM: What originally led to your involvement at Genesis Waldorf?

CK: My husband Donny and I were first introduced to Genesis about 10 years ago when my mother-in-law (Anne Roberts) broke her leg rather badly and it was strongly recommended that she undergo intense rehabilitation and therapy so that she could return to her own home and continue living the way she loved most – independently! With all the help from the entire staff, she recovered remarkably well and was back to living independently as soon as it was medically and safely possible. However, at the “young age of 91,” she has become a permanent member of the Waldorf Genesis family.

HFAM: What is your greatest experience or memory of your time at Genesis Waldorf?

CK: Perhaps my greatest memory of the facility is how each patient is always addressed by his/her name by the staff. I am truly amazed at how they seem to remember all of the residents’ likes and dislikes! Individual attention is given to each patient, and as Donny and I are in and out of the center at different times daily, this is always the case.

HFAM: What is your greatest personal achievement?

CK: I have been fortunate enough to enjoy a couple of “great personal achievements,” but one in particular is the long recovery from a traumatic brain injury. This recovery taught me the importance of good and caring friends and family. Without them, your days are so very, very long. This is how I really got involved with the residents at Genesis. Though they look forward to my daily visits, I think I enjoy visiting them just as much! We laugh, talk, go for rides in their Cadillacs (wheelchairs), or watch the birds, bringing them small items they may need, but most of all I just try and make them feel loved.

HFAM: What advice would you give someone who was interested in volunteering at a long-term care facility?

CK: So many of these residents have absolutely no families or for whatever reasons, the families cannot visit them. Some of them virtually have no visitors at all and consequently are so very lonely. If there is anything I can add, it is these dear people need your companionship and friendship. If you know of anyone who is looking to be uplifted, this is a wonderful way to give. You will NEVER be sorry!