Tim Harriger, Full-Time Direct Care Staff of the Year
Tim Harriger is an all-star player at ACR. His leadership and teamwork with co-workers as well as his relational skills and advocacy with residents are AMAZING. Another amazing thing about Tim is that his commitment as a full-time direct care professional at ACR goes back 20 years! Since starting at ACR in 1996, he’s made a habit of keeping everyone on track with routines and med changes. He’s available when coworkers have questions or need a demo on how something is done. He also makes sure all residents are getting out and about and trying new things on a regular basis. His supervisors appreciate his positive attitude, his wisdom, and his incredible support. Tim knows how to react in every situation, and in tough times he remains calm and collected.
Tim’s outstanding work was recently recognized at ACR’s awards brunch where he received the top honor, being named ACR’s Direct Care Staff of the Year for 2016. Here’s what Tim has to say about his work as a full-time direct care professional at ACR.
Rewarding and Meaningful Work
When I started working for ACR right after college I never would have thought I would stay for over 20 years, but the work has been rewarding and so meaningful to me. There are many things that come to my mind that stand out from my work in direct care with ACR. The most meaningful things are the relationships I have built. The residents have become a huge part of my life. When I build relationships and friendships over years, I can feel on a daily basis what I mean to them and their families. From outings, vacations, doctor appointments, and daily life, I have become immersed in their lives. I know them so well and I know their histories. I feel how important I am to them and their well-being, and I smile every time they refer to me as a friend.
Vacations stand out as unforgettable experiences. I have had the privilege of taking a resident to Pennsylvania twice to visit his sister and family, and another resident to Las Vegas. There have been many smaller vacations that have touched their lives.
Many years ago I had a great opportunity to be the main staff to a young man with ALS. He was expected to live just six months when he moved in, and ended up being with us for over two years. It was both a hard experience yet extremely life changing. I was able to be a huge part in the end of his life and give him the opportunity to do many things he wanted to do including that trip to Las Vegas.
I look forward to coming in to work every day. Every shift there is a highlight that brings a smile to my face: a meaningful conversation, a fun outing for someone, a breakthrough with a goal, or just seeing residents have a good time hanging out with me. I also enjoy my coworkers. I enjoy helping new staff learn the proper procedures and answering questions from the ‘vets.’ I enjoy how they look up to me as a leader and mentor.
“My life has obviously changed for the better”
One other thing about Tim that tends to grab attention is his significant weight loss. He says that in the past year and a half he “made important decisions to change my health for the better.” He lost 322 pounds as a result. Says Tim, “My life has obviously changed for the better.” He enjoys having more energy for family activities with his wife Sara and their two daughters who are 10 and 12 years old. Tim adds, “I feel like my weight loss and lifestyle changes have directly impacted my work in so many great ways. I move around much easier, I have so much more energy and ease to do the daily cares, van outings, and daily chores. It has renewed my passion for serving our residents.”