Heather was born and raised in Wisconsin but made the big move to New Hampshire in high school. Heather went to nursing school in New Hampshire, fell in love and got married to her high school sweetheart and now has a job that she is passionate about! When Heather is not working or volunteering you can find her hiking in the White Mountains (her favorite spot is Arethusa Falls where she got engaged), out on her boat enjoying the lake, fishing at Jackson Pond, or camping and backpacking with her husband Patrick and pup Jameson.
Heather knew from an early age that she wanted to become a nurse, focusing on the elderly. She said “I was always interested in their stories and wisdom they all seemed to have. I knew I wanted to primarily work with those affected by memory loss because my grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s. She was wrongly diagnosed by several physicians. My mother helped her through the process. I watched her struggle through the end of her life and knew I wanted to educate myself in the different forms of memory loss and hopefully try to find a cure or help them get closer to help prevent anyone else from having to go through the tough process, spreading the education and focusing on making the person comfortable.”
I think it is safe to say that Heather’s grandmother would be proud of the amazing work she does, the care she gives and the efforts she puts into finding a cure for Alzheimer’s.
Some things that Heather spotlighted that the Alzheimer’s Association does here in New Hampshire is an annual motorcycle bike ride, an annual antique car show, a walk, and they have support groups for families. This is a great organization that raises money and educates others.
As Director of Nursing for Forestview Manor Assisted Living, Heather helps with their mission “to encourage quality of life for every resident we work with, to give them purpose in their remaining time and to encourage them to live and die with comfort and respect.”
Here are five things that you should know about Forestview Manor:
- They primarily serve those with memory loss but will accept anyone that needs help. Residents are separated based on their needs and it allows them to transition between the buildings as they transition through their disease with dignity.
- They serve 76 residents between the three buildings.
- They work with behavioral health specialists, neurologists, dementia specialists, psychiatric specialists and the staff educate themselves at conferences to make sure they are giving the residents the very best treatment every day and using any new treatment or plan of care to help maintain safety while promoting happiness.
- They have Resident Counsel held monthly which allows the residents to speak to the staff and advocate for any changes, suggestions and comments to better their experience and to have the all-important voice.
- They have a Forestview Manor bus that the activities director will use to take all of the residents out (wheelchair bound, walkers etc.) to participate out in our local community. Activities include plays, seeing Christmas lights at the Loudon Speedway, fishing at Gunstock Pond, visiting local museums, going out to eat, and so much more!! And… they have dogs and cats that come in for pet therapy!
Want to help and just don’t know how?! Well here is your chance!!!
Forestview loves volunteers! They range from high school students, to special needs adults, to those doing job shadows, to church and social groups! Volunteers come in and sing, knit blankets, play games or just sit and listen to the residents. Sound good? Head on over to their website and fill out the volunteer application!
The Annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s is this weekend around New Hampshire at various sites (Sept. 23rd from 9-12)
To Donate and to Learn More:
When asked why young professionals should give back, Heather said, “Encourage yourself to follow your dreams, even if the end result is not what you originally thought it would be, your heart is what sent you on a journey to find your true passion. Never give up on others but especially not yourself. Hard work must be applied to the best things in life and this is something that will never change, never be afraid to succeed or to push the boundaries of what has always been done, if it will benefit others. We must continue a way of life that encourages all people to help others especially when there is not an immediate gratification or reward, as it’s usually later in life we realize the effect we had on others and the effect they had on us, those are the moments that will shape us as individuals.”
Look to this day
for it is life
the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all
the realities and truths of existence
the joy of growth
the splendor of action
the glory of power.
For yesterday is but a memory
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But today well lived
makes every yesterday a memory of happiness
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.
– Ancient Sanskrit poem
There are so many wonderful people and agencies making a difference in our own back yards! If you would like us to feature your non profit agency or know of an amazing NH professional giving back like Heather email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time –Do Good NH!