Lisa Wittlinger found her true calling when her mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2008. Before that, Lisa was in retail, managing a home accessories store. She loved the business and was passionate about decorating. She knew though, that her place was with her mom so she took a leave of absence. Anne Stauffer made a full recovery. Still, the experience caused Lisa to pause and take stock of her life. In caring for her mom, Lisa saw the difference she made, particularly in her mom’s quality of life. “Caring for her gave my life a different kind of meaning,” reflected Lisa, “and realizing that opened another door for me. It was huge. Very huge.”
Lisa joined Willow Valley Communities in 2008 as a Resident Care Assistant in personal care. Lisa describes her role as being the “eyes, hands, and feet” of the nurse she assists. “My goal is to do anything I can do to help a nurse or help a resident,” says Lisa. Her favorite times are those she spends close to and engaging with residents.
You can hear the love in her voice when she talks about them. Lisa has been able to bring her creative talents to her work at Willow Valley. She makes her own greeting cards, giving them to residents on their birthdays. They are true works of art, special keepsakes, each custom designed for its intended recipient.
Lisa’s simple, meaningful approach comes through in all her interactions with residents and her fellow team members, making a difference every day for those around her. “It’s hard to explain… but just being there, just making someone smile, or building trust and letting them know I will be there for them gives me a sense of purpose.”