Life Care Center of Port Townsend, Washington, is happy to introduce Miriam Karcocher, NAC restorative aide.
Miriam has been working as an aide in this facility for 27 years; she walked through the front doors for the first time on Sept. 13, 1988. She came to Port Townsend looking for a fresh start and eventually saw an ad in the “Leader” for a receptionist. Given that receptionist work was her experience in the U.S. Army, she made the effort to land the job. Upon applying, she found out that the advertised position had been filled. The receptionist, however, offered her an NAC class application.
“At that time, I didn’t know what was an NAC was,” remembered Karcocher. “That day was my first time in a nursing home, and the environment was scary for me; I was new and inexperienced, but I had two children to raise.”
Karcocher spent four weeks in the class, passed state tests and became certified. She was hired and began working the 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. shift. Her plan was to work at this facility for only a year, but as time moved forward, so did Karcocher. She was offered a position as restorative aide only three years after she started working at Life Care Center of Port Townsend. She completed her restorative aide training at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, Washington, and has been helping residents with relearning activities of daily living since 1991.
When asked what kept her in this position, Karcocher remarked: “It is the closeness I began to feel with the residents. We began talking, and I began to learn their history. I learned how to love each and every resident who has come through this building. After I had been working here six years, my mother passed away. That is when this place truly became my home. After going through the experience of losing my mother, I took every opportunity to give to the residents the love and attention I could no longer give my mother, and through that, this place is where I felt acceptance.”
Karcocher describes the joys of her career as seeing the restoration of the residents, being able to interact with them and getting to know who they are, such as their weaknesses and strengths and what makes them happy or sad.
“Through it all, I’ve learned from the residents,” said Karcocher. “Working in this field has rewarded me with passion for people, and it has truly shaped me into who I am today.”