A life based on helping others

Meet Full Life Care Branch Manager Rae Kirumbi

Rae Kirumbi fits a Home Care Aide with an N95 face mask during a recent training session.

Rae Kirumbi will tell you his recipe for success with Full Life Care is deeply rooted in his longstanding desire to help people.

“It started many years ago,” says Rae. “I used to go to hospitals just to volunteer and, whenever I had some free time, I would walk around the hospital and find people who were alone, who didn’t have anyone with them. So, I would stay with them and talk with them so they would feel less alone and sad.”

Rae was recently promoted from employment and recruitment manager to branch manager for Full Life’s Home Care division, helping to guide the program’s more than 350 Home Care Aides and their administrative staff.

Early in his career with Full Life, Rae himself experienced the caring and empathy he has shown others.

 “When I started, I had the night shift and was supposed to be working with another person,” he said. “One night, that person didn’t show up. Seeing I would be alone, my supervisor stayed on and worked beside me all night and into the morning.”

Throughout his 15-year experience with Full Life, Rae has had the opportunity to work with and help a variety of clients. But there is one type of client that Rae naturally gravitates toward.

“I am attracted to clients who drive caregivers away because their behavior is so challenging,” he said. “I find they themselves have experienced so many challenges with their lives, including some kind of a health concern or disability, and the difficult behavior they are exhibiting is often a result of what they have been going through. Having someone there who can listen and understand is what they need, and it can make all the difference.”

This level of caring can take a toll on staff and caregivers, including Rae.

 “With this type of work, you need to have the heart for it,” he said. “So, when someone you care for passes away, it can stick with you for a long time. Just the other day I had a dream of someone I cared for who had died. I told my wife, ‘I can’t get him out of my head.’ We need to be aware that, when a client passes away, it isn’t just the families who grieve. It is also the caregivers who took care of them.”

When asked what has kept him working with Full Life Care for 15 years, Rae said:

“It’s the people and the support. Everyone here has your back, which means a lot to me. And I like working with people and helping people. When I’m able to make a small impact on one person’s life, even if it is for a moment, that makes my entire day.”

This story was written by Seattle University Communications degree program students Nate Robinson and Emeka Udenyi.