So far away

Working from home challenging for a staff used to hands-on


Kelly Nissell, RN and Assistant Program Manager for Everett ADH, working from home making nursing wellness check phone calls.

Working from home. The concept sounds nice for some. But when your job revolves around being with someone who you care about, working from home becomes an immense professional challenge.

But you figure out a way.

“I’ve never done this before, so it’s really different for me,” said Kelly Nissell, RN. “I’m so used to being actually with the clients. I miss them.”

Kelly’s the Assistant Program Manager at Full Life Care’s Everett Adult Day Health facility. A nurse for 35 years, and with Full Life since 2003, her whole professional career has involved touching, physically comforting and hands-on healing.

But for the last six weeks she’s been staring at a computer screen and had a phone to her ear. Full Life closed its day health facilities March 3 out of an abundance of caution, 20 days before Gov. Jay Inslee issued his statewide “stay-at-home” directive.

“I’m mostly calling clients and their caregivers,” Kelly said. “It helps in that I’ve actually known a lot of them for years. Having those relationships really helps.”

Staffers like Kelly have been making routine wellness check phone calls since Full Life developed its Adult Day Health 2.0 model last month. Clients are called on the same days they would normally be visiting their Day Health centers in Everett, Columbia City or Kent. Staff ask specific questions – talking with either the client directly or their residential caregiver — about the client’s well-being based on their individual needs.

“When we call we’re thinking about that particular person,” Kelly said. “Not seeing or being physically present with the client, we’re also depending on communication with those caregivers. And they’ve been great; really opening up and asking questions.”

ADH 2.0 involves more than just phone calls, though.

Lisa Nott, COTA at Everett ADH, working from home developing individualized Home Exercise Programs (HEPs) for clients to exercise at home.

Lisa Nott, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant at the Everett center, has been spending her days at home developing individualized Home Exercise Programs (HEPs) for clients to exercise at home. She creates the programs by taking into account each client’s diagnosis, any outstanding current issues, and their physical and cognitive abilities. The exercise programs are delivered to the client’s residence via USPS.

“Of course, I’d rather they be here,” Lisa said. “But, well, this is the next best thing. Our goal is to keep every client strong as possible and maintain their functional ability.”

Because of your support, we’re able to remain nimble and responsive in the ongoing health emergency. But we need your continued support to keep going.

And a great opportunity is coming. On May 5-6, thousands of folks will show their support for their favorite Washington nonprofits during GiveBIG. As we navigate COVID19 we are faced with some of the most challenging circumstances in our history. Yet, we are here every day and our staff is working to make sure that our clients are safe and receive all the care they need.

Early giving is already open. If you can, donate now, or wait until GiveBIG officially opens on May 5.

In the meantime, Full Life staff like Kelly will keep adapting, finding ways to stay engaged with their clients during these challenging times.

“It’s the thing I like about working at Full Life Care,” Kelly said. “You develop relationships with people.”