The Caring Force Blog April Member Spotlight!

The Caring Force is pleased to announce the April Member Spotlight honoree is Jennifer Polischuk, a Residence Manager at Toward Independent Living and Learning (TILL).

Jennifer is always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure her colleagues, consumers and their family members are happy.

Here’s what Jennifer had to say about working in human services:

Organization: Toward Independent Living and Learning (TILL)

Years in human services: 9

Best professional memory: That is really hard. There have been so many.  I think the best memory I have is when I introduced Roller Painting to the individuals at TILL. We bought some adaptive paint rollers which could attach to the individuals wheelchairs/walkers so they can paint murals or make prints. It was truly amazing to watch the smiles on everyone’s face to see what they have accomplished.

What three major challenges have you faced in the healthcare/human service field and how have you solved the problem? (Question from Kim Rosenberg at Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries):

1. All of my individuals are nonverbal and pretty medically involved. I always had a hard time trying to figure out what the individuals were trying to communicate. I spent a lot of time really getting to know them and watching their body language. I introduced choice making books and iPads and it has made a world of difference. As they say a picture is worth a 1,000 words.

2. Creating community connections that have meaning and making them adaptable to the individuals in Lynnfield. This was a struggle at first, then I took some of the things that I do and got the individuals involved. We now volunteer with our local Boy Scout troop and do a disability awareness training with them, and then we help the troop bake items for their bake sales, yearly banquets, and also go hiking to look for pine cones so the Scouts can make their Christmas wreaths to sell. We also are involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation where the individuals assist in making gifts and countdown calendars for wish recipients. It is something we all look forward to.

3. Getting staff to have the same passion and vision that I do. At first, I thought it would be really tough, but in all honesty it was really easy. You just need to be a positive role model and involve everyone. Another key thing is to listen and tap into everyone’s strengths. Share your vision and live it.

Question for the next member spotlight honoree: If there was one thing you can change about your job what would it be?

P.S. If you know someone who inspires clients and embodies the spirit of The Caring Force, please nominate them on our website or email Christine Batista at for more information about our Spotlight program.

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