The Caring Force Blog May Member Spotlight!

The Caring Force is pleased to announce the May Member Spotlight honoree is Natalie Riddel, a counselor and teacher at Lifeworks, Inc.

Natalie is described by her co-workers as having a strong work ethic and always being able to provide moral support. She is always willing to go the extra mile to brighten the day of her clients.

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

Organization: Lifeworks, Inc.

Years in human services: 2

Best professional memory: My best professional memory working with clients with developmental disabilities in their home is helping a nearly non-verbal woman come back from several serious illnesses. She worked with me on speaking to say more phrases she knew and trying to stand even though her muscles had weakened significantly. PT was a struggle for this client, she had a lot of pain in her joints, leg muscles and more. As she got stronger and gained more weight, she began to smile and laugh more than I’d ever seen, sing when she was happy, and trust staff to help her stand up and transfer from bed to wheelchair and back again. This client was very special to me because through all her pain and sickness, she would “beep” my nose and give me her hand and make sure we knew she loved to eat. She passed away this March, and although I miss her every day, my best professional and personal memories are the smiles through great progress, even if it was for a short time.

What fun and/or reflective self-care strategies do you use to further your professional growth? (Question from Lydia Proulx at Work Opportunities Unlimited): Lately, I’ve tried several things to stay healthy and become healthier in mind and body. Having a few illnesses and physical setbacks over the last few months, I’ve had to encourage myself to get back to working out and staying active every day and this has helped me to stay strong for the physical part of my job and feel better about myself in the meantime. My girlfriend and I have started to explore cooking, we’ve had fun making new meals and working towards being healthier that way and that not only contributes to all aspects of my health, but I can also create some of the same meals for my clients. Lastly, I’ve attempted at focusing on relevant, interesting books on living mindfully and incorporating spiritual wellness into my life.

Question for the next member spotlight honoree: Why is working in human services important to you and why did you choose the population that you work with?

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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