Employee Spotlight is a new Homewatch CareGivers of Crystal Lakeblog seriesmeant to surface stories of the amazing individuals behind our local caregiving service. From office workers and owners to the actual caregivers in the field, each week, you’ll get to hear stories from our team so you can get to know the people who makes us who we are.
Melissa Laudicina has been working with Homewatch CareGivers (HWCG) of Crystal Lake since October of 2018. She began her journey with us as our Client Care Coordinator, where she mainly managed the delicate work of matching the right caregiver with a client. She has since moved to her current position as the Client Care Manager where she works administratively to ensure the quality and efficiency of office functions, as well as getting to know clients and caregivers in order to keep her finger on the pulse of daily operations.
In 2009 Melissa first decided to get her CNA certification and work in an assisted living facility as a career change from her former job in book-keeping. I asked her what motivated this change, and what has made her stick with working in this field for so long and she said, “I was actually [first] looking for different volunteer opportunities and ways to get involved in my community, and a CNA course popped up so I decided to run with it…” At the assisted living facility where Melissia started her work with older adults she was put on a rotation of floors, one of which was dedicated to memory care. However, Melissa felt a special connection with the folks in the memory unit saying, “I was attracted to working with this specific group because those are the people who can’t advocate for themselves, and oftentimes are forgotten, and I felt like I could be an advocate.” So, she asked to be permanently placed in the memory care unit, an experience she said has greatly impacted her work at HWCG.
Since beginning with Homewatch CareGivers of Crystal Lake in 2018, Melissa has continued to be passionate about advocating for those who are often overlooked or who are vulnerable in different ways. Specifically, she told me about her work with the Veterans Hospital and with specific Veterans saying,
My dad was a vet and I remember the process I had to go through to get him approved for any sort of assistance was a grueling 2-year process. And many of the veterans in our community don’t have family to advocate for them and it is nearly impossible for many of them to learn to navigate the system for themselves. So, I do extra work to find as many programs as I can so I can share it veterans and their families.
Melissa then recalled a specific experience where she worked with one client named Rick, a veteran with no other family, who had no furniture, tv, couch, or really any home comforts we all need. So, Melissa, and the owners Alan and Tamera Mongin, took a collection, rented a truck, and delivered many of these items Rick needed to his home on their weekend. This act of generosity is more than just a nice story but gets at the core of who we are at HWCG of Crystal Lake. We see it as our mission to make sure Rick (and everyone entrusted to our care) is more than simply a client, but is a person who deservers dignity and attention, and we are going to do everything we can to give that to our clients. Melissa, says it this way, “we take pride in making human connections and going above and beyond [for our clients].” Melissa has three children including a 26-year-old son, and 18 and 12-year-old daughters with whom she enjoys watching movies, going on walks, and creating family scrapbooks.