We are celebrating National Social Worker’s Month on our blog with a series of staff spotlights. This series is dedicated to our Social Services Department. See Part One, Kelly Troutman, Part Three, Claire Missimer, and Part Four, Pam Trautman.
Michelle Heffner is one of three Social Service Caseworkers at Cedar Haven and has 21 years of experience working at our facility.
Michelle’s primary responsibility is to be a resident advocate, serving to support them and their families from check-in throughout their stay at Cedar Haven. She achieves this by monitoring and providing support on a very regular basis and then assisting with the transition back to their homes.
When a new resident moves into our facility, Michelle often spends half of that day helping them and their families through the process and making sure they are comfortable. On a day-to-day basis you can find Michelle visiting the nursing units where residents live and reading nursing reports to catch up on any changes that are taking place. Additionally, Michelle performs routine quarterly questionnaires with our residents in order to see how she can be helping should their situation change. Michelle specializes in assisting residents who are receiving long-term care. As we learned last week, Kelly Troutman serves mainly residents who are at Cedar Haven for short-term therapy.
When asked about her favorite part of working at Cedar Haven as a social worker, Michelle described the great feeling she gets from making a difference in a resident and their family’s transition experience:
“The part that makes me feel the best is when a resident or their family is resistant to moving into a facility, but then I am able to reassure them through the support I provide at check-in and through meetings we have together. I love to see them relax once they realize that there is someone here 24 hours to care for them. Their feelings change from guilt to relief. That’s when they realize that they don’t have to worry about their loved ones anymore.”
Michelle has lived in Lebanon all her life and has a sociology major and social work minor from Lebanon Valley College. She is a valuable asset to our Social Services department and the Cedar Haven facility. Please join us in thanking her for the excellent services she provides for our residents and their families.