Versatile workers bring loving relationships to memory care at ECH

Versatile workers bring loving relationships to memory care at ECH

Versatile workers bring loving relationships to memory care at ECH

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The recent transformation of Episcopal Church Home’s Memory Care Personal Care household provides a safe, comfortable, and homelike environment for residents.  

As importantly, the upgraded campus includes a new versatile-worker model of offering care that's more comforting for residents and their families.

Versatile workers spend more time with smaller numbers of residents, which provides consistency of care, and an increase in meaningful friendships. Some residents even have told ECH team members they feel like family.

For versatile worker blog, Annie and Bryan

Annie Marks, a versatile worker at Episcopal Church Home, and Bryan Berman, a household coordinator.

New memory care spaces feel like home

The Episcopal Church Home has been well respected in Greater Louisville for many years. But before the bold new vision to update the campus to meet the lifestyle wishes of today’s older adults and their families, living areas felt less inviting, almost like medical facilities.

Now, the Memory Care Personal Care household on the transformed campus has comfortable and beautiful living areas. Residents live in pleasant suites, surrounded by their belongings.

Those suites are attached to lovely, inviting common areas with fireplaces and other touches of home where residents gather for games and other activities. This has allowed residents to easily socialize, play games and enjoy activities. Many have shared that this is the special touch they missed when they lived on their own.

With the introduction of versatile workers, fewer team members now come into residents’ suites to help them – something that’s especially a comfort for people with memory impairments.

Residents’ own versatile workers do nearly everything for them – almost as if their families hired a live-in caregiver for them, except with more friends available, just steps outside their suites.

RELATED BLOG: Daughters and Mom pleased with her new ECH home

Looks and feels like home

“It looks like a home,” said Austin Hyle, a versatile worker and certified medication technician. “You come in, and there's a family room with a fireplace in the kitchen that looks like someone's home. It is very much more comfortable for them to sit out and enjoy it.”

Annie Marks, another versatile worker, says she’s the main caregiver for residents throughout the day. She reminds them to do things, enjoys activities with them, and serves them meals.

She’ll also do things like light housekeeping. In the old days, a housekeeper would arrive to clean spilled juice. Someone else would help with meals, while another team member would help with activities. Because the team’s work was “siloed” by task, it brought several people into their rooms on a given day. Some residents used to find disconcerting. A versatile worker is just that – versatile – and can provide more services to residents.

More time with each resident

For Ronald Charles, another versatile worker, one of the most touching moments of his career was when a resident called him family.

Ronald recalled a family saying ‘Ronald, you’re part of my family, because I’ve known you for so long.’ It was an honor. It’s a family relationship,” he said.

As a versatile worker, he cares for six or seven residents on a typical day, a number he and other team members say is much better than typical nursing homes.  The versatile worker model allows team members to spend more time with fewer residents and naturally builds closer relationships, especially for people like Ronald, whose love for older adults began with his close relationship as a boy with his grandfather.


Personal friendships with each resident

Before the use of versatile workers, residents would see a housekeeper, and also a certified nurse assistant, as well as someone else for activities, and maybe another to help with dining, said Bryan Berman, ECH household coordinator.

“Taking the versatile worker has wrapped all that up into one,” Bryan said. “How that has benefited our residents the most is they are very familiar with every aspect of the resident – everything from what they like to eat, how they like their suite cleaned, and the everyday schedule of that resident.”

“Before, when we had several different people, they were seeing more faces, which did confuse some residents,” he said. “But now, they treat each other more like families. Our residents have deeper relationships with our versatile workers and our versatile workers have deeper relationships with our residents.”

Episcopal Church Home Administrator Jomiya Coleman also is pleased with the change.

“I feel the versatile worker brings a piece of calmness and routine to our residents,” she said. “You're seeing the same person every day, and ultimately, they're doing everything for you – kind of like if you were to bring someone into your mother's home.”

“I love that we have versatile workers at ECH. It allows us to be very person-centered,” Jomiya said.

RELATED BLOG: Don't hesitate to screen for Alzheimer's disease or dementia


Residents and their families praise the food at Episcopal Church Home.

Caring for residents like their family

“I have a very soft part in my heart for older people,” Austin said. “I'm often there for my grandparents whenever they need anything like that.”

“Episcopal Church Home has a great reputation,” Austin added. “And I believe part of our reputation is that we care for our residents like family. Family members come in daily, telling us how much they appreciate us.”

Ronald isn’t alone in being considered a family member by residents, Bryan said. “It is an honor to care for our residents so closely that they consider us a part of their extended family.”

Click below to learn about Memory Care at Episcopal Church Home.

Memory Care

To schedule a tour of other parts of the Episcopal Church Home retirement community, contact Elizabeth Pace at (502) 736-8043 or email her at

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Mike Rutledge

Mike Rutledge

Mike Rutledge has been Integrated Marketing Manager for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS) since early 2022. He writes articles, blogs and other information to inform people about things happening at ERS’ retirement communities of Marjorie P. Lee an... Read More >

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