Caring for our Seniors has been my passion my entire career as a nurse, beginning in 1998 where I was the supervisor of a geriatric unit at a psychiatric hospital and cared for dementia residents in crisis. I started working in long-term care in 2001 as Director of Nursing for a 120 bed facility. By 2003 I became the Nursing Home Administrator and remained in that same facility until 2010. In 2010 I became Director of Operations for a large Nursing Home Operator and worked my way up to Vice President of Operations and oversaw 26 homes in 6 states. I have been fortunate to be a part of the “Culture Change” movement in trying to create a “Home-Like” environment within the facilities.
In 2015, while visiting family in Wichita over the Thanksgiving holiday, my cousin by marriage, Jeff Woods, shared with me the Home Plus model and introduced me to Doug Stark, founder of ComfortCare Homes of Wichita. I toured several of the homes in Wichita. It was so nice to go into traditional, real houses in established neighborhoods and see small numbers of dementia residents living in these homes. As hard as we may try in this industry, to make a facility a “home-like environment”, most often it didn’t feel like home to the residents. In the ComfortCare Homes of Wichita, I witnessed a calmness in the homes, and saw true one on one interactions between the residents and the CareGivers, without interruptions of call lights sounding, alarms going off or overhead pages. I knew this was going to be my next step in my career in caring for our Seniors with dementia. I feel very fortunate that I have been able to make that dream come true by starting our own Home Plus, ComfortCare Homes of Kansas City.
Linda Dugan RN, BSN, LHNA