Louella Farmer is the type of person who leads each day with a smile, a laugh, and a sense of humor. With an uncanny ability to find the positive in any situation, she has built a life around helping others heal and has devoted herself to her residents. Ms. Farmer, who is a CNA at Harts Harbor Health Care Center in Jacksonville, FL, has spent the last 33 years dedicating her time to bringing motivation to those in need. She is an inspiration to so many because of her outlook on life, and her unwavering love of her work.
Louella came to Harts Harbor three decades ago when she decided she wanted to become a CNA. Once she began working, she fell in love with her job, and the care center, and she never left. Astounded by her loyalty to her job and to Harts Harbor, we asked Louella what continues to motivate her to come back to work each day after so many years. She said, “I like what I’m doing, I like my residents. Everything I do is for my residents.” Louella’s love for her residents comes from her experience caring for both her mother and her grandmother when they were sick. Louella cared for them from a young age, and being able to help them made her realize how much she enjoyed working with the elderly. In fact, anytime Louella has a tough day, or feels like she wants to quit, she says, “No, I’m doing this for my mom.”
Louella helps her residents the most by just being with them, and spending time with them. She gets to enjoy lots of events with them like cooking outdoors, or bringing in food for them, but mainly she is just there for them. There have been a few residents that Louella grew very fond of. At times, some of these residents struggled and felt like just giving up. In these situations, Louella always finds the right things to say, and can talk them into continuing the fight and staying strong. Because of Louella’s determination to bring them out of their rut, most of these residents end up getting better, and some patients have even completed rehabilitation and returned home.
It’s Louella’s respect for her residents that allows her to have such good relationships with them. It’s also the Core Value that Louella believes to be the most important. She said, “I have respect for my residents, and they respect me. They love when I talk with them, and they tell me ‘I love talking with you’.” Louella treats her residents like they are family, and that makes them feel not only respected, but valued. Because of this, the residents are happier and the environment is a positive one. Louella has the ability to change a person’s attitude with just her presence.
Louella’s happy demeanor does not mean she isn’t also serious about her work. At the care center, she is known for being the “mom” to her colleagues. With years of experience, and a wealth of knowledge, she certainly leads when it comes to her co-workers. She said, “I tell the CNAs, alright, let’s get this thing together, and get things done that we need to get done. They say, I look like a mean Mom.” Louella’s assistant executive director, Tiffany Coffey, says that “Ms. Farmer is a leader in the building. Assistants like Ms. Farmer who are as dedicated, loyal and patient as her are hard to find these days.”
There is no doubt that Louella will be missed when she soon retires from Harts Harbor. But, she will always be remembered for her dedication, passion, and above all, her love of her residents. Thank you Louella for your lifetime dedication to the residents of Harts Harbor!