For the last 37 years, Mae Humphrey of Sea Breeze Health Care in Panama City, FL has been pampering and bending over backwards for residents. She began her career as a CNA at only 18 years old, and eventually became what they call a “starlight employee”. This job entailed taking care of patients who were high risk for falls. Mae took this duty extremely seriously and thoroughly enjoyed it in the process. She was provided a room where she would pamper patients and residents and make them comfortable. This was something that Mae took pride in managing. Being able to support and indulge the residents gives Mae a sense of pride and it just makes her feel good.
Mae spent twelve years as a starlight employee, and eventually became a restorative nurse, as more nurses were needed on the floor. Today, Mae is what she calls a “war clerk” where she schedules appointments, handles transportation, and manages the more administrative tasks of healthcare. Sea Breeze found a way for Mae to continue to work at the care center despite a recent health issue that caused her to lose two of her fingers. Up until the day she needed surgery, Mae had never missed a day of work. Over the course of her career she raised four kids and still never missed work. Her work ethic is like nothing anyone has ever seen, and there is no question why the care center wanted to do what they could to keep her on even after her surgery.
Even after all of these years, and suffering a challenging health scare, Mae still finds a way to maintain her motivation to come back to work. When asked how she manages to stay motivated, she said “I just have the adrenaline to come. I know how to deal with certain things and take care of certain patients. I’ve seen everything. I’ve helped the mayor’s mother, police officers’ mothers, doctors’ mothers, everyone..” Not only is Mae the go-to for her co-workers because of all of her experience, she also can share her voice with her administrator and the care center, which is extremely motivating to Mae. She said, “the number one thing is that I have a voice and I am heard. They always listen, and when there is something bad, we always work it out.”
Mae could tell stories for hours about the people she has met and who have impacted her life over the last 30 years. When Mae goes to the store she runs into a woman whose mother Mae once cared for. When the woman sees Mae, she still cries and thanks Mae for all that she did for her mother. Mae once shared a bond with a woman who would go fishing with her and they would talk forever. Even though this person passed away many years ago, Mae still carries her memory in her heart. So many people have come and gone and had an impact on Mae one way or another.
Mae definitely has a way with her residents and she attributes it to her longevity at the care center. She said, “The new patients and families don’t know anything about me or know how long I have been here. But, when they find out the employees have been here a long time, they trust us and feel more comfortable, which makes me feel good.” Mae also lives by the Core Value of compassion. “When you find a resident that is not understanding what is going on, you have to take a minute and give them time. You have to put yourself in their lane to help. It’s about them, not us.”
Mae intends to stay at Sea Breeze until she is finally ready to retire. But, when that day comes, she hopes to always be remembered as being reliable and knowledgeable. “I want them to remember that I was always caring about the patients, the care center, and the staff members. And that I always walked around with my name tag that reads ‘I care’.” Mae has certainly had an impact on the lives of the residents she has worked with over the years, and also her family at Consulate Health Care. We couldn’t be more proud and thankful to have her on our team. Thank you Mae for your lifetime of service to our residents!