"The New Waveny" Edition 5: Jennifer Kaufman
Posted on October 3, 2018
With more than 35 years of experience as a Physical Therapist, Jennifer Kaufman says that working for Waveny makes all the difference.
A therapist for Waveny Home Healthcare — our skilled homecare division — Jennifer says it’s unique to be in a position where you’re part of a strong team, while your role requires you to be incredibly independent.
“In homecare, you’re out in the field alone,” she says. “But I don’t do what I do alone. I have a team behind me.” This statement admittedly sounds a little contradictory, which Jennifer knows it should. She says this type of support in a homecare agency is rare, and distinctly Waveny. “You get the help you need, which is such a difference.” It’s the beauty of a smaller non-corporate nonprofit agency that listens to issues and helps develop solutions. “In homecare, that’s really not the norm.”
Now, having worked for 12 years as a homecare therapist, Jennifer says she has a greater passion for homecare than the many other types of therapy settings she’s worked in.
“I’ve worked in sports medicine, in a hospital, and in outpatient settings, but I love homecare,” she says. “And, I love working with seniors. They are so appreciative of anything you do to help them, no matter how small. When I can show them how to do things the right way in order to give them their independence back, they show me why I love what I do.”
Jennifer feels that seniors in general are overlooked as a population, so she is especially proud to help make a difference in their lives. “I love hearing their stories. I love learning from their history and wisdom, because it’s real. I love knowing my clients as the people they are,” Jennifer says. “I have a 100 year old patient, and to hear him talk about his life is a privilege.”
Before becoming part of Waveny Home Healthcare’s 2012 inaugural team, Jennifer was actually working at Waveny in another capacity. “I was already coming to The Village as a homecare therapist with my former agency of 20 years. When I was asked to join Waveny’s new team, it wasn’t a hard decision, because I knew the quality of the organization. Waveny made it easy to leave, because I knew I was going to be needed.”
Jennifer says that the homecare world in general is a small community, but that the many different agencies in our area vary vastly in culture. “It’s nice to be appreciated. I love the people I work with — they’re a great, supportive group of professionals.”
The growth of Waveny’s homecare division has been something Jennifer has seen develop firsthand. “Watching growth is exciting, especially when you know you’re an integral part of it. Even our growth seems personal because as a well-run, stable nonprofit, I’m informed and aware of the important things going on.”
If Jennifer could give any tip of advice to her peers and all Waveny staff, it would be a simple rule of thumb: “Ask for help when you need it,” she says. “If you have an issue, take care of it before it becomes something bigger than it needs to be. There’s no reason not to ask for help.” She says having a like-minded team is at the heart of that advice. “I feel that everyone here wants the same thing. We want to help, and we have the same goal — we want to see the people we care for cared for well, and getting better.”