After 28 years of working in our home care program around the Tacoma area, Linda Mahoney called it a career on the last day of August. It’s the people who attracted her to caregiving.
“I love the clients because each and every one of them has a story to tell,” Linda said.
She held all kinds of positions in home care – from frontline caregiver to lead home care supervisor. She also worked in our Meals on Wheels service, and even did some typesetting and delivery for our Senior Scene newspaper.
LCS Northwest offers home care services out of our Tacoma and Bremerton offices. We have about 200 clients in Pierce County (Tacoma) and 80 in Kitsap County. Most clients need 2 to 4 hours of care each day, and 80 percent are Medicaid clients and the remaining 20 percent are private pay.
Linda’s career with LCS Northwest began in 1989 as a home care worker; a position she enjoyed for six years. She worked with clients all over Pierce County from Sumner to Point Defiance to Puyallup.
“I liked it because of the flexible schedule as my son was still in grade school,” Linda said. She did everything from holding clients’ hands as they died to trying to convince doctors that her client was trying to commit suicide by taking too many pills she kept in her backpack.
“Sometimes you have to fight for clients,” Linda said. “You never know what’s going to pop up. There are a lot of mental health issues.”
In 1995, Linda went to work in the Tacoma office as an administrative assistant for home care. She answered phones, organized files, and did anything else she could to help out. She progressed to scheduling and human resources, where she recruited home care workers at health fairs, interviewed prospects, and led orientations.
When one of the home care supervisors became sick with pneumonia and died, Director Ken Villani offered her the supervisor’s position. Eventually Linda became lead supervisor, a position she held until June. Nicolette Hall started as the new director of home care July 5.
“The biggest concern is having enough workers for the Baby Boomers who will need care,” Linda said. “That’s a big group. They will be a little more demanding than past generations. They’re go-getters and they don’t like to admit they’re getting old.”
In retirement, Linda plans to travel. She wants to go to Hawaii for the first time, but she also wants to explore the Northwest. Her husband, Greg, isn’t going to retire for another year. They have one son, Shawn, who works for Pierce County 911.
“I’ve worked a long time, so I’m going to get out in the community and do some volunteer work,” Linda said. “I’ll miss my co-workers. Some of them are like family to me.”
Linda was the longest-serving employee in our Tacoma office. District Director Trudy Sorensen has the next longest tenure at 12 years.