Tim Stewart’s passion for helping others is not surprising when you understand its source. Growing up with a disability was often difficult for Tim but thanks to the support of social workers and other professionals when he was younger, he learned to overcome the challenges he faced and even thrive. “I wouldn’t be where I am now without them,” he said. It’s no mystery that their service to him eventually led to him serving others.
Stewart has a more than 20-year career as a social worker and case manager, the last seven years of which have been spent as a member of the Senior Services Living-at-Home team. The Living-at-Home program helps manage the care of people who are Medicaid eligible and require nursing home/facility levels of care, allowing them to receive that care at home through the assistance of formal and informal support and case managers. Stewart relishes the opportunity his job provides him to create special connections with the people he serves while he helps them to live with dignity and purpose.
“Working in this field is part of my way of paying forward all the kindness and help I received”
Working at Senior Services for so long has allowed Tim to create deep relationships with the Living-at-Home participants. Some of them have been with him since he first became a team member, and he recognizes and appreciates the way they have been able to grow together. Tim finds great pride and joy when seeing the participants gain the ability, with his help, to safely and more independently live at home. “It makes me feel really good because I know I played a part in it. It makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something. A lot of people are in jobs where they really don’t get anything out of…but this is something you really get a lot out of!”
Stewart enjoys working with his Senior Services colleagues almost as much as the people whose care he helps manage. “Senior Services has a family feel. I never really feel like I’m headed to work in the morning. It’s more like I’m going to hang out with family and friends and just happen to get work done,” he laughed. He and the other Living-at-Home case managers and staff share a special bond. They can often be seen huddled together, sharing information and advice. Stewart appreciates having such an experienced and knowledgeable team to lean on and the friendships they have made and shared so easily, but when all is said and done, his greatest professional joy comes from serving people who need his help. “I like going to see my folks…sit down and talking with them. Seeing how what we’re doing for them is helping…I can see where they’ve progressed and it’s because of the services we provide.”
When asked why he continues to serve at Senior Services, his reply was, “It’s important to me to help people. I feel like I’m helping people and that’s important to me. There would be a lot of people in some trouble without the services of this agency. I just know that we’re needed and that motivates me to keep going.”