Merrily Orsini's Thought Leadership

Happy Blow-Your-Top-Off Anniversary to Mt. St. Helens

Thirty-six years ago today, on May 18th 1980, Mt. St. Helens blew its top completely off. A friend of mine, living in Portland on a houseboat at the time, looked up to see a topless mountain where there once had been a pointed top.  Now this mighty mount is rumbling again, and a dome has formed where once before there was a more robust mountain top.

It was on this day in 1981 that I started my first business: Home Management Services. The time was pre-home care and pre-virtual work. My first home care client came from Janet Levitan who worked at the Jewish Family & Vocational Center and had a request for someone to “babysit” with a confused woman. Note that this was pre-Alzheimer’s  designation when “senility” was the term used for those with cognitive impairment. This was pre-home care as an available option for those who needed care.

That first client who went, by the way, from “babysitting” to full time care in a heartbeat when her caregiver spouse died suddenly about a week after we had started. And that first client became a loving and learning experience as we stayed with her full time from then until she passed. And, I visited her often and was by her side as she transitioned from active, but confused, to inactive, and finally completely bedridden until her death.

That first client basically blew the top off of my business model, and she was the reason I dove into how to provide better care, teach caregivers how to best do their jobs, and create systems that monitored and tracked our clients’ social and household needs as well as their care needs.

That first client was the impetus for the passion I now possess to figure out how to better approach aging and how we care for those who need care in a changing world.

And, that first client allowed me the opportunity to wish myself a Happy Anniversary as well on this anniversary of the start date of my very first business.

Onward and upward. More to come.