In the Beginning: A Vision, Passion and a Prayer
By Joie D. Mahler, Co-founder
Coastal Companion Care, or CCC, began with a vision, a passion and a prayer. The good work that continues today is truly how the vision began: through Him, of Him and for His Glory.
Thinking back, my vision for CCC started many years ago. After working as a home health nurse for more than 20 years and managing care for seniors in their homes, I came to realize how satisfying it was to see seniors, many times with multiple physical limitations, continue to live productive lives in their own homes. I felt blessed not only to see them enjoying living in their homes but to see the positive relationships they formed with their caregivers.
The only grandparent that I remember from my childhood spent the last ten years of her life in a “rest home” because there were no skilled caregivers to provide help for her at home. With my parents working outside the home, I can still remember thinking how wonderful it would be if “Granny” could just be at home with us. Of course, as an adult, an RN, a teacher and a daughter that has lost both of her parents, I know there are not always easy answers to life’s transitional situations. My mom had vascular Alzheimer’s for 10 years. With the wonderful help of my brother and caregivers she lived out her life at home. Living at home may not be the best answer in every situation, but when possible, I passionately wanted to help families be able to keep their loved ones at home.
After my home health years, I began working as an instructor, teaching high school and college students desiring to enter the health care field. A cornerstone for many of their occupations was the nursing assistant training.
I had a captive audience for conveying my love for in-home care for seniors! What a blessing to me to see how many of these students also loved working for and learning from our mature generation of outstanding individuals. As I continued to teach both young and older adults desiring to work with seniors, my desire for putting together seniors with gifted, trained caregivers became more passionate.
I will never forget one of my nursing assistant students crying one day when she left the nursing home floor where we had our clinical rotation. “Mary,” my student, was 50 years old and had worked in a cardboard manufacturing plant her entire life. Her words were simple but profound that day: “This is the work I was created to do and I love these people.”
‘Those people,” her assigned patients and most likely every patient on the floor, had become her passion too. We often come to bless others, yet we are tremendously blessed by them. This was certainly true with my student Mary.
Eleanor Powell once wrote; “What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.” I have always thought that quote illustrated well what I have tried to live out and what I have been so privileged to witness in my students and our team members at CCC.
So with a vision to see seniors live out their days productively in their own homes and with a passion to provide gifted, skilled, committed caregivers satisfying work caring for these seniors, came a thought: What if there were a Christian in-home care ministry to provide these services and to enrich the lives of client, family and caregiver? I took this question to God and asked Him, and from that prayer, it has truly been of Him, through Him, for His glory.
After much prayer, soul searching and seeking Him, my husband and I began the search for a location of our new in-home, Christian-based senior care. We found Brunswick County. It might be better to say, we were lead to Brunswick County. Not knowing one person in Brunswick County, we sold our home, left our jobs, friends and family. We packed up ourselves and our children and moved to the “crystal coast” in 2004 and CCC began. Now more than a vision and a passion, CCC was a new company bathed in prayer.
Coastal Companion Care has been so blessed to care for many, many families over the past eight years as well as to work with the wonderful senior resource providers. To see our CCC team members grow and love their work as they provide the gift of care giving is awesome. I am so privileged to have had the opportunity to witness that we have been and are the “light, the hope and the nourishment” to the souls and spirits of the clients and the families that we serve. Brunswick County is filled with richly diverse individuals that have come here from near and far. In serving and working with these families, CCC truly has been blessed!
My heartfelt prayer is that our light will continue to shine before men, that they may see our good deeds and praise our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:15b&16).
Joie C. Mahler, RN, CSA
Let God's promises shine on your problems. ~Corrie Ten Boom