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Service To Others

A Word From Maria Thacker, Owner


Tender Nursing Care was founded in 1999 out of my overwhelming desire to offer people the help they needed to remain in their own homes, the exceptional care that they should expect, and to provide this care with the highest level of respect, compassion, and understanding.  My overwhelming desire to do what I saw others fail at so often had grown through my life experiences.   I would like to share stories with you about two special people in my life--my brother and mother.  These experiences influenced who I am as a person and fueled my passion to serve others.  
My twin brother, Michael was and always will be my heart.  He taught me that love was everything.  His hugs were the best thing ever and he was so happy.  Michael suffered brain damage at birth.  When we were born, our mother was told that he needed to go to an institution and that there were no other options.  My mother wasn't one to accept the word no.  There were no services to support individuals living in the community, except for a "teacher" who came to see him once a month.  My mother worked.  The day care centers at that time did not accept children who had seizures or who were incontinent, so she would leave those details out when setting up care for him.  That would last until he had a seizure, fell down, and peed all over the floor.  Even now, I have to smile at this memory of how gutsy my mother was.  Mom was able to keep up this charade until Michael and I were almost 13.  She could no longer lie about his condition and could not afford to stay home to care for him.  So off Michael went to "school".  That was the nice word that was used back then to label institutions that cared for individuals with special needs.  I worked there as a volunteer from the time my brother was admitted until I moved away to go to nursing school.  It was a pretty awful place.  Everyone who lived on his ward, except for Michael had been abandoned and had never known the love of family.  I tried to provide some of that while I was there.  Michael was able to walk when he "started school" there, but was wheelchair bound with contractures in both of his legs within a year and could no longer walk within a year.  There came a time that the staff did not give him his anticonvulsants and he seized to death and we lost him.  My mother and I both grieved that we could not protect him and that he did not live until we could bring him home again.  
My mother was in good health until she wasn’t.  She was diagnosed with cancer.  She lived with us and we had our first experiences being on the receiving end of needing home health care.  What most surprised me was the lack of compassion, the lack of professionalism, and the thoughtless way that care was delivered.  As a nurse, I was dismayed and saw things with a new perspective.  Lesson learned.  My desire to help others was there and now I had the passion and put in the hard work to found Tender Nursing Care in 1999.

It has now been twenty years and it seems like yesterday.  Tender Nursing Care has been blessed to have a good reputation and to have had the opportunity to work with wonderful clients and case managers.  Each of our clients has come to us with their own story and needs. We have worked hard to listen to them and to provide them with exceptional care.  I worked hard to build an amazing team of associates who have helped me along the way.  Ben Schreiber, my son-in-law is our Administrator and has been taking over the reins day to day and working with our Director of Nursing to ensure that we provide the best possible care.   
I like to think that my mother and brother would be proud.  Through our lives, I hope that we have been able to inspire others to provide the level of care that all clients deserve.  My expectations for myself and our company were and remain extremely high.  I am thankful for all of our wonderful clients, their families, our amazing associates and my supportive and loving family and look forward to continue to serve our clients with the same compassion and dedication.      

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