The MENTOR Network

Carolyn Garscia Program Coordinator, REM Ramsey

At Lakeview—the house that award winner Carolyn Garscia makes a home—classical music, gospel hymns or the sounds of a waterfall fill the air. A garden welcomes visitors, and plants add color and life around the house. Smells of breakfast or a roasting turkey waft from the kitchen. But the residents of Lakeview aren’t on vacation; rather they are older women—ages 64-94—dealing with the debilitating effects of disability, dementia and disease. Carolyn lifts the burdens of pain the women are feeling and accepts nothing less of herself and her staff than to provide the very best care. Carolyn is a fierce advocate for the rights of those she serves, fighting to safely avoid unnecessary moves to nursing homes, hospitals and transitional care. She has been instrumental in securing hospice supports and then helping these women transition off painful medications when their conditions worsen. Asked how she deals with the dark hours when an individual is close to the end of life, Carolyn said that a good friend of hers explained it best: “At the end of the day, when I go home, I know that if one of these women were to pass away in the night, I did my best to make it the best day of their lives.”

The 2006 Ripple of Hope Awards winners were honored on November 13th, 2006 at the John Joseph Moakely United States Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts.