Silver Leaf In-Home Care announces the promotion of Jacci Van Alder to Care Manager/Marketing. Her position was created to ensure a personalized level of service as Silver Leaf continues to grow. The company, founded in 1996, has been adding a steady roster of new clients and caregivers in response to Vermont’s aging population, as well as the growing demand for in-home care.
Silver Leaf owner Patty Bergeron says that when Van Alder joined the team in 2016, she clearly embodied the principles of the business. “Until just a few months ago, I used to visit every client, every week,” she says. “This is how we become like family with our clients – we stay in close touch and are always willing to go the extra mile for them.” It also helps their caregivers to know their managers are available 24/7 should any problems arise.
Bergeron and Van Alder share the managerial duties these days. This frees Bergeron to focus on new services such as estate management, and a care-managed travel service. “Our clients’ families are busy people,” she says, “and if we can make their lives easier by handling the cleaning out or sale of an elder’s home, we’re glad to do it.” Bergeron has relationships with reputable contractors, realtors and estate companies. This is another benefit for families who live out of state and have to handle more than just in-home care for their loved one.
Van Alder has been caregiving one way or another since her teens. She’s worked in nursing homes, institutions, for the VNA, and in group homes in Connecticut and New Hampshire. She has volunteered for Special Olympics, Red Cross, Humane Society, Girl Scouts, Vermont Respite House and Make a Wish, among others. Van Alder also studied classical piano and performance management and was a music educator, piano technician and rebuilder for twenty-five years.
She knows firsthand the challenges of illness and disability. She and her youngest child spent six years with an extended illness, spending their days much like some of her clients do now: from bed to chair, sleeping a lot, with their only outings being for doctor’s appointments.
That experience drives Van Alder’s passion for getting to know each client one-on-one, to understand their likes, dislikes, and to find ways to take them on outings just for pleasure. “Often it’s the smallest thing that can make the biggest impact,” she says. “It’s all about being thoughtful, especially with older people who have lived such amazing lives.”
Van Alder’s sidekick is her miniature Dachshund ‘Brutus.’ Many of her clients enjoy cuddling and lap time with Brutus, and he has been known to entice clients to get outside to take walks with him. Brutus often stops by with Van Alder to see clients and to visit Starr Farm, Birchwood Terrace, Allenwood or Ethan Allen Residence, when they have time. She’s happy to report, “The residents light up at the sight of his little tail wagging!”