Meet Lauren Whaley – Compassionate Client Services Manager Committed to an Elevated Level of Customer Service

Lauren Whaley joined the Family & Nursing Care team in October 2020 as a Client Services Manager Associate before quickly being promoted the next year to Client Services Manager. In addition to her other responsibilities, Lauren supports the clients and families at Riderwood Senior Living in Silver Spring, Maryland, where she enjoys making home visits and getting to know each client on a personal level to better understand their needs.

Prior to joining Family & Nursing Care, Lauren worked at Make-A-Wish Foundation and Easterseals where she helped assist families in need. This experience combined with her diverse skill set and passion to enhance the lives of others has helped her excel as a Client Services Manager.

Known for providing a high level of customer service through empathy, guidance, and compassion, the clients and families Lauren supports often sing her praises. Her attention to detail, dependability, organization, and calm demeanor allows her to effectively communicate and connect with clients and co-workers alike.

A graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in Family Science, Lauren enjoys spending her free time with family and friends and being outdoors as much as possible.

At Family & Nursing Care, our team of highly trained Client Service Managers serve as liaisons, educators, listeners, and problem solvers to help meet clients’ caregiving needs every step of the way. They are responsible for communicating with clients, families, and healthcare professionals, while working in tandem with Care Coordinating Managers to match the right Caregiver to each client. To learn more about how our team can help, visit our Client Services Managers webpage.

Staying Safe Amid the Summer Heat

While summertime brings sunny skies and the chance to spend more time outdoors – especially as families look to reconnect – extreme heat can also disproportionately impact certain populations. Recognizing that older adults are more prone to heat-related health problems, like muscle cramps, headaches, nausea, or even heatstroke, it’s important to prevent or respond to any warm weather issues as they arise.

That’s where Family & Nursing Care’s network of highly trained Caregivers can play a critical role in helping clients avoid any warm-weather health issues. Here are some of the ways they can assist to ensure family’s loved ones are safe during the heat of summer:

  • Hydration: Hydration is key in the summer, especially for older adults. Caregivers can make it easier for clients to drink plenty of fluids during hot summer days by making sure there is plenty of cool water to drink both in the home and when they are outside and by reminding them to drink frequently.


  • Proper attire: The best clothing for summer is light weight and made of natural materials like cotton or linen. These materials tend to be more comfortable and help our bodies stay cool. Before outings, Caregivers can help ensure their clients are wearing weather-appropriate clothes and have sunglasses and a hat with them to protect from sunburns, irritated eyes, glaucoma-related sensitivities, skin cancers, and more.


  • Heatstroke: Older adults have a harder time regulating their body temperature, making them more prone to heatstroke, which can be quite dangerous. In extreme heat, Caregivers can help their clients avoid serious issues by watching for changes in their condition which can be precursors to heatstroke. Common signs of heat stroke include a body temperature over 104 degrees, headaches, nausea, not sweating despite the heat, dry or flushed skin, and fainting. Older adults with these symptoms should be taken to a cooler indoor space, where they can lie down and have ice packs put on their body. A Caregiver can also call 911.


  • Mobility Issues: Even normal day-to-day activities require more energy in the summer heat, making it easier to get tired quickly. For older adults who have mobility issues, this problem is exacerbated. Caregivers can provide mobility support to your loved ones, ensuring they enjoy outdoor weather and don’t get too tired while out and about.


“While it’s important for everyone to stay active regardless of the time of year, it’s vital when being outdoors during the summer to take the proper precautions and ensure you are prepared for the warmer weather,” says Rachel Sanford, a Registered Nurse and Director of Nursing for Family & Nursing Care Select. “Older adults are especially vulnerable to heat-related illnesses, which is why it’s very helpful for someone else, like a Caregiver, to be on hand, to assist with the right tools and guidance to help prevent and/or respond quickly to any warm-weather related issues.”

For more information about the services available at Family & Nursing Care, visit the Home Care Services webpage. For more information about the impact of heat on older adults, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Gwendolyn Morris-Smith Receives the MNCHA Caregiver of the Year Award

On May 14, 2024, during the Maryland-National Capital Homecare Association (MNCHA) Annual Conference held at the Maritime Conference Center in Linthicum Heights, Maryland, Family & Nursing Care’s Gwendolyn Morris-Smith was honored with the prestigious Caregiver of the Year Award. Celebrating caregivers who consistently exceed expectations, Gwendolyn received this award for her dedication, compassion, and an unwavering commitment to meeting her client’s needs.

The ceremony, attended by her daughter, daughter-in-law, and sister, was an overwhelmingly positive experience for Gwendolyn. “It was a feeling I’ve never felt before. It was truly amazing,” she said when reflecting on the emotional impact of the event. Gwendolyn shared her profound gratitude for receiving the award, “The award means a lot to me. Knowing I’m appreciated and recognized brings me great joy and shows I’m making a difference.”

Gwendolyn’s journey into the caregiving profession began with an interest in assisting vulnerable people. “I’ve always had a passion for helping others, and becoming a caregiver allowed me to make a positive impact in people’s lives,” she said. Her clients frequently praise her dedication, which fills her with a deep sense of accomplishment. “It makes me feel fulfilled just knowing I can help do things for them that they no longer may be able to do themselves.”

Gwendolyn’s career with Family & Nursing Care Select began in 2009 when she sought employment with a reputable com

pany upon receiving her permanent resident status in the U.S. “The reputation of the company and the positive feedback I heard from other employees drew me to Family & Nursing Care,” she recalled. Her tenure with the company has been marked by numerous cherished memories, including helping a client experience the joy of dancing for the first time in her life.

Having worked in the industry for over 20 years, Gwendolyn attributes her success to essential qualities, such as compassion, empathy, patience, respect, reliability, and presence. The most rewarding part of her career, Gwendolyn shared, is making a difference in people’s lives. “That’s why I do what I do,” she stated. Her advice to fellow Caregivers is to treat clients with the same respect and care they would want for their own loved ones.

Since starting her career in 2003, Gwendolyn has consistently demonstrated kindness, patience, and a gentle demeanor. Her ability to connect with clients, even those whose families are far away, and her attentiveness to their needs have made her an indispensable part of their lives.

One standout instance of her expertise involved identifying an emergency situation early on that led to life-saving treatment for a client. Her proactive approach, arriving on time and ready for every shift, and her dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic, have all earned her high praise. A client’s family member said of her, “Gwendolyn has been an amazing help during this time, and I can’t thank her enough for everything she has done for both of my parents and especially my mother right now. COVID-19 has made this whole process challenging, and knowing Gwendolyn is there with my mom gives us all great comfort.”

Allison Bates, Director of Care Coordinating for Family & Nursing Care Select, summed up Gwendolyn’s impact by stating, “From day one, Gwendolyn has been dedicated, nurturing, kind, positive, and loving with every client. She is a one-of-a-kind Caregiver who consistently goes above and beyond what is expected. She always makes the best decisions for her clients and truly treats them as if they were her own family.”

Please join us in congratulating Gwendolyn on this incredibly well-deserved honor!

The Continued Trend Towards At-Home Care

In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift in the approach to care for older adults in the United States. With the continued strain on healthcare systems and a growing desire to prioritize comfort and familiarity, more families are opting for at-home care over traditional hospital, hospice, or nursing home settings. This trend is not only driven by external pressures on the healthcare system but also by an increased recognition of the benefits of older adults living in their own homes.

One significant aspect of this shift is the emergence of hospital-at-home programs. These programs, offered by many leading medical institutions, aim to provide hospital-level care in the comfort of patients’ homes. By leveraging technology and skilled healthcare professionals, hospitals can deliver a wide range of services, from acute medical care to post-surgical recovery, without the need for prolonged hospital stays. This not only reduces the burden on healthcare facilities but also enhances patients’ quality of life by allowing them to remain in familiar surroundings.

A similar trend can also be seen for private duty home care, where statistics reflect the growing popularity of this as a preferred option for older adults. According to recent data, the demand for at-home care services has surged, with a significant increase in the number of families opting for at-home care solutions over traditional nursing home placements. With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day, according to the Census Bureau, and a reported 77% of adults over the age of 50 preferring to “age in place,” this movement is only expected to grow exponentially from here.

Mitch Markowitz, Vice President of Business Development at Family & Nursing Care, emphasizes the importance of this shift, “At-home care offers an unmatched level of personalized attention and comfort for older adults that can often improve recovery outcomes. At the same time, it’s equally important for home care companies to collaborate with healthcare providers when individuals are discharged to cover any potential gaps and ultimately ensure a successful return to health.”

As one of the oldest and leading home care resources in Maryland and Washington, D.C., Family & Nursing Care’s mission is to help older adults live their fullest independent lives in the comfort of their own homes. For more than 55 years, we’ve assisted tens of thousands of families by providing access to Caregivers who help with activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, mobility assistance, errands, meal prep, light housekeeping, medication reminders, companionship, and more.

Driven by a desire to improve patient outcomes, alleviate pressure on healthcare systems, and promote independence and comfort for older adults, the rise of at-home care represents a fundamental change for this industry. And as the demand for at-home care continues to grow, providers like Family & Nursing Care are prepared to play a crucial role in supporting the evolving needs of aging populations and their families.

To learn more about our leading home care services, visit the Why Us? page on our website.


The Importance of Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month and the Family & Nursing Care Difference

Worldwide, more than 55 million people, including nearly 7 million in the United States, are living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Unfortunately, that number is projected to rise to nearly 13 million people in America by 2050. That’s why June, which marks Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, is an especially important time to help bring greater attention and understanding of diseases affecting the brain.

While too many people are still unfortunately battling cognitive issues, the good news is that real progress is being made and more options exist than ever before to help those living with this disease. Last year, the first-ever drug designed to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, Leqembi, hit the market. This year, another Alzheimer’s drug is going through FDA approval, Donanemab, which has also been shown to slow the progression of memory and thinking problems by 22% to 29% in clinical trials.

Even though drugs like Leqembi and Donanemab may represent a major step forward in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other progressive forms of dementia, they are only intended for people in the very early stages of the disease. Nonetheless, there are additional resources beyond medications to help those affected, including the support of caregivers who can play a significant role in the care and education of patients and families.

“At Family & Nursing Care, we recognize that being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia can be especially troubling to families,” says Kelly Salb, Vice President of Client Services for Family & Nursing Care. “That’s why we offer tailored support and a range of services to help meet client’s needs while giving families peace of mind knowing their loves ones are in good hands.”

The Family & Nursing Care Difference

Family & Nursing Care is a longtime leader in providing access to best-in-class care for older adults living with dementia and other cognitive issues, so they can feel as comfortable as possible. Dementia services available include private, customizable support and companionship for clients based on their individual needs. Our network of highly trained Caregivers has experience supporting clients at different stages of dementia, including:

  • Early-Stage Needs: For those in the early stages of memory loss diseases, Caregivers can provide emotional and daily support, including keeping appointments, assistance with remembering to take medications, and encouraging participation in activities that can help exercise certain brain functions and potentially slow disease progression.
  • Middle-Stage Needs: For those experiencing increased memory trouble, acting out, developing triggers, or otherwise diagnosed with middle-stage dementia needs, Caregivers can assist with daily tasks like grooming, cooking, and household chores. As the disease progresses, Caregivers can also provide services focused on keeping clients comfortable and more at-ease.

With June marking Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, this is an important time to reflect on all the advancements and options available to families now, including home care, to help combat this disease. To learn more about Family & Nursing Care’s Alzheimer’s and dementia care offerings, visit the Home Care and Alzheimer’s/Dementia webpage, or to learn more about Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, visit the Alzheimer’s Association.