Direct Support Professional Retires After Decades of Dedication
When Lucia Riviere walked into Ability Beyond Ritch Drive residence for her first day at work nearly three decades ago, she knew it was where she belonged.
Riviere had grown up wanting to be nurse. She had a calling to treat people the way they deserved to be treated, with respect, regardless of age or ability. And it was at Ability Beyond where she found that opportunity.
Prior to coming to Ability, I worked at a nursing home for five years, and it seemed very impersonal, as though many of my coworkers didn't really care about the residents, she said, I thought to myself, I don't want to be treated this way when I get older. I knew it was not the kind of environment I wanted to be in.
Making A Difference
Riviere, a direct care support professional, learned everything she could about the six individuals who were living in the residence. Each of those served are people with their own aspirations, challenges and unique gifts, and she wanted to make sure they were treated that way.
Ability Beyond has always been focused on trying to improve the lives of the people we serve through individualized care, she said. It's part of the organization's fabric, and it allows dedicated employees to make a real difference in people's lives.
Sometimes, she pointed out, other staff members would call her the mother hen of the house, because the consumers' needs were always foremost in her mind. She would often take new employees under her wing and coach them about how to provide the best possible care.
Respect From Her Peers
Matthew Hossan, an Assistant Services Manager who worked with Riviere for nearly 15 years, said she is a person of selflessness, compassion, and dignity that he learned a great deal from over the years. Riviere, he said, had passion for our clients and would never settle for anything less than the best care from herself or her co-workers.
Every staff member that came to Ritch Drive benefitted from the knowledge and guidance she passed along, he said. She worked hard to make sure everyone saw the value, drive, and dignity in our clients. Whether it was on a trip to the mall, or helping someone to and from work, she always made sure that our individuals put their best foot forward and commanded respect from the community.”
When it came time for Riviere to retire, it was a hard decision. One that she put off for more than six months. She cared deeply about her work and the people she served.
I'm really going to miss them, she said. But I also know they're in good hands.
Hossan said the legacy of Riviere's character will live on at Ritch Drive through the countless times she guided new employees during her career.
She has helped to build and maintain a solid foundation of like-minded individuals who will now carry the torch of her enduring guidance, empathy, and determination to live our mission here at Ability Beyond.
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