If anyone needs to know the moods, or likes and dislikes, of the Comprehensive Care Center (CCC)’s residents, Elizabeth Linneman is the person with the information.
In her 29th year at the CCC, Elizabeth is the Social Services Provider at the skilled nursing facility.
Working closely with the center’s entire Care Plan Team, Elizabeth is responsible for evaluating the psychosocial and emotional behavior and well-being of residents in both the short-term and long-term areas of the CCC.
Digging deep into someone’s long life to understand their attitudes and behaviors, and understanding the often complex goals for a resident’s end-of-life decisions is a role Elizabeth has refined in her years at the CCC.
A native of Great Falls, Montana, Elizabeth studied psychology and earned a Master’s Degree from California State University, Fresno in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling.
Her desire to serve in that field stemmed from a close family member’s struggle with depression and anxiety issues, and that relative’s reliance on Elizabeth’s psychological support.
“I wanted to listen to someone in distress and help them, rather than just offer platitudes,” she said of her chosen career. “I wanted to really help them feel better and get better. I just remember thinking with my relative, ‘I wish I knew what to say to her.’ And that someday, I will know what to say to someone in this situation.”
After working in county mental health services and coordinating anger management service, she heard of an opening for new social services role at the CCC.
“It’s good for me to work and have all these great people to interact with – the staff, the residents, all through the day,” she says. “It’s a happy place to come to. It’s nice for the social aspect of it. I go through the day smiling.”
She also values the variety of the job. In addition to the care plan role, she also helps determine whether a new admission to the CCC has suffered any financial, physical or mental abuse that must be addressed. Elizabeth also helps facility residents keep their MediCal coverage current for the annual redetermination if there’s no family member available to assist.
She conducts suicide assessments if someone expresses a desire to self-harm or a lack of willingness to keep living. She aids family members navigating the changing mental and physical status of their loved one; helps coordinate dental assessments and even handles the lost and found. Elizabeth also manages the process of establishing a conservatorship for residents with no family members.
In all her duties, she comes to know deeply the likes and dislikes of each resident, to better facilitate the necessary care.
“We have so many cool characters here, and stories,” Elizabeth says. “I like exploring their past, what their life was like, their families, all the things they did. When I started out here, there were people living here that were born in the 1880s. The Civil War was in the 1860s and I was with people from the 1890s. It’s not that much later. Now, we are up to people born during World War I.”
She’s nearing the 30-year mark for her employment longevity, and Elizabeth feels comfortable in her role.
“It’s kind of like a second home here, a home away from home,” she says.