Erinn Drouin – CountryHouse Residence for Memory Care
Meet Erinn Drouin, director of CountryHouse Residence for Memory Care (www.countryhouse.net) in Omaha.
Tell us a little about your business. – CountryHouse Residence is a memory care community for folks living with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. Our team works hard to make it feel like home for our family here at CountryHouse. It is more than just providing care, it is providing love and companionship and sharing laughter and joy. There can still be so many wonderful moments and happy days through activity, engagement, and conversation, and we are happy to have the chance to provide it all!
How did you get started in the business? – I was working as the state director of development for the Alzheimer’s Association and had the pleasure of working with memory care communities across Nebraska. Each time I visited a CountryHouse, I would go home and tell my husband that, though I did not want to leave the Association, if I did, it would only be to work at a CountryHouse. So, for me, this is truly my dream job!
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – COVID. The pandemic was devastating to watch in a community like ours. Though we were more fortunate here than most, the separation from people we loved was heartbreaking to see and endure daily.
What has been your most important achievement professionally? – Working alongside a team that truly cares about our incredible CountryHouse family. There has been no bigger reward than being able to leave at the end of the day and knowing that our residents will be loved regardless of which of our team members is working. Though I cannot take credit for this (it is the work and contributions of our entire team), working in a such a happy and devoted community is what I am most proud of.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – Just be with my kids! The pandemic has forced our hands a bit and shifted the balance of work and home. I cherish every moment that I have with them. It doesn’t matter if we are at a soccer game or reading a book, I love it all!
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – My daughter, who is 7, loves visiting CountryHouse. She had spent an afternoon visiting with a resident who had shared fantastical stories about made up pets she was *sure* she had owned. Kate listened enthusiastically through everything. When we left she asked me if the stories were true. I explained to her that, for this woman, she believed them to be true. Kate’s response is something I carry with me daily. She said, “So it does not matter if her stories are true or not, it just matters that I listen.” This is my mantra for everything I do each day here at CountryHouse.
If you could have a super power, what would it be? – When I was younger, I would have said that I would have wanted to fly. Now, I would choose the power to heal. I would love the ability to cure others who are sick.
What is your favorite movie? – I am a kid at heart when it comes to movies. I love the movie Coco. It is a beautiful and poignant reminder of the powerful and importance of connections between family. Coco also does a wonderful job of introducing a dementia diagnosis in a heart-warming and relatable way. It makes me cry every single time!