Carmen Figueroa, Lead Care Manager at Ruth’s House Assisted Living Residence
Carmen was born and raised on Central Street in Springfield to a family that included 2 sisters and 2 brothers. Although her childhood dream was to be a mailperson and work in the post office, she attended Putnam High School and trained to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. After completing her CNA license requirements, she worked at Ring Nursing Home on Bicentennial Highway for 2 years. Having met her childhood sweetheart at age 14 and married at age 19, she also began to have children: Ashley, (who is now 27), Adaley (age 26), Ariana (age 22) and Alina (age 19) .
On January 13, 1999, at the age of 23, Carmen started working at Ruth’s House and has been here ever since. In addition to her work at Ruth’s House, she also works for Glenmeadow at Home as well as per diem at Golden Years and Kind Hands Care, other homecare agencies.
Ruth’s House opened just 6 months before Carmen started and thus she has seen, over the years, a lot of change. But what hasn’t changed a bit is her loyalty and devotion to the institution, the residents and the families: “This is my home,” she said, “I am not ever leaving. The first few weeks when I started here, I was in charge of the laundry. Then, two weeks later, I was promoted to Lead Care Manager. I like working in the Garden Level because I feel we are family. I love the residents and enjoy working with people with dementia. The residents depend on us for everything. We are their voices. We have to be there for them, as we become part of their family.” As Lead Care Manager, working 40 hours a week, Carmen oversees all the CNAs in the Garden level, making sure they follow their assignments. She continues with those same responsibilities today.
“During the months of Covid,” Carmen said, “I was doing a lot of Facetime with the families and their loved ones. And the families call me, all the time, to check in and get information, to help bring mom to the window, so they can see her, etc.”
In addition to her work, Carmen devotes her life to her children and grandchildren. She currently has 5 grandchildren: Emilio (age 9), David (8), Anaya (5), OC (3) and Aylah (9 months). In November, she expects to have twin girls born to her youngest daughter Alina. “They are always at my house,” Carmen says with a smile, “We love to cook out and eat. They love what I make. I’ll always be the Mom.”
We congratulate Carmen on her almost 21 years of service to Ruth’s House, and thank her for her devotion and loving care of over a generation of residents and family members. We are so fortunate she has been with our Ruth’s House community almost since the beginning and thus helped create and nurture its warm and caring culture. She is beloved by so many and has put her heart and soul into her work such that for her it’s all part of who she is and why she is here. We wish her and her growing and beautiful family many years of good health and well-being.