From Home – Asselmeier Shares Caregiving Experience with HSS
If you’ve spent much time in Monroe County, you’ve probably heard the phrase “from home.” This colloquialism is a favorite among those native to the area to trace lineage and make familial connections. HSS Board Member Kathy Asselmeier is “from home”.
Kathy was born and raised in Waterloo, graduating from Waterloo High School in 1976. She was married, raised four children, and had a successful career as a nurse, all while living in Monroe County.
To this day, she and her husband Dwight live between Burksville and Maeystown, on a corner of the property where she grew up.
For Kathy, this is more than an address - this is home.
“In Monroe County, we have to step up and take care of our neighbors,” said Kathy, “which is what we’ve always done. It’s just taking care of our friends and neighbors.”
At an early age, Kathy experienced firsthand the impact she could make on her community as a caregiver.
While in high school, she volunteered as a counselor at a local summer camp that served Human Support Services (HSS) clients.
Volunteer counselors were paired with HSS clients to do camp activities from making snacks and playing games to singing songs. This opportunity made Kathy recognize her natural inclination for taking care of others, and helped inspire her to become a nurse.
Throughout her nursing career, Kathy focused on long-term care. She worked as director of nursing in a local nursing home and was promoted to nursing home administrator.
She came to believe that the elderly of our community deserved more options than they were getting from traditional nursing home settings. She saw the transition to assisted living on the horizon and brought it home to Monroe County.
Kathy, her husband and another couple revolutionized senior care in the area when they opened Garden Place.
“I learned a lot about management of people, funds, state regulations, advertising and the whole nine yards,” Kathy said of her time as managing owner of Garden Place.
In time, they operated five assisted living facilities between Monroe, St. Clair, and Randolph counties.
Now that Kathy is “officially” retired, she’s come full circle and is once again volunteering with HSS, the very same organization that inspired her career path as a caregiver.
She is on the HSS Board of Directors, serving on the executive council ad litem and the property committee. HSS relies on Kathy’s knowledge of managing employees, taking care of people, acquiring property and maintaining buildings. Her dedication to “getting in there and getting your hands dirty” makes Kathy an asset to our organization.
As she often likes to joke, “I have to think outside of the box to figure out how to get stuff done. I don’t even have a box so there’s no other way for me to think about it!”
Kathy is also an active volunteer with Hoyleton Youth and Family Services. She's a dedicated member of St. John UCC Church in Maeystown, where she can be found helping with the mission team and singing with the choir. She enjoys music, crafting, and quilting and is a proud grandmother to nine grandchildren.
HSS is always looking for more engaged, dedicated individuals like Kathy to join our board of directors and our committees. If you’re interested in learning more, contact Courtney Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org.