November 15, 2019
Basile Care Center
When I finally slow down and reflect on this trip, the most memorable visit might be our stop at the Basile Care Center in Louisiana. We had a marvelous weekend in New Orleans with Leslie and Francis. I’m not sure how Francis will explain the annual New Orleans Halloween parade to his fellow Cameroonians– yikes! So, we set off early to Basile, which is about a 3-hour drive from the city. This week will be a LOT of driving, as the van has to be in San Diego by the end of the week.
Most of the sites along the journey have been communities and/or ED’s that I know personally. Basile Care Center was a mystery to me. Melonie, one of our iN2L account specialists, encouraged me to stop by there, so we made it happen. Basile itself is a tiny town, very nondescript as you cruise on by through the backroads of Louisiana. The care center was on the north side of town, with signs pointing toward it, so it’s a big part of the community. There is certainly nothing fancy about the building; it has an old nursing home vibe to it. The pouring rain didn’t help the ambiance, either.
We stumbled in, looking for Eileen, and suddenly wind up in the middle of an iN2L-driven activity. At first glance, my impression was that this was a hard group of residents of all ages, all shapes, and sizes. But the energy in the room was palpable. And the staff, through the adversity of a tough population, were all smiling. Big, genuine smiles.
We find Eileen. She’s a remarkable woman. Having spent most of her career in MA, her move to Basile was a calling as much as anything else. She gave me the inside scoop about the care center, that the residents there are primarily people who due to a myriad of circumstances are discharged from other communities. A tough, tough crowd. But the joy from the staff was something impossible to convey. I loved it. Anastasia just rocked iN2L!
We had fun crooning with a handful of residents and staff. Jon’s version of “Amazing Grace” and Robert’s impersonation of Popeye and Yogi Bear stand out. But what stands out in the Basile experience is the love and the passion that emanates from the staff. Eileen’s “calling” was contagious…