Inside Athena: The Father And New Grandfather Who Is Lanessa’s Occupational Therapy Assistant
WEBSTER, M.A. — Lanessa Extended Care‘s Louis Pecore has put others before himself since a young age. Being the oldest of seven, Pecore began to care for his siblings when just a few years old.
At age seven, he started to help care for his grandparents’ house and did that for five years before finding a job on a dairy farm. His mom never had to tell him to do something twice. He later landed a job at a warehouse where he worked for 10 years. He suffered a back injury and wasn’t able to do the work anymore. Pecore’s journey into the healthcare industry soon followed.
“The lady who was in charge of the company that I was getting therapy from said, ‘Why don’t you become a therapist?’” Pecore said.
Pecore is now a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant at Lanessa in Webster, Massachusetts. He joined the team 17 years ago. A main part of his job revolves around residents’ desires to be more independent. He works with balance, strength, safety awareness, and exercising with residents. The first few days are aimed toward learning about their own personal goals.
Prior to joining Lanessa, he worked in other healthcare jobs across New England. One of those positions included work in an acute respiratory unit. His mission was to help people get off ventilators, but decided to find a new job after several patients passed away.
“Lanessa came up as a job opportunity for me and I knew the manager here and they knew me very well so they said, “Come with us here at Lanessa,'” he said. “This is not really a job for me. It’s more like family.”
Pecore has become a known face around Lanessa. He stops by to speak to those at the center and acknowledges that patients in the memory care unit know his face. He says he chose this field because he was meant to help people and improve lives.
“It makes me feel real good when somebody’s strong enough and able to go home again. Doesn’t matter if they’re walking or in a wheelchair, if they’re able to get strong enough so they can back to home,” the father of three said.
He recalls one woman’s road to recovery. She was told she wouldn’t walk again. He wanted to know what her goal was and her reply was to walk out the doors at the end of therapy. Pecore knew it was possible if she really wanted it to be. More than two months later, she did it, using a walker for support.
“I never thought I would be able to do it. Everybody told me I couldn’t do it. Nobody gave me any kind of confidence but you,” she told him.
“I was part of that. I was part of them being able to go home and finish off their life at home,” Pecore said.
Pecore, who recently became a first-time grandfather, says the journey never starts at the top of the mountain. There’s a process that goes into reaching goals and little milestones along the way. For example, he said if someone wants to open a door, there are things that have to be accomplished prior to that such as standing, moving back, lifting an arm, and more.
He adds his goal of working at Lanessa is to make people as independent as possible.