Ken Alpert: An Early Commitment to Caring
As a lifelong sports fan, Ken Alpert has always admired the iconic player, Carl Yastrzemski who made his contributions to baseball playing for just one team, the Boston Red Sox, for his entire Major League career. Ken graduated from Connecticut College with a degree in Sociology and knew he wanted to work in human services. It wasn’t long after Ken joined Springwell as a Case Manager in 1981, that he realized he wanted to devote his entire career to helping older adults through Springwell. He thrived in the role and especially likes the combination of engaging with staff in the office and building relationships with older adults in their homes. Reflecting on the first 40 years of his career, Ken notes that, “people are really nice. Over the years, my supervisors and the staff have all been excellent. The atmosphere is comfortable and supportive…and Springwell is a fun place to work.” Ken adds that regular activities such as softball, picnics and other organization outings have contributed to building a happy environment.
While the job title has changed from Case Manager to Care Advisor, the role and goals have remained the same. Springwell works at the intersection of health care and the social determinants of health by helping people access services and supports that make it possible for them to live independently. A Care Advisor pulls together services for an individual, monitors and manages those services, and helps family members understand the role of services. “The organization has grown and added more services so we can help more people. The goal is still to listen to what each individual wants and help them achieve that in their aging lifestyle with services and supports that they are comfortable receiving.”
Ken believes that one of the most important traits for a Care Advisor is being a good listener, and that that is the quality that can help older adults accept recommended services, even when they are reluctant. As Ken says “I like to establish a relationship with an individual by finding out more about their lives. I was speaking with a woman during a home visit and asked her if she had a
favorite President. She said Franklin Roosevelt and told me why she liked him. It was fascinating. Establishing a relationship helps build trust, so that when we start talking about services, they are more receptive.”
“The job can be stressful and challenging at times,” shares Ken. His advice to new Care Advisors is talk with co-workers and supervisors. “We learn from each other. It also helps to have a sense of humor.” In 2019, Ken was awarded the Cathe Madden Case Manager award from the MA Home Aide Council. At the award ceremony, he noted that “it is an honor and a privilege to work at Springwell.” For Springwell, the honor and privilege is very mutual, and we are grateful for Ken’s years of service.
To learn more about career opportunities at Springwell, go here.