Inside Athena: The Man “Creating a Home Environment” At Plymouth Rehab
PLYMOUTH, M.A. — Donald Hill says the laundry and the cleaning he supervises at Plymouth Rehabilitation & Health Care Center in Massachusetts is to create “a home environment” for the residents.
The Director of Housekeeping joined the home in Plymouth County two years ago as a floor tech. In January, he was promoted to director. He starts his day at 6:45 a.m. by walking through the building to see what needs attention. That includes the laundry room and meeting with his crew members to go over that day’s duties.
“I don’t just sit in the office. I’m actually hardly ever in the office. I’m on the floor with them and I will take a load off them, so to speak, by taking the laundry cart and picking up the laundry and trash myself,” he said.
Hill moved to the United States at 16. He was born in Massachusetts to a military father and a German mother. His mother and he moved back to Germany when he was a few months old. He would start spending summers in Massachusetts with his father at age 12 before making the move four years later. His mother soon followed.
As he got older, he began working in housekeeping. But the houses he would upkeep were foreclosed and owned by banks. He would perform basic repairs on the homes, remove furniture and trash, and get the house “up to par for the banks to resell.”
It was who he met while doing that work who would later help him land a job working at Plymouth Rehab.
“The person that I worked with doing the cleanouts for the bank actually was a floor tech here and his wife was the former director of housekeeping,” he said. “They called me up and said, ‘Would you be interested?’ and I said, ‘yeah.’”
With his work ethic and natural initiative he decided to pursue the Director of Housekeeping role. In his new role, he oversees a staff of 16. They are tasked with cleaning and waxing floors, laundry, trash pickup, linen pickup, and more.
Many co-workers are family to him and many residents are his friends.
“I love working with the elderly,” Hill explains. “Our housekeeping crew, are so much closer to the residents. We have a personal rapport with them and they look forward to seeing us.”
The work he and his team do is important for not only safety purposes but emotional ones too. Hill says they try to keep it “clean like they had it at home.”