Meet Kelly Kierstead, who is Spurwink’s Nursing Home Administrator at Old Lisbon Road, which is an an ICF-IID, a 12-bed nursing facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities with a focus on active treatment services. She has been with Spurwink since 2008, and when she’s not helping the individuals Spurwink serves, you can find her spending time with her family or curling up with a coffee and a book or show.
What is your role at Spurwink? I started my career as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) in a small home in Lewiston. Once I finished school I moved to 24 Old Lisbon Road (OLR as we like to say). I knew I had found “my place” at OLR. I have been here since 2012 and have been the administrator since 2019.
What’s a fun activity or memory related to your work at Spurwink? We used to have these huge parties at OLR every summer and for the holidays. All the friends and family of our residents would come and we would play games, eat, and have entertainment. I look forward to having them again someday!
When I’m not working or volunteering at Spurwink: I am a homebody. I spend a lot of time with my family. I like books, crosswords, movies, and TV. I also like thrift store shopping.
Spurwink program that I connect with most deeply: Adult IID (Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities). I started my human service career here and got hooked! It is much different behind the scenes than doing direct care, and I miss that work, but also know I can work to make positive changes from the administrative role I am in now. It is extremely rewarding and I plan to spend my career in this field.
Why behavioral health matters to me: I believe behavioral health matters because it’s all about helping people live their best lives. As a professional and as the mother of an autistic child, it is my duty to advocate for a world where differences and neurodiversity are celebrated and can be a source of pride.
My favorite way to de-stress: Coffee and a book or TV.
Most interesting thing I’ve read or watched recently: A documentary called Life Animated, based on journalist Ron Suskind’s memoir about his son Owen. As a child, Owen communicated mainly through Disney movies. A quote from that movie that has been with me ever since is “Who decides what makes a life meaningful?” It has given me a new perspective on what it means to help people live their best life and to find meaning for them. Not everyone fits in the same box or wants the same things.
The music I jam to alone in the car is: There is this fantastic little Maine radio station out of Lewiston that plays music from the 40’s-70’s. I listen to it anytime I’m in the car!
Favorite ice cream: Chocolate anything!
Recent Netflix (or other service) obsession: Killing Eve on BBC America/Hulu. I binged 3 seasons in two weeks!
Sweet or salty?: You can’t beat both together, like potato chips on ice cream.
Mountains or beach?: I grew up on a 10 x 3 mile Canadian island. The beach and ocean are in my soul <3