Matthew Van Fleet, Direct Care Worker
Matthew Van Fleet of Old Forge is a direct care worker for Allied Services Integrated Health System’s In-Home Services, a program that serves more than 350 individuals across 23 counties in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. Workers like Matthew assist individuals with disabilities and older adults with activities of daily living, making it possible for them to remain in their own homes.
A Marine Corp Infantryman, musician, composer and professional boxer before he became a direct care worker, Matt never imagined that he’d want to do this kind of work. Although Matt says that the profession found him, he’s clearly a natural. “I don’t miss a day of work, because I know how much people depend on me.”
Direct care workers not only help the individual clients, they help their extended families too. “When you have a family member caring for you 24/7, that can cause too much stress ” says Matt. Outside help takes some of that pressure off, helping to restore family relationships.
Spending so much time together, Matt becomes close with the people he care with. “I don’t know if you can look at it as work when you get to hang out with your buddies.”