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The value of a caring aide

May 7, 2012
by Kathleen Mears
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When Vicki began working second shift last summer, I was delighted that she was such a caring person. I was also sorry she was only part time. She is conscientious and usually shows up well before "clock in time.” Doing so allows her to see how the day has gone. 

It was not long before I realized I felt better whenever Vicki is my aide. Each afternoon after rounds she looks in on each resident on her list. In my case, she sees I am set up correctly and comfortable.

Vicki understands I cannot get a drink without assistance. So she offers me drinks frequently. Since I only put my call light on once an hour for a drink, Vicki offers me a drink whenever she goes by my room.

Vicki usually checks on me whether my call light is on or not. She routinely stops in before dinner and again soon after. She understands that I am somewhat isolated and makes sure that I feel less so. 

I find it remarkable that she identifies with resident situations so well regardless of whether they have dementia or severe behaviors. 

If residents forget snack time, Vicki reminds them and escorts them to the dining room, if necessary.

Although I try not to tell Vicki my problems, I sometimes do. It is nice to have an understanding person to talk to. Unfortunately, because the aides are so busy there is little time to chat. 

Being an aide is Vicki's second job. She also is a cosmetologist at a local salon. 

From her salon experience she has learned the value of giving good customer service.

When I asked her how she feels about working as an aide, she said it is similar to being a cosmetologist. She wants to please the residents and give them good care. 

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Comments

Hi Kathleen,
I always find your blog's interesting and informative and am please to hear that you have such a caring person as an aide. However, I was surprised to hear that you are unable to take a drink without help. I may be able to help provide you with independent drinking if you are interested. I would need some information about how you drink before being able to make a recommendation.

Thanks again for your blog.

Catherine wyatt

Vicki is certainly the exception and I am so glad to hear that your facility has found her or she has found it (and you)! For the last 31 years I have only come across a very small amount of aides that go the extra mile and it sounds like Vicki goes to many, many, many more extra miles to make those who are dependent upon her feel "real comfort."

I also depend upon others to get a drink most of the time. While "getting a drink" is such AN EASY THING (often not even self recognized) by the able-bodied community ... they just do not "get it" when someone else cannot do that little thing that is SO IMPORTANT.

HATS OFF TO VICKI!!!!!! People with severe disabilities require "customer service" of the greatest importance and Vicki "gets it."

Kathleen Mears

www.ltlmagazine.com/blog/kathleen-mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...