How A Devoted Nursing Assistant’s Efforts Make A Difference For My Grandmother

When my grandmother, Missy, moved into a nursing home, her whole life changed. An innately independent woman, she always cherished her time bouncing around town, seeing friends, and shopping at her favorite stores. Settling into a communal living environment, becoming dependent on nursing assistants, and adhering to a schedule were all incredibly challenging transitions for her. But I can say with a huge amount of gratitude that Missy’s well-being and sense of community is continually bolstered by the relationships she has developed with a devoted circle of caretakers who always put her needs first.

One particular nursing assistant named Selma stands out from the crowd. With unbridled kindness, Selma took careful note of my grandmother’s likes and dislikes from the beginning and remains warm and loving, even during Missy’s most frustrated moments. Her warm heart and overwhelming support are clearly visible when I visit. Knowing that Selma is there makes it a little easier to walk away when I have to say goodbye because I know I’m leaving Missy with someone who not only cares for her immensely, but also recognizes her individuality.

Selma knows my name and recognizes everyone in the family who visits. As soon as she sees us, she walks over and gives us hugs. During my last visit, Selma told me how sad she was that my grandfather had passed. Tears came to her eyes as she talked about “Pops” and how hard it had been on the nursing staff not to see him every day. She told me how it’s so easy to love people who come through the nursing home’s doors, but it’s equally challenging when they pass.

Selma’s capacity for empathy and compassion is the backbone of Missy’s experience in her new life. In a country where 1.4 million elderly Americans live in nursing homes, a nursing assistant like Selma gives warmth and love to those who need it most. She goes beyond her official duties, stretching her efforts to care for an individual’s body, mind, and soul. Because of my Missy’s experience, I’ve learned to truly appreciate the nursing assistants who care for our cherished loved ones.

Image source: Flickr