Two of Many Stars

I was asked to write a story related to one aide and the patient that he or she cares for. Instead of just one aide, I have decided that I am going to pay homage to two of my home health aides that I believe have “gone the extra mile” for their patients and the different ways that they have achieved this.

We have several patients diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s. There is a stage of Alzheimer’s, in which the person can become severely agitated and or aggressive, even striking out at whomever is the closest to them. It takes a special type of aide to always understand that the anger is never directed at them personally. These aides have learned to perfect what is known in boxing as the “duck and weave”. They have become very adept at not letting their patients connect. It is a very challenging feat to accomplish. They also have learned well how to decrease their patient’s agitation through music, favorite TV programs, puzzles, thereby refocusing their attention. You can throw in cajoling, coaxing, and a little bribery as well. Through it all, they keep cool, calm, and collected.

My hats off to them both – Sophia and Nadene. Your office staff is extremely grateful for your dedication, caring, compassion, and common sense!

-Written by Gail Misa, Field Nurse Supervisor of the Riverhead Office

Sophia Graham, HHA

Sophia and her patient; Claire Sumergrad