It takes a special person, someone with a “caregiver heart,” to work as a health care aide. Here at Springpoint at Home, we are proud of our staff and celebrate with them and for them when a client takes the time to acknowledge and thank them for their work.
Lilia Mejia is our employee being recognized in February for her dedication to her patients. She was nominated by the family she aided for five years.
Lilia sees in every female patient her grandma or her mother, whom she lost to cancer after caring for her for six months. Working in retail after her mother died, Lilia realized that she was just going to work, that there was no purpose to this work and that retail took her away from her family too much.
When Lilia was let go from her job and meditated through this time, she realized that the training she received to care for her mother came naturally to her and that what she was doing for her mom made her feel complete. That led her back to college and her certification as a Certified Home Health Aide (CCHA).
Twelve years ago, Lilia began working at Meadow Lakes and has not looked back. “It is such a joy to help my patients with their daily necessities and to listen to them. Even if I have heard it a thousand times, it is OK. I want them to feel like I am there for them, even if we don’t talk but watch TV together. After 12 years in this field, I still feel like this is meant for me. It doesn’t feel like work, it feels like I am going to a friend’s house. My job gives my life purpose.”
It is important to Lilia to connect with her patients. She does this by making notes when starting a new case. “I want to avoid them always having to tell me this is what I like, this is what I need. All my patients are unique and they like things to be like it always was in their life. It doesn’t matter if it is how to cook eggs or fold towels. I want them to know that I am there to help them with the things they cannot do.”
“Our residents are living in their homes at Meadow Lakes and I must remember that I am the outsider. Many of them feel like we are going to take over their lives when we walk into their home and it can make them upset because they feel ‘I can still do everything.’ If that happens, I don’t take what they say personally. I don’t know how they feel that day, if they are sick or frustrated with their lives. If someone says something, I will step out of the room or go to the ladies room. I have to remember and assure them that I am not here to tell them to stop what they are doing. I want them to use the abilities they have, and I will do the rest.”
“It is important for me to remember that my patients move slower these days. I am not here to rush them; I am here to accommodate them. If they don’t want to get up early in the morning and there is no appointment, then I let them wake up on their own. Life is not to be lived my way. This is their home, their environment, and I don’t want to invade their privacy or independence. I just want to keep them safe.”
It is equally important to Lilia that Springpoint at Home stays engaged with their employees as well. “If I make a phone call and don’t connect right away, I get a call back in five to ten minutes. I appreciate that management tries to provide for everything we need and to make our life easier. They give us trust because we are in the home and know what is going on with our patient.”
Being recognized by a patient’s family means the world to our staff. “I did not expect my patient’s family to go and say these nice and beautiful things towards me. It brings so many emotions and means so much. It’s not just the paper, it’s knowing that even with this year, that it was hard for everybody, we can make a big difference in the life of the people who need us most. This is my passion. I finally found my niche. I am happy.”
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