KUDOS From Kelly ~
Our Everyday Heros

By Kelly McNamara

Kudos From Kelly, Victoria Acheampong

Karenly Sanchez and Alethea McDonald

Ruth D is a special and delightful lady. And a joy to all of us. She is bright, funny, well educated, with a variety of interests. In her apartment is a lovely assortment of mementos of her life of travel and adventure.

She actually started her own school in New York City. Obviously, education is at the top of her long list of interest areas. She is always pleased when one of her caregivers is either already attending school or contemplating it. This is an opportunity for her to turn on her “mentor role” Karenly is currently enrolled in a master’s program, much to Ruth’s delight.
A resident of Seabury at Home, she had access to all the wonderful activities on the Seabury campus. She never missed a yoga, class, art class, lecture, special event, book discussion or celebratory occasion.

With Covid a constant presence now, she has been confined to her home for the duration. She is however, more fortunate than many seniors since she can enjoy family visits in her home. She also is indeed privileged since she is cared for on a live-in basis by two of our most amazing caregivers, Karenly and Alethea.

It was actually a horrific tragedy that brought Karenly to us. When hurricane Maria swept Puerto Rico, we quickly contacted all our caregivers to see who had family there and how we could help. Working with a reliable aid agency in PR, we sent financial assistance. But the damage, loss of life and destruction of their economy was our tragedy as well.

But it was that hurricane that brought Karenly to us. In December 2018, she called, asked if we were hiring and we immediately brought her in. She had been transported to California in the post hurricane clean up and said little of the impact on her family. Disenchanted with California, She DROVE across the country in a VERY SMALL CAR by herself and shortly after finding a place to live, came to us. Small miracles sometimes come our way. She cared for a few clients then took over care of a lovely gentleman in her very special way. She then eased his way into the next world when his time on hospice ended.

We quickly assigned her to Ruth, who so clearly deserved her care.

Althea, who has been with us nearly a year and was a nurse in Jamaica, joined her as the live-in caregiver team. Their cultural differences disappeared when their loving skills took priority as they cared for their special client. As Ruth declined, they became adept at keeping her comfortable encouraging her to do as much as possible herself, preparing special meals and enjoying music, TV, and any other activities their beloved client enjoyed. Alethea is the self-appointed “Covid compliance person”. She maintains a PPE station inside the front entrance of Ruth’s house equipped with masks (labeled with each visitor and hospice staff’s name) gloves, sanitizer, and hand soap. Alethea’s nursing experience has been an amazing asset as all efforts of the care team focus on Ruth’s comfort. The hospital “stole her best pillow” when they transported her and she needs it. We’re on it. Her feet are cold? Amazon delivers warm socks within 24 ho8urs. Alethea or Karenly need something? It’s there.

We work for our caregivers and our clients. Always.

Many thanks to Alethea and Karenly ! ■