If the name of our January Aide of the Month, Samantha Wieglo, sounds familiar, that’s because she was also our December Aide of the Month. What makes Samantha so good at her job to earn the title twice in a row? Not only is she an exemplary employee who always turns her time sheets in on time, she gives her clients what their medical conditions have taken away: their independence.
CCOR clients can differ greatly in their ages, conditions, and abilities, but one thing remains the same: they each have the right to live as full a life as they can. For many clients, their conditions not only cause physical or mental limitations but also a painful loss of freedom. This is the underlying thought that drives how Samantha does her job. “It’s always about independence,” she says. “Imagine it happens one day that your independence is taken away. How would you feel? I try to give them back that little bit of independence. Because that’s how I would want to be treated.”
Samantha’s aim is to fill the gaps in the client’s ability to live their own life. She understands that she is an aide, rather than a servant. In every task, she tries to preserve as much of the clients’ personal freedom as she can. For example, instead of simply opening a jar for a client who has the use of only one hand, Samantha holds the jar while the client opens the lid. When cooking a meal for a client, she asks the client’s preferences, including them in every step along the way. “It’s their life, not mine,” Samantha says. “I’m just here to help them. I’m here to assist, to make their lives easier. Not take their independence away. I’m trying to help them be as independent as possible: physically, mentally, and emotionally.”
Samantha wants to see her clients’ lives improve. She, therefore, tries to understand the client’s condition as much as possible and always looks for ways she can help the client to grow and adapt. For a client with memory issues, she has taught list-making and prioritization. She also taught the client how to use smartphone features, like reminders and maps, to keep them on track with appointments.
Samantha understands that it takes a lot of pride to ask for help, and she has seen that living with limitations can be frustrating and emotionally taxing. Her positive, helpful attitude is one of the many tools she uses to keep her clients feeling strong and happy. She also uses her sense of humor to refocus her clients’ moods when their conditions get the better of them.
Every day various medical conditions pose a threat, ready to take away our clients’ independence. But luckily, aides like Samantha are working every day to protect and restore it for them.