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The bonds that are made is where the true beauty of what I do as an LNA shines through.

At the age of 12, I knew I wanted to work with the elderly – my mother and sister were both caregivers and I was fascinated with their work. Rather than spending my time at the playground, I visited nursing homes, spent time socializing with the residents, played Chinese checkers and painted their nails – it was all I was allowed to do at the time.

I have been an LNA for 15 years now and absolutely love what I do. What’s it like being an LNA? The truth is, it’s hard work. It takes a truly dedicated person. Sometimes it can be physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting. But guess what? At the end of the day, when you reflect on what you’ve accomplished when you think about how you put a family member at ease or the smile you put on a resident’s face when you made them feel special and appreciated, there’s truly nothing better. It’s the ultimate reward.

We are one big, happy family

I have been with Edgewood for over a year and a half – it’s a place like no other with an incredible culture. We have a common purpose and we all share compassion for each other and for our residents. We feed off of each other’s energy and even give high fives in the hallway! Above all, our main focus is always respecting the rights of our residents. After all, Edgewood is their home and we must respect their environment.

There are so many things that I love about Edgewood – here are my top five:

Residents – I have built strong connections with our residents and find it so enjoyable to spend time with them. They have so much to share and teach us. It truly is incredible to be able to meet individuals from all walks of life and hear their stories and past adventures. A few months back, I visited a resident who was celebrating her 109th birthday. Cognitive and full of life, she shared a few of her stories with me and some wisdom she picked up along the way. Having these types of meaningful conversations with residents is priceless.

Fellowship – At Edgewood, we all look out for one another. We have built a very strong community here, and it’s a safe place where we’ve come together, as caregivers, to support one another and lift each other up.

Appreciation – From the moment I enter the building until the moment I leave for the day, I am reminded of how much my role matters and how appreciated I am as a caregiver.

Team effort – I have never worked at a place that serves as such an amazing example of successfully working together. Even a few of the individuals in administration are LNAs which means they can step in and lend a hand at a moment’s notice. And they do, as I have regularly seen the HR director, administrator and CEO perform the work we do as LNAs. You can’t beat that for teamwork.

Purpose – We all have a place and a purpose in this world. Mine happens to be caring for those who cannot care for themselves. I am so proud to have a position that allows me to serve my purpose. And, I get to do this at a place that was recognized as Best Nursing Home in 2019.

The little girl who’d skip the playground for a chance to visit with the elderly knew that she’d one day be an LNA. If you are thinking of becoming an LNA, this seed has been planted in you for some reason. Follow it – I am glad I did.