Our Case Managers meet to choose a Caregiver for Angel of the Month. A Case Manager will generally nominate someone with an explanation as to why this person is chosen. The Caregiver is notified that they have been selected and comes in to the office for a full celebration. This person is honored with treats, a certificate, gift card and the Case Manager that selected them will read a full write-up about why they were chosen. The Caregiver is interviewed and then featured in the monthly newsletter as well as on Facebook. Visiting Angels Newton/Canton has the most amazing team of people to care for our Clients. Our Caregivers work tirelessly with their Case Managers to ensure top quality care.
ANGEL OF THE MONTH | Christine Kemiyondo
Visiting Angels Newton/Canton is delighted to award Christine Kemiyondo Angel of the Month for September 2020. This is Christine’s second time receiving this honor since joining our team in August of 2013. She was also Angel of the Month for November 2015. With over twenty-three years of experience as a professional caregiver, Christine exemplifies the meaning of a “care” giver with her professionalism, thoughtful nature, calmness, and commitment to her clients.
Amazingly, Christine can recall many details of her time with each and every client, including her first in 1997. At the time, Christine lived in Los Angeles, California, holding down two jobs. In the evenings, she worked as a public transit bus driver. As a first-time professional caregiver, Christine provided live-in, private care to a 30-year-old woman who was paralyzed and required ADL assistance. Although Christine now lives in Massachusetts, she and her former client remain in touch to this day.
In 1999, Christine moved across the country after encouragement from several family members to join them here. She became a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) through the Red Cross and worked for various agencies until her cousin, Lillian Kiraso (another of our star Angel of the Month caregivers), urged her to join Visiting Angels Newton/Canton.
One experience with a former client speaks not only to the depth of Christine’s compassionate nature but also to the complete commitment and dedication she has to each person she assists. Her story is relevant to the issues we continue to face as a society. She was hired as a live-in caregiver for a senior woman whose husband could no longer handle the tasks involved in her day-to-day care. Their adult children were incredibly supportive of Christine and grateful for her skills and abilities. Their father, however,
was racist and would not acknowledge Christine at all. The children urged her to join the family at the table for dinner each evening. They positioned their father so he would not have to look directly at Christine. Although she was incredibly uncomfortable each evening, she sat quietly next to her client, remaining professional and taking care of her needs. As each day passed, her client's husband became less and less vocal about his discomfort with Christine. One evening, her client was rushed to the hospital, and Christine stayed behind at the house while other family members, including the husband, followed. At the hospital, her client was distraught because Christine was not there. To Christine’s surprise, the husband called and desperately asked her to join them at his wife’s bedside. After the client passed, Christine packed up to leave the family home, but the husband stopped her. He implored her to stay and told her he needed her help; all the contempt was gone. Her client’s husband, in the last months of his life, realized that he appreciated and respected Christine on a human level. She cared for him until he passed a few months later.
When asked what led her to become a professional caregiver, Christine said, “My grandmother. I was her primary caregiver when I was young. I loved her dearly, and we were very close. My grandmother walks beside me as I have taken care of each of my clients. What I do for others comes from love. I give a piece of myself to them.”
“Christine is the caregiver every case manager dreams to have on her case,” Case Manager Elizabeth Quagraine said. “She is a committed, knowledgeable, skillful, reliable, and such a kind, happy, funny, and warm person. She sets the bar high for other caregivers to follow. We are so fortunate to have her as a member of the Visiting Angels team.”
Christine shared that she is incredibly appreciative of the staff for treating her with love and kindness through the years. She described Elizabeth, who is the Case Manager for her present client, as “so quick on her toes” and said, “she has the biggest heart, works so hard, and makes sure that I have what I need for my client and myself.”
When asked what advice she would give another caregiver, Christine shared, “You must be patient and listen carefully to your client. Prepare yourself and make a plan based on your client’s needs, and above all else, believe in the importance of what you do to help others. Do not be afraid to ask for guidance and support from the Visiting Angels staff when you need it, especially the client’s case manager, and your client’s loved ones, when possible.”
When Christine is not providing exceptional care to her clients, she loves to watch movies and read novels. Her daughter is an English major in college and hopes to become a journalist or a writer after graduation. For now, Christine keeps up with family members through FaceTime and phone calls. She is looking forward to family gatherings with food, laughter, and quality time together in the future.
Christine, we are truly grateful to you for your compassionate, knowledgeable, dedicated work throughout the years. You are an incredibly valuable member of the Visiting Angels Newton/Canton team. It is our honor to award you, Angel of the Month for September 2020.
ANGEL OF THE MONTH | Elizabeth Namutebi
ANGEL OF THE MONTH | Patricia Durrant-Campbell
ANGEL OF THE MONTH | Sonia Tibekyinga
ANGEL OF THE MONTH | Daniella Franklin & Daphney Sainvilus
ANGEL OF THE MONTH | Eslie Lacroix
ANGEL OF THE MONTH | Jackie Asiimwe
ANGEL OF THE MONTH 2019 Awardees
ANGEL OF THE MONTH 2018 Awardees
Timeless Gratitude to Alice Kimani
No, this is not a new award we’re giving, but a special commendation
to Alice Kimani, who gave live-in care to one of our clients.
One night in November 2016, she was awakened by the smell of smoke. There was a
fire in the garage, which quickly spread to the rest of the house - but not
before Alice successfully evacuated the senior whom she was caring for, as well
as the adult son. The house was burned to the ground, fed by a full tank of
heating oil. Two cars in the driveway, one of them Alice’s, were melted. But
thanks to Alice’s heroism, nobody was injured, except for the senior’s pet cat,
which unfortunately perished. Alice, we think that you are wonderful!
Tama Lewis – Massachusetts Home Care Alliance 2009 Aide of the Year
The HCA has 150 member agencies employing over 19,000 home health aides, and one of our very own was chosen as the 2009 Home Care Star Award Aide of the Year. Tama embodies the essence of what every family wants in a home care aide: skill, good judgment, compassion, integrity, kindness, reliability, good humor, caring, wisdom, dedication, warmth and respect in dealing with seniors. She has been with Visiting Angels for five years, but like all our caregivers, she came to us with years of experience in giving care to seniors.
For four years she was the lead caregiver to a man named Joe, who had no family or friends to help in his declining years. Although he had Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, with Tama's care he was able to remain at home, where he wanted to be. When she came on the case, his health was declining rapidly despite ongoing medical attention. Soon Joe's deteriorating health began to improve as Tama made sure that he got a healthy diet and took his medications. His home got cleaner, and his appearance improved. Eventually Tama was joined by other caregivers, but she remained the lead person of the team that organized his life, did the shopping, got him to medical appointments, cleaned his house, prepared meals and kept him clean. With help from Tama and the rest of our team, Joe attended his Masons meetings, continued his treasured Saturday evening buffet at the Marriott, and visited places where he had spent his youth. When he developed pancreatic cancer, he died at home with Tama by his side. She was the closest thing to family that he had.
At Visiting Angels of Newton & Canton, we are proud of our reputation with our many referral sources and clients who note the excellence of our services and the quality of the people that we employ. That reputation rests on providing home care with men and women like Tama Lewis since 2004. As deserving as she is of the award, Visiting Angels has many other caregivers who are just as dedicated, give just as much of themselves, and who deserve their own awards. We salute Tama and all of the fine caregivers who work for us and allow seniors the joy of remaining at home where they want to be.
Visiting Angels Newton/Canton is an award-winning accredited home care agency that provides elder care services in Brookline, Newton, Needham, Brookline, Chestnut Hill, Canton, Westwood, Dedham, Watertown, Natick, Wellesley, Stoughton, Roslindale, Norwood and nearby areas. If you aspire to be the best caregiver you can be, contact us at 617-795-2727 or fill out the form on our home care careers page.
If you are looking for the best home care services in the Newton/Canton area, contact us at 617-795-2727 or click the button below to tell us about your case. We're ready to help you!
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