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Tolland caregiver is semi-finalist in national Exceptional Caregiver Award

By Peter DiMaria

Grace Carrington, a Home Helpers live-in caregiver from Tolland, was chosen as one of the semi-finalists of the prestigious Exceptional Caregiver Award, given yearly by Home Helpers Home Care franchise. The semi-finalists were shortlisted among 212 nominees, selected from over 10.000 caregivers that currently work for Home Helpers nationwide. The winner will be announced at a conference in San Diego, in April.

Grace is an example of a compassionate, caring, hard-working caregiver. She is the model of employee we hire to service our clients.

Last Saturday, January 21st, we went to visit our clients Bruce and Patty Cropper, to record a video statement, about the difference that Grace has had in their lives.

“She is the best”, said Bruce, why Pat nodded in approval saying “I really like her”.

We were still celebrating the fact that Grace Carrington was nominated for the award when our hearts were filled with sadness with the news that Bruce Cropper had passed away, only five days after we interviewed him. On Thursday morning, he was taken to the hospital for what should have been a minor procedure, but he didn’t come back.  In respect for his family, we decided not to publish the video we had made. However, his family asked us to go ahead and do it. I too believe that’s what Bruce would have wanted.

Read more about Bruce Cropper here.

Who is Home Helpers Home Care Tolland live-in caregiver Grace Carrington

When she was growing up, in Trinidad, Grace Carrington lived next to her godmother, who was a senior at the time. “I got used to the ways of the elderly”, she explains. “I understood their behavior and how to deal with them from an early age and that’s why it comes naturally to me”, she says.

Grace has been working with Home Helpers North Central CT almost since the opening of the office, in 2015. Her first client was Ruth F., of Enfield, a very demanding client, who had the habit of firing caregivers. However, Ruth loved Grace and stayed with her until she moved to an assisted living community, in another state. “Everybody loves me. I don’t know why”, says Grace. One would think she is full of herself by saying that, but she says it with real humility and without vanity. Most of all, it is the truth. As for Ruth F., she and Grace developed a friendship. Over one year since Ruth moved away, the two of them still talk on the phone frequently and Grace sometimes visits her in her new home.

Alzheimer's Care

After Ruth, Grace spent some time with a patient who later passed away. Then we assigned her to the Croppers residence, in Tolland. Patty Cropper has Alzheimer’s disease and demands constant care. Here’s what one of their sons wrote us after one week she was there: “I wanted to let you know that Grace has been absolutely wonderful with mom. She has been able to get her up and having breakfast before 10 am most mornings. The way she is able to get mom to do what is needed makes it really obvious that she has lots of experience dealing with people with dementia. Both mom and dad think the world of her. You were 100% correct that she would be the right person for them.”

“What I do is to get her to help me do things. She wants to feel important. So, when I am cleaning the kitchen, she comes with me and I let her wash a plate or something. She wants to participate, not to be left on the side”, Grace explains. A few weeks ago, Grace arrived at the clients’ home after going shopping for new boots for herself. She then showed the boots to Helen and asked if she wanted to try them. Helen then tried Grace’s new boots and went to see herself in the mirror, wearing them. “You should see her face. Her smile was so beautiful”, says Grace.

Compassionate Caregiving

Compassion for Grace comes naturally. It is part of her personality. However, there was one occasion when her actions touched my heart.

On the second home where Grace was assigned, tragedy stroke. The woman who was her client had circulatory problems in her legs. After a month since Grace was there, she was taken to the hospital and had her legs amputated. So, suddenly, Grace did not have her hours and was temporarily out of work. Nonetheless, she walked through a rough neighborhood in Hartford every evening, to visit her client at the hospital. Grace stayed by her side for hours, every time she went there. It was one of the most compelling examples of compassion, dedication, and love that I have ever seen.

 

Note: the names of some of our clients have been changed to preserve their identity.