November 2017 | Casrane Marie Ann Thomas is an aide in the guardianship program at Selfhelp Community Services. She has provided exceptional care to an 84-year-old Holocaust survivor who was discharged from a nursing home after a traumatic brain injury.
“The patient had a difficult adjustment to the community, and Ms. Thomas was a great support to him,” says Selhelp in its description of the case. “Almost immediately she became like a granddaughter to him” and, after just two weeks, “she was so attuned to his personality, his demeanor and his habits.” This awareness and sensitivity made it possible for her to immediately realize when something didn’t seem quite right with the client’s behavior, prompting her to call 911 without hesitation. At the ER, it was determined that he had suffered a stroke.
“Because of Ms. Thomas’s quick actions, the hospital was able to administer Intra-arterial t-PA, a medication that reverses the effects of the stroke,” says Selfhelp. “Ms. Thomas stayed by his side in the ER for hours providing him with comfort and a familiar face in a frightening situation. Since that time, she has stood by his side as a devoted aide.”
This special attention to her client’s personality, behaviors, and emotional state has also extended to the client’s overall, long-term health, as Ms. Thomas helped him regain weight when nutrition was a challenge.
“Ms. Thomas has demonstrated a level of concern and compassion one might expect to see from a devoted family member, and is in fact much more attentive than the actual family members of many of our clients,” says Selfhelp. “Despite the fact that Ms. Thomas cares for 2 young children of her own, she consistently finds the energy and devotion to be a dependable, supportive, protective and loving caregiver for her client.”