At every Arbor Company community, there’s one group of people that consistently connects with residents and brightens their days.

Those people are our CNAs, and their roles have become even more important during the past few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, when quarantine and social distancing have become the norm.

The 43rd Annual National Nursing Assistants Week is celebrated June 18-25, and it pays tribute to the men and women who take care of our residents on a day-to-day basis. While CNAs are just one part of our care team at each community, this week we would like to pay tribute to some of the special CNAs who are so important to our residents and families.

At Arbor Terrace Morris Plains, Ruth Jinadu is known for her friendly and patient demeanor, her million-dollar smile, and her morning greeting, which comes from her Nigerian culture: “Hi, you are welcome!” Ruth, who continues to work while her 13-year-old daughter fights leukemia, has a reputation for never saying “no” to a resident’s request.

Jasmine Alvarado at Arbor Terrace Fairfax never has to be asked to help a resident; she jumps right in whenever and wherever she’s needed. That goes for helping her teammates, too. When the Engagement team needed extra help, Jasmine cheerfully pitched in until they had new team members to help.

Last year, Francois Belizaire, who works at Barrington Terrace of Naples, received a national award, the 2019 Certified Nursing Assistant of the Year Award from the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners.

Joe Beierschmitt, a CNA at Arbor Terrace Mount Laurel, says that he particularly enjoys learning about the residents’ lives.

“I like listening to the residents and hearing their life stories, getting to know their background,” Joe says.

At Arbor Terrace Shrewsbury, Maria Avila and Elsie Almanzar Acosta consistently go above and beyond, and are cherished by residents and fellow staff members alike. Both Maria and Elsie are bilingual, speaking Spanish and English, which has been helpful with translating when needed, and they’re always willing to pitch in and help fill open shifts.

Martha Lemaine at Arbor Terrace Roseland says she makes it a point to treat residents like family members, and she prides herself on brightening their days with a laugh, or perhaps a manicure.

Aniyah Watson, who works at Arbor Terrace Mount Laurel, says she feels her role is more important than ever now that residents are adhering to the pandemic’s social distancing guidelines.

“I feel like I am part of the residents’ everyday life. Especially during this time, I think it is so important for them to see a familiar face, and I am happy to do that,” Aniyah says.

Joe Beierschmitt of The Arbor Terrace Mount Laurel enjoys hearing residents’ stories.

Joe Beierschmitt of The Arbor Terrace Mount Laurel enjoys hearing residents’ stories.

Our CNAs help care for residents like family and create meaningful connections every day of the year. We are proud to recognize them for National Nursing Assistants Week.

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