On this National Caregivers Day we honor all the kind and compassionate people who have dedicated their lives to serving others, whatever it takes at Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS). Recently, two PHS employees were recognized by LeadingAge Minnesota for their commitment to enriching the lives of older adults. Andrea Boedigheimer and Kristie Eid were selected out of more than 60,000 professional caregivers in LeadingAge Minnesota’s membership for the prestigious Caregiver of the Year awards.
Andrea Boedigheimer, Carondelet Village
Andrea Boedigheimer was recognized as the Minnesota Caregiver of the year. She has provided exceptional care to older adults for over three decades. She currently serves as a Resident Assistant at Carondelet Village in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her work as a Resident Assistant is her calling, as evidenced by the testimonials of coworkers, residents and family members alike. She treats each individual with love and respect, upholding the dignity of every person she serves.
Holly Lindsay is the daughter of a 96 year old resident who considers Andrea to be a member of her own family. Holly shared, “Andrea enters the world of those with dementia by her conversations and service. They may not remember exactly what she said or even her name, but they remember that she made them feel listened to and appreciated, just as they are.” To encounter Andrea in her element is to witness instinctive kindness, genuine concern and sacrificial love.
Caregiving is not without its challenges, but Andrea’s coworkers report that she is not afraid to face them. Whether it’s comforting someone who is confused due to dementia or picking up extra shifts during a snowstorm that prevented others from arriving, her priority is always the wellness of the people she serves.
Watch the video from LeadingAge Minnesota’s recognition banquet to see Andrea in action.
Kristie Eid, Boutwells Landing
A few cities away at Boutwells Landing in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, Kristie Eid serves as a Quality in Living Specialist. Kristie was recognized as the District G Caregiver of the Year. Through her work, Kristie has the opportunity to engage with residents one on one. She engages with them to be a support through their late life journeys. You might remember Kristie’s name from previous blog posts. She collaborated with Alice Dolby, who lives at Boutwells Landing to create a special post card to send to friends and family. It was important to Alice that she could share the beauty of her home with others. Kristie also put the pieces in place for a Miss Steindorff, a veteran teacher to reconnect with some of her students from over 60 years ago, before she passed away.
Kristie also learned that a resident was concerned about how to help her mentally disabled son understand the cycle of life, given that he would likely outlive her. Kristie worked with this individual to develop a picture book for the resident to read with her son. The book focuses on their life story together and gently introduces the concept of the end of life, effectively giving the resident a gentle opening to a difficult conversation with her son. The book captures tender moments in their lives and will someday likely serve as a tangible part of their family legacy.
Andrea and Kristie connect with those around them in very different ways but are united in purpose: to enrich the lives and touch the hearts of the people they serve. Their dedication to our ministry and sharing of their God-given gifts is a blessing to Presbyterian Homes & Services. On this National Caregivers Day, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to the many caregivers who make up our ministry serving older adults.