As we open a new year, we share the first story in our new Better Together series — celebrating life together at Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS) through the many stories that reveal how we are better together.
Dennis possesses a keen mind. With decades of experience, he’s led teams, managed operations and offered business advice to others.
But life recently escaped his control when he heard the unimaginable news: a brain tumor. “When I came to Folkestone, I couldn’t take more than one step,” he recalled.
Beyond rehab, Dennis needed help with activities of daily living. He felt overwhelmed. “I never really stayed in a place like this, a nursing home,” he said, “so I didn’t know what to expect.”
Now his biggest fear was receiving help from strangers.
“But then I met Aminga…” Dennis said. “The man did everything he possibly could to make me feel welcomed and comfortable.”
Aminga Keago, a nursing assistant, was among hundreds of staff nominated for a 2021 CROSS Award.
“Aminga helps me get dressed and get going,” Dennis continues. “And because I like going to breakfast, he always makes sure that I get there on time.”
Aminga will patiently walk alongside Dennis to the community dining room, where friends of Dennis expect him.
Dennis appreciates the gentle nudge and accountability from Aminga. With the help of Aminga, his watchful partner, Dennis meets the doctor’s order to practice taking steps each day. “Now I’m walking up and down the halls. I went 135 feet the other day!” Dennis exclaimed.
Walking alongside residents is the posture of so many who serve at PHS. Aminga does so with pride. He grew up in Kenya and says he’s proud to be a Christian. “The primary reason why I chose PHS,” he says, “is the core values, the Christian ministry.”
At the heart of Christianity he feels is a respect for life. “God [helps] you appreciate, understand and value others for who they are,” Aminga says. “If I can see residents in their own uniqueness, I will be able to serve them with dignity and satisfaction.”
Aminga continues, “When I put others first, I feel like I am helping [develop] talents in someone. And I know that someone, somewhere, is doing the same for me. So, if I put others first and others put me first, then we will have a society that values life.”
Read Part 2 of this story in 'The true meaning of family'
Do you know someone looking for more purpose in their work? Share the good news and the many opportunities to join our team at www.preshomes.org/careers.
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