The Senior Services staff is committed to helping older adults remain in their homes aging with dignity and living with purpose. Each day over 100 staff members come together to directly serve and help meet the needs of approximately 2,000 older adults in Forsyth County. Each of them loves to play a role in helping the organization further its mission, and each also has a personal reason why they do it. For Traci Smith, Certified Nursing Aide in the Home Care department it is simple…she loves helping others.
Smith joined the Senior Services team as a Home Care aide in 2012. Going into the homes of program participants who have difficulty performing many of the activities of daily living (ADLs) is the primary responsibility of her job. “Activities of Daily Living” is the official term for the basic self-care a person does each day to maintain their health such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, and walking. Having assistance with these personal care tasks when they become too challenging to do alone can mean the difference between remaining in their own home and having to move into a facility. The work is not easy, but Smith understands just how important and meaningful it is to the people she sees each day.
“I love what I do! Even though it’s not always an easy job, I love to see the smile I bring to people’s faces as I care for them—even when it’s just a bath. It makes their day, and it makes mine,” she said with a smile. She’s proud to contribute to the work of the Senior Services Home Care department. She believes the program makes a difference in the quality of life of its participants. “It allows people to have a level of independence that they would not have otherwise. Some people don’t have family. Some people don’t have anyone, except us!” She says that serving across Forsyth County affords people with opportunities they would not have otherwise. “knowing that we can do something to enable someone to remain at home, living with dignity is a big deal.”
Smith is proud of the work she does and is grateful for the relationships she’s built with participants. While she doesn’t always think about the impact she and the organization are having day to day, there have been moments when a participant reminds her of not only how the services have improved their life but also how the personal bond they have with her makes them feel important and connected.
Traci Smith is an important thread that connects Senior Services to the older adults it serves and the community itself. Every day she performs a job that can be physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging, and each day she does it because “I know what we do makes a difference!”
What inspires you to support older adults in our community? Send your response to email@example.com and we may share it with program participants and other supporters!