Riverside Lodge Caregiver receives National Center for Assisted Living-NOBLE CAREGIVER OF THE YEAR AWARD
C.N.A.’s Philanthropy is Infectious
Alicia Goatley of Riverside Lodge Retirement Community in Grand Island, Neb., is described as the epitome of what it means to be a caregiver- “dedicated, calm, caring, compassionate, and respectful.”
As one of the communities certified nurse assistants, she is always willing to go the extra mile. Every day, residents tell Riverside Lodge’s Executive Director Deb Friend how they appreciate Goatley’s attention to detail when it comes to their care.
“I truly believe her best quality is the infectious smile on her face, no matter the circumstance,” says Friend, who nominated Goatley for the award. “Her warm, gentle, and caring smile always lights up the room.”
The 14-year veteran does her part to keep things festive. Goatley consistently dresses up for the holidays and encourages other staff to do the same. Every year, she puts on the Easter bunny costume and delights residents and their grandchildren during the community’s annual Easter egg hunt.
Always generous with her time, Goatley often takes residents shopping, even during her time off, to ensure that they have the everyday supplies and personal items they need. She is a trusted confidant to residents and staff and is often seen giving residents hugs and words of encouragement.
For these reasons, Goatley was given the role of team leader for patient care assistance staff. She serves as an inspiration to other employees.
“You can’t help but be a better person just by being around Alicia,” Friend says.
Her compassion reaches beyond her residents. Goatley recently shaved her head and donated her hair to Locks of Love to offer support to a young boy in her community struggling with cancer. She also organizes the staff’s charitable efforts around Christmas time and encourages them to donate blood at the area American Red Cross blood drives.
According to Friend, Goatley is a shining example of how employees live out Riverside Lodge’s mission to care for the residents as though they were the most loved member of their own family.
The NCAL Noble Caregiver in Assisted Living award recognizes frontline caregivers, housekeeping, and maintenance staff or staff from any other department who have improved the quality of life for residents and created a better work environment for staff.
Article published in the October 2015 NCAL FOCUS