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Why kindness counts for home care aides

Making conversation comes easy to Nancy Vittorini. As a certified nursing assistant, Nancy relies on her easy-going nature to break the ice with home care patients and their families. She has cared for thousands of people over nearly 25 years with HopeHealth Community VNA.

What has she learned after all this time? “Everybody has a story,” Nancy says.

Those stories — some happy, some humbling — emerge when Nancy assists with the intimate tasks of dressing, grooming, bathing and other personal care activities for patients in communities in Massachusetts.

Nancy follows these principles to help her patients feel at ease:

Work together. Home care aides work under the supervision of a nurse, physical therapist or occupational therapist, and the team communicates regularly to ensure safety and quality of care. If Nancy thinks a patient or caregiver seems unwell or just “off,” she contacts her manager immediately. “I am another set of eyes when the nurse isn’t there,” she says.

Be respectful. “I always remember, we are a guest in the patient’s home. I don’t march in and say, ‘do this, do that.’ I wouldn’t want someone doing that to me,” Nancy says. Rather, she starts each conversation by asking how she can help that day.

Be compassionate. Kindness counts most of all in Nancy’s book. “Some of our patients see us more often than they see their families,” she says. “Even if they are feeling down one day, I can kid around and get them to smile. I’m a good cheerleader!”

Listen carefully. Hearing stories, especially from the older generation, is one of Nancy’s favorite parts of her job. “I love it, I really do. Hearing when they were born, how things have changed over the years — it’s interesting, it’s history,” she adds.

“I always remember, we are a guest in the patient’s home.”

Reaching 25 years with one employer is no small feat. Nancy attributes her longevity with HopeHealth Community VNA to the camaraderie she has with her colleagues, work-life balance and its reputation for excellence.

“We are a very special bunch of people,” she says. “We go above and beyond, not just for the patient but for the whole family.”

It also warms her heart when patients express gratitude, and she always returns the sentiment.

“My patients will say, ‘I feel so much better that you have come.’ And I say, ‘You know, I feel better, too!’ It goes both ways — it’s not just them that gains something, I gain something, too.”

Questions about home care services? Contact us today at (844) 671-HOPE or

HopeHealth is hiring in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts! See our job openings and benefits on our Careers page.

Above photo: Home Care Aide Week, which runs Nov. 7-13, 2021, is a time to recognize dedicated home health care professionals like Nancy Vittorini, CNA. Nancy has provided care for thousands of patients in her 25-year career with HopeHealth Community VNA.

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