Sue Menter came to the Edgewood Center as an LNA in 1988 and has been there ever since.
Her work evolved from caregiving to being a restorative aide in the rehab department, where she helps residents’ muscles stay fit, makes sure people are up and walking whenever possible, and gives Reiki and massage treatments.
A Special Pow Wow
Sue began working with a resident named Bill, a 59-year-old veteran who had suffered a stroke and was unable to communicate.
Over time, Sue developed a knack for understanding Bill and anticipating his needs, which is how she found out that he wanted to go out to a Pow Wow.
Sue’s heritage is Native American, specifically the Penacook tribe, and she regularly attends festivals and gatherings. Bill heard her talking about them and, as a music lover, wanted to go. Sue was happy to bring him along on what has now become a yearly journey.
Just a Normal Person
Sue made Bill a garment of Pow Wow regalia, a ribbon shirt, and he goes back to see the people who now know and recognize him. Bill is able to go out and be a normal person, to leave the effects of the stroke behind as well as the MS that has compounded his challenges.
Sue’s goal this year is to see Bill join the dance circle as a participant, leaving the sidelines and joining the group.
Taking Care of Family
When Sue learned that Bill’s father was ill, she drove him home for a visit then back again a week later to say goodbye as his father was dying. She brought him to his father’s funeral and then shortly thereafter, to his brother’s funeral. She began taking Bill home to his mother’s house every month.
Bill’s sisters fly in from another state and they are all able to spend time together, reminisce about time past, and to feel like a family again.
“It’s no wonder you receive ‘Quality of Life’ Awards”
Bill’s sister Debra comments, “I think everyone who sees Bill getting ready for his monthly trip home would agree that it has helped his emotional well-being immensely…thank you for providing him with such love and attentiveness. It’s no wonder you receive ‘quality of life’ awards for the level of care you provide. Edgewood has been a blessing to us.”
“It’s the Right Thing to Do”
When asked why she does this, creating opportunities for family reunions and taking her own free time to get Bill there, Sue reports, “Well, without this he’d be so alone. It just seems like the right thing to do doesn’t it? Absolutely anyone here at Edgewood would do the same.”