Acknowledging the great work of Sharon Jones, rehabilitation assistant.
The NetCARE Day Program for Older Adults acknowledge the hard work of Sharon Jones, rehabilitation assistant, who joined the Chilliwack team 10 years ago. Day Programs for Older Adults support seniors living in the community who want to remain at home. The program gives clients the opportunity to participate in recreation activities, socialize with other clients, receive medical monitoring by nursing and engage in rehab exercises.
For some clients who feel strongly about exercise, it is the exercise classes and rehab gym that bring people in and keep them coming back. Sharon runs a diverse set of groups ranging from an exercise circuit, advanced balance class, relaxation, hand group, line dancing, yoga and a movement group she leads with a music therapist. She is always open to new challenges and approaches each day with energy and a positive attitude.
In addition to her classes, Sharon organizes and maintains mobility equipment, eating aids, provides heat packs and walks with those on a walking program. She is an active team member participating in interdisciplinary care planning to help ensure Day Program clients are receiving optimal care. Also, if you know the NetCARE team, they are a musical bunch who enjoy performing songs for the clients on special occasions. Sharon is a core member of the Alto group which harmonizes beautifully with the rest of the choir.
Sharon has a respect for the older adult and it is noted in each interaction she shares with the clients. She emphasizes that “it is important to develop rapport and a trusting relationship with our clients that is authentic and true”. She recognizes each individual as having a history and builds a relationship on that. The clients look forward to their exercise classes where they know they will be encouraged to reach for their goals and feel pride when they achieve successes. Sharon describes the camaraderie in a group as “a by-product of friendships that develop as they spend time together. I love to see how the different programs and groups that I run impact the life, mobility, improvements they achieve”.
Day Program clients describe Sharon as “friendly, courteous, caring and funny”. “She makes us feel comfortable and makes it enjoyable to come in and get exercises – she’s just perfect”. They attribute their physical improvements to her exercise groups, “if you want to get your strength and balance back, she’s your person!” Another client said that before he would lean on things for balance but now he “can sit and stand without a cushion or bar” and that his “arms, legs and balance is better”. Other clients value her encouragement, “she gives us strength when we doubt ourselves”.
Work colleagues describe Sharon as “always encouraging the clients to do their best” and that “her cheerful and positive attitude motivates the clients to exercise, even on days they don’t feel like moving”. Her attention and care of clients does not end at the completion of the class. “Once the program is finished, she makes an effort to praise them for a job well done and they leave the day program with a sense of accomplishment and self-worth”.
Sharon keeps up an active life outside of work. As a dedicated long distance runner, she has completed four half marathons in the past 12 months. This July, she ran the Fort Langley Half where she placed first in her age category. This achievement was significantly meaningful to her because she had come back from an injury. She is currently training for a 30 km trail race around Cultus lake this fall.
The NetCARE team is fortunate to have a skilled Rehab Assistant like Sharon in the program and will celebrate her contributions as it is Rehabilitation Assistant week Sept 16-22. Her energy, sense of humor, work ethic and optimism garners respect from clients and staff alike.