Care Dimensions: Hospice Aide: Helping Others is a Way of Life

Voices of Care

Hospice Aide: Helping Others is a Way of Life

Posted on June 24, 2020 by Claudia Vivanco, CNA

Care Dimensions Hospice Aide Claudia Vivanco, CNA

Taking care of people is my passion. For me, helping others is not just the right thing to do—it is a way of life. For the past 15 years, I’ve been grateful to meet remarkable people as a certified nursing assistant.

While working at a nursing home, I always felt like I was rushing with each of my patients; for example, making sure they were all up for breakfast at the same time. My life’s trajectory changed the day I met a hospice aide. I watched closely as she took her time with each patient and provided them with the utmost care and attention. I wanted to be just like that aide.

To do this job you have to have heart

I’ll never forget one of my first patients. Tony and I connected over our love of family. When doctors told me he had less than a week to live, I was devastated but wanted to be by his side and ensure he was comfortable. 

The moment I walked into his room Tony said, “I was waiting for you.”

It was an honor and privilege to spend those last few days with Tony. Patients need to feel secure and that they can count on us. If it’s time to go and there is no family present, I want them to feel like it’s ok to let go. I know we’re not family, but just to have the presence of someone kind and caring makes a difference. 

To this day, I still visit Tony’s grave—which is fortuitously right across from my aunt’s plot.

When you visit patients daily, you create a strong, intimate bond. One of my Care Dimensions patients, Connie, is a special woman. I love learning about her loved ones, career, and hobbies. Every day she inspires me to give more to my patients, even more than I’m giving now, because they are so fragile.

Care Dimensions has a big heart

Compassion is what separates us from other companies. We truly care and it is simply the best place to work. No matter your title, everyone treats you with respect and works as a team.

Each week since the beginning of the pandemic, my manager, Mary Pillay, has gone above and beyond. She not only ensures I have plenty of personal protective equipment, but she also checks on my well-being and offers words of encouragement. It is the most supportive company I have ever worked for.

In reflecting upon my years as a certified nursing assistant, these words from my manager will always stick with me: “I would have you take care of me if I needed help.” I couldn’t be more proud of this amazing, humble career and am looking forward to the future.


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About the author
Claudia Vivanco, CNA, is a hospice aide with Care Dimensions.

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Since 1978, Care Dimensions has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in more than 95 communities in Eastern Massachusetts.