Why We Do It | Meet Mina

by Nancy Bruce, Engagement Assistant

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Mina Yates has a true “heart connection” with her job. As the Home Care Scheduler at Senior Services Inc., she is responsible for ensuring that about twenty CNAs (Certified Nursing Aides) get to all their participants daily,  providing them with services to meet their personal care needs. Home Care participants are older adults who choose to “age in place” in their own homes but need assistance with some of the basic activities of daily life such as bathing, dressing, eating, and a little light housekeeping. 

“When I wake up in the morning…I know that I am responsible for making sure quite a few folks receive the help they need each day. That really pushes me and motivates me to get up and do the things that I do daily, in a timely manner.”  

With sixteen years at Senior Services, Mina brings a wealth of experience to her position, which she refers to as her calling. She began her career as a Personal Care Assistant at an assisted living venue, then became a CNA when she realized helping people with such intimate and necessary care was very rewarding for her. Working at Senior Services opened her heart to do what she knew was inside, making her (as she says) a better person. 

Going “above and beyond” is almost part of the job description. CNAs are often a lifeline for participants in unexpected ways. “There have been times when a CNA has found their participant has fallen and been on the floor for hours!” Once, she showed up at a participant’s home just in time to see that their stove was on fire! “Luckily, it had just started, and I was able to put it out and call for help.” Helping in any way is Mina’s mission. 

“When you know you’ve gone and cared for someone and have blessed their hearts for the day, you can go home and rest.” 

Speaking of hearts: In 2007, Mina received the Hearts Award at the “CNA Challenges and Rewards Conference”, sponsored by the Northwest Area Health Education Center of Wake Forest University School of Medicine. As part of her nomination submission for this honor, Senior Services staff said, “[Mina] goes the extra mile to make sure our participants have excellent care.”  A Home Care participant’s family member also nominated her: “…[Everything] she did for my [loved one] was with a sense of calling. It was what she enjoyed and wanted to do… with her life and talents.” 

Because of her warmth and dedication to the people that Senior Services serves, Mina is the one that participants and their family members frequently call first when there are concerns; they know she will handle any issue with care, compassion, and common sense.  Her relationships with the participants and their families go much deeper than expected of the job. 

“I don’t know how to receive. I just love to give, give, give. It’s in my heart, and it gives me peace.” 

As a warm-hearted giver, it is difficult for Mina to receive, but one memory brings tears of gratitude to her eyes. While she was pregnant with her youngest daughter, Mina cared for a woman who took a great interest in her, pouring out a lot of sweet grandmotherly wisdom much as Mina’s own grandmother might do. The woman’s family took Mina under their wings and embraced her as one of their own. Receiving that deep friendship was a gift she could accept, and the connection to the woman continues to bless Mina’s heart. 

Ask Mina what she thinks of Senior Services and, with a grin and sparkling eyes, she will tell you, “It is a place of caring, love, peace, and generosity,” all of which she reflects to the people she serves. She says that Senior Services is important because of the many programs and resources (such as Meals-On-Wheels, Living-At-Home, and the Help Line) offered to older adults in the local community.  She has high praise for the many diverse volunteers, of all ages and skills, that make the important work of Senior Services possible. “The volunteers!  Oh WOW!”, she beamed with a big smile. “Oh, my goodness! They are amazing! It is beautiful to see so many community members share their time and talents to help older adults in need of support. I love to interact with them; they are so giving!” 

Mina has adopted Senior Services as her “other family” and is always willing to help out in other departments, embodying the agency’s core value of teamwork. Ask her what inspires her to do this work, Mina quickly says,“the person on the other end who needs help.”


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