Meet some of our caregivers

Rama Kamath

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Rama joined Seniors Helping Seniors, Greater Boston & Metrowest in February 2021, eager to do something she’d be interested in for a while working with the elderly population. Prior to SHS, Rama worked as an architect before owning and managing a restaurant with her husband, which they unfortunately closed due to the pandemic. She was ready for a fresh start in a new industry helping others!

Since losing her mother, Rama finds it nourishing to be able to work and care for elderly clients as she had for years with her own mother. That compassion drives her daily work at SHS. She currently says each visit with her clients feels like she is visiting her mother. With these clients, she cooks, cleans, shops, goes on walks and exercises, all while conversing to stimulate old memories for those who have Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. She feels humbled by their love and appreciation, and notes that this is the most fulfilling job she’s had.

Recently, Rama supported one of her clients through radiation treatments and was with her during her final treatment when she was able to ring the bell to signify the end. She notes how the smile while joyously ringing the bell is one of her best memories to date. Rama is truly inspired by everyone she works with and we’re inspired by her!

In her free time, Rama loves cooking and art, whether it’s painting, architecture or knitting clothing for herself and family. She also loves running with her dog and they recently completed a half marathon!

Gloria Anderson-Armstrong

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Gloria joined Seniors Helping Seniors, Greater Boston & Metrowest in February 2020 and dove right in. Gloria had been retired for a year and after learning about SHS from a friend, she was immediately intrigued and applied!

Gloria is a registered nurse who’s dedicated her life to helping others. Prior to working with SHS, she spent 20 years at the Boston VA Medical Center and another 15 years at Boston Children’s Hospital. To get familiar with the line of work we do, Gloria eagerly took our “Caring for People with Alzheimer’s Disease” training and loved that and meeting with our other caregivers.

With SHS, Gloria does a lot of home-based activities with her clients, but also loves to walk their neighborhoods with them. In warmer weather she also likes to visit the Senior Center with her clients for added adventures. She has always enjoyed being around people and as a chatty person, she values the new relationships she has created.

In her free time, Gloria visits with her family members, exercises, and volunteers at the food pantry at her church and local shelter.

Jon Abrahamson

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Jon joined Seniors Helping Seniors, Greater Boston & Metrowest in May 2020. Despite the challenges with Covid-19, he immediately jumped in and began providing excellent care for his clients. Before coming on board, Jon taught english to 7th graders for 40 years, a career he loved.

Jon was attracted to SHS because he was eager to help others while remaining socially engaged. He loves sharing a variety of conversations and activities with his clients. He’s done everything from playing golf with an 87-year-old client to singing campfire songs with another client who could play the banjo but had trouble finishing a sentence. And those are just some of the fun memories he’s created!

Being a former English teacher, Jon often reads with his clients to keep their minds engaged. Jon also enjoys taking walks with his clients to help keep their bodies active.

In his free time, Jon is an avid newspaper and fiction reader. He also maintains an active lifestyle, playing in USTA tennis leagues, golfing, ski racing and cooking with lots of spice!

Claire Hernandez

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Claire joined Seniors Helping Seniors, Greater Boston & Metrowest in October 2017 upon retirement. With her husband still working full time, Claire quickly realized she needed something rewarding to occupy her new free time. Upon discovering SHS, she was excited to be able to do something she loved — helping others!

Prior to working with SHS, Claire worked as a Surgical Technologist in various operating rooms for more than 50 years… quite an accomplishment! She loves how she now has flexibility in her work schedule and how well she’s been matched with each of her clients’ personalities.

Claire notes how each of her client experiences are unique but often they spend a lot of time reminiscing and sharing each others’ life stories. Laughter and music is also a big part of her client experience and she loves singing with clients and finding the fun in everything they do together. She also takes clients on errands, like grocery shopping, doctor appointments and even hair appointments.

She has one client whom she’d often shop with then enjoy walks along the Charles River, visits to museums, libraries and even out to lunch.

Museum visits are a favorite of Claire’s with clients. One of her best SHS memories is visiting the Museum of Fine Arts with a client who could guide her through every single exhibit and artist there!

When she’s not with her SHS clients, Claire enjoys working out and spending time with her husband, daughter and grandson. 

Jeff Conlin

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Jeff joined Seniors Helping Seniors, Greater Boston & Metrowest at the end of June 2020 and immediately began helping our team! She had recently lost her volunteer job at Emerson Hospital due to COVID-19 but still wanted to be involved in the community. She heard about SHS from her neighbor, Ed, another one of our caregivers.

Prior to working with SHS, Jeff held various sales and marketing roles for 40 years and then worked as a F.I.S.H. Coordinator. She is a natural-born helper, and loves being a part of a team of people who love what they do, helping others.

With SHS, Jeff provides companionship, performs light household chores like fixing meals and doing laundry, and loves walking and watching Judge Judy with her client (it’s her client’s favorite show!). She is a great listener and loves to talk, bond and connect over shared stories, past memories and laughs.

Jeff dedicates her free time to her dogs and loves to make life fun!

Gerry Goldstein

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Gerry joined Seniors Helping Seniors, Greater Boston & Metrowest in 2017 after working in various hospital and medical offices for 20+ years. From her career experiences, Gerry has a lot of accrued medical knowledge and an empathic awareness of how to help others going through a difficult time which can be seen in all that she does with SHS.

Gerry was drawn to SHS because of the work we do for the senior community and the opportunity to share, bond and provide entertainment and joy to the lives of others. Upon joining SHS, she dove right in, helping to care for an 100-year-old, inquisitive client in her first month and beyond. Gerry provides friendship and companionship to her clients, often cooking, taking drives and getting them up and moving… whether it’s walking around the grocery store or walking around their home to admire the bird feeders!

In her free time, Gerry is a gratefully happy mother and granny! She loves to continue to learn new things (an avid attendee of our training sessions!) and has an energy that’s contagious and humor that brightens the day.

Betsy Simmons

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Betsy joined Seniors Helping Seniors, Greater Boston & Metrowest in 2017, eager to spread love and support, while providing valuable companionship! Betsy came to us with past experience working as a companion, helping people who are isolated and disenfranchised, in prison, shelters and recovery programs. She is also a holistic health educator, Interfaith minister and mediator, committed to helping all of those around her.

Betsy was drawn to SHS because of the sense of community we have amongst our caregivers and the caregiving work we do. She cherishes the relationships she’s built with her clients, and a typical week of caregiving for her includes talking, singing, listening and laughing, walking, meditating, doing puzzles, yoga, cooking and running errands. Betsy has also helped many of our caregivers address bereavement, leading our Death Cafes and The Conversation Project.

In her free time, Betsy loves to stay active, travel, visit with friends and family, read and sing in her hospice choir, Journey Songs. Singing is a true passion of hers, and one of her fondest memories is singing with a client, and as his memory faded for words, they would improvise, making up tunes and words with each other, while laughing and dancing. Finding and celebrating the simple joys is something Betsy is incredible at, and we are so thankful for!

Bill Murphy

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Bill joined Seniors Helping Seniors, Greater Boston & Metrowest in March 2019, coming to us with some incredible prior experience working with the elderly. Bill’s past experience includes working as a Home Health Aide for Mount Auburn Home Care, and later for the Arlington Council on Aging as Transportation Coordinator and Supervisor of Volunteer Program. Bill credits these experiences, as well as working in Tanzania, East Africa in the 1970’s, for his ability to sit, listen and develop meaningful relationships.

Bill cherishes his time spent with seniors, listening to their stories and providing mutually beneficial stimulation for their retirement years. He loves the variety of activities he’s able to share with clients, from long walks and dining out along the Charles River, to museum visits, including the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, and sharing root beer floats at Cabot’s Ice Cream and Restaurant (a client favorite!).

With a smiling face and friendly personality, everyone who meets Bill feels an instant connection, and we love chatting with him at our Tuesday Evening Support Group and so much more.

Ginny Neumann

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Ginny joined Seniors Helping Seniors, Greater Boston & Metrowest in April 2019 and has been providing excellent companionship to her clients ever since! Decades ago, Ginny worked as an outreach social worker for senior citizens and later volunteered with Meals on Wheels and as a SHINE Medicare counselor, and more recently, she spent several years visiting and helping care for her elderly mother. After her mother’s death, found herself missing caregiving and landed with us at SHS, looking to help those who feel vulnerable to feel safe and connected instead.

With that in mind, Ginny is committed to providing companionship to help defray feelings of loneliness, boredom, anxiety and depression that many seniors often face, especially for those living with dementias and other illnesses. Ginny loves to do activities with her clients, especially getting them out of their home for a change of scenery and social stimulation, enabling them to enjoy things they are no longer able to do on their own. This includes meals at restaurants, museums, gardens and walks around the Arnold Arboretum. And for those with mobility issues, she brings fresh activities and conversations to them in the home.

Ginny has noted being blown away by how each of her clients, “in their own way, face each day with courage, grace and humor,” and knew she’d found her calling early on with SHS, when she was picnicking with a client who works hard to overcome aphasia who announced, “I love this!”

John Griffin

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John began his work with SHS in May of 2017 after a long career as a Mental Health Counselor. Upon meeting John and hearing about his background working with individuals struggling with a variety of issues including substance abuse and homelessness, we quickly realized that he had a heart of gold and would work well with our population. John took to learning about his new role as a caregiver with ease and has taken advantage of every learning opportunity that comes his way. We are particularly struck by John’s ability to connect with his clients as a peer. He uses his life experiences to relate to others and approaches his work with a tremendous amount of compassion and empathy. John works hard to find commonalities with his clients, treating them as equals with valuable life experiences and lessons. He is supportive of his Caregiver colleagues and humble about his vast experience and credentials in the mental health industry. To his clients, John is a calm and respectful presence who helps people feel at ease about accepting help, and emphasizing the mutual benefits he receives by the relationship. We are grateful that John chose SHS to enhance life after retirement, or, as John would say, “post-career”!

Amy Ranji

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Amy has been working with Seniors Helping Seniors since October of 2016, and she’s been an amazing support to her clients. Amy has an exceptional warmth and compassion, which is apparent immediately after meeting her. She has an infectious smile and laugh, and an uncanny ability to brighten the day of her clients. Amy grew up in Kenya and she understands and is sensitive to how other cultures view aging. Amy takes her role as a caregiver very seriously and is often trying to find creative ways to keep her clients’ engaged. Her clients love her upbeat personality and her willingness to help in any way she can. She is communicative with the office staff and takes advantage of any learning opportunity that she can in order to understand how best to support her clients. She exudes empathy and we feel so fortunate to have her on our team.

Nadine Kraman

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Nadine has been a part of our team since 2017 and we feel so fortunate to work with her! Nadine is creative (as evidenced by her many years as a potter and writer), kind, compassionate, youthful, and lots of fun! Nadine has a natural ability to connect with others, even those with significant cognitive impairment. This natural talent surely helped her find her calling as a clinical psychologist. Nadine treats all of her clients with the utmost respect and dignity. She cares about the details; taking the time to get to know all of her clients and what makes them feel special. She celebrates their accomplishments and mourns their losses.

Nadine has a passion for life and helps her clients see the beauty in their own universes, even when things don’t feel beautiful. She never backs down from a challenge and takes advantage of every learning opportunity that comes her way. Over the past two years, we have all learned so much from Nadine, but first and foremost, we’ve learned how to be more patient, compassionate, and calm!

Nadine sees her work at SHS as a “spiritual journey” and her goal is to make the day of the person she’s visiting just a little bit better. The best outcome to her is to make the person smile, even if it takes singing and dancing to do so.

Judy Lavine

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Judy has been with SHS since 2015, and in fact, was one of the first caregivers that we hired! Judy is a natural caregiver and companion and gives 150% to everyone that she visits. She builds tremendous relationships with all those that she helps – whether it’s visiting with someone twice a week to ensure they are safe, stimulated and engaged, or driving someone to a medical appointment! Judy makes a lasting positive impression on our clients and their families – who are extraordinarily grateful to have her in their life. Judy is an advocate for everyone she spends time with. She is thorough, communicative and always warm. Judy is exceptionally flexible and goes out of her way to accommodate the different needs of everyone that she helps and supports. When asked recently about her time on staff at SHS, Judy replied that she feels fortunate that the lovely people she takes care of are ones she truly enjoys spending time with. We are lucky to have such a thoughtful and conscientious bright light in our SHS family.

 

Marge David

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Marge has been working for SHS since 2016. During her time on staff, she has made a big impact on both her clients and her colleagues. Marge is a retired pediatric nurse and has been able to apply a combination of clinical knowledge and compassion to the work that she does with her clients. Her clients refer to her as a “treasure” and “superb” and we agree! Marge is kind and patient in the face of resistance and has the ability to make even the most ambivalent clients receptive to care. Marge has an amazing ability to make people feel like she’s an old and dear friend. She is insightful and intuitive; both qualities that make her stand out as an exceptional caregiver. We have learned a lot from Marge and find ourselves seeking her guidance on challenging situations. We feel very fortunate to have Marge on our SHS caregiving team!

Victor Stewart

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Victor came on board Seniors Helping Seniors in September 2020, inspired by his desire to give back and be helpful to others at this stage of his life. His background includes personal family experience with dementia. Victor earned an associate’s degree from Ben Franklin Institute of Technology in Boston; before joining SHS, he worked in the automotive industry for 25 years, preceded by administrative stints in healthcare and corporate world settings. While in the auto industry, Victor worked primarily as a mechanic. He has a friendly, easy-going personality and is very empathic, making him a good fit for this work. Family is very important to Victor and much of his family lives on his block, a rarity these days. When not working, Victor likes to keep active and enjoys camping, biking, hiking with his dog, gardening, reading, and anything car-related.