#National Caregiver day is among us. At On Lok, everybody here plays a very special role with assisting our community, but there is one role that truly deserves a shout out -our Geriatric Aides.

It takes a very special person to excel in this role. Today I want to share a “Day in the Life” interview with our incredible Geriatric Aide, Mary Ann Cooper. She has been with On Lok for eight years and considers this her second family.

Day in the Life of a Geriatric Aide:

8:30 AM-10:00 AM

I make sure our participants start their morning with breakfast and tea and a conversation about how they are doing. They love to sit and talk with us and we both update each other on what is new in our lives.

10:00 AM-11:00 AM

We then provide any shower or bathroom services to get them ready for the day. Some participants love getting their nails done, so if they ask, we will paint their nails for them.

12:00 PM-2:00 PM

They love their activities so I sit with our participants and ask them which ones they would be interested in. Some prefer outings, for example our trip to the symphony last week. One participant told me she was so happy to go because it reminded her of her younger years when she would listen to Beethoven. Other participants enjoy a more relaxed setting and would prefer a nice game of bingo or board games. We get to customize each participant’s activity for him or her.

2:00 PM-4:30 PM

We help our participants to their doctor appointments and make sure they take their medications. We have meetings with their doctors and nurses so we are always up to speed on their health care plan. We help our participants get on the bus safely, and then begin cleaning to prepare for their arrival the next day. We clean the kitchen, the common areas and the bathrooms to make sure that everything is ready for tomorrow.


Q: What is your favorite part about working here?

A: This is my second home. It makes me happy knowing I can help our participants throughout the day. My parents passed away when I was young, so when I interact with our participants I feel like they are my mom, my dad, or my grandparents.


Q: How do you handle the challenges of your job?

A: Our participants have good days and bad days, and sometimes the job can be mentally and physically challenging, but when you love your job; it’s not something that is hard to do. I love being here so for me it’s rewarding. Having a great team helps too. Everyone is always saying, “What can I do to help?” .We have an “all in this together” mentality. We show up everyday like, “Ok let’s go, let’s do this!” 

Mary Ann spoke about her job with joy and enthusiasm. I left her as a group of participants arrived and greeted her with handshakes, hugs and smiles. Happy National Caregiver day to all of our special Geriatric Aides, like Mary Ann that make such a positive impact on the communities we serve.

Thank you for all that you do.