CNA Christina Melius: Care is a Two-Way Street
Christina Melius is a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) whose deep love for the elderly stems from her childhood. “My grandmother raised me from the age of eight. I lived in a neighborhood of grandparents and adored them.” This affection informed her decision to become a CNA, which she realized through Noble’s free CNA training program, and it pervades her interactions with Noble residents on a daily basis.
Christina began her career at Noble as a housekeeper. Soon after, she enrolled in the CNA training program and now works with residents of the cottages and Cobble and each day is different. What doesn’t change is her strong positive interactions with residents. “I truly love working here. I love the residents. They feel like family to me.”
“I grew up listening to stories about the wars and the way things used to be. They were incredible. I have the utmost respect for the elderly. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be here. I think I get along better with the elderly than people my own age,” she observes.
Christina speaks highly of her CNA training. One piece of advice she carries with her every day, “There’s the book and then there’s reality. Everybody’s different. You have to see how each person moves, how each person thinks, how each person hears. You have to be very careful with how you approach each person.” She applies this counsel to her work every day.
One of her responsibilities at Noble is transporting residents to medical appointments in the wheelchair accessible van. These appointments can be local or farther afield in Hartford, New Haven, or Poughkeepsie. If requested, she’ll attend an appointment with a resident to be their second set of eyes or ears and even assists with the paperwork.
Christina’s love and compassion is poignantly illustrated by her decision to celebrate her most recent birthday with an Alzheimer’s fundraiser. Visitors to her cheerful Facebook page discovered the following message: “For my birthday this year, I am asking for donations to the Alzheimer’s Association. I have chosen this non-profit because it means a lot to me, and I hope you’ll consider contributing as a way of celebrating with me.”
Christina compares past careers to her CNA work. “Here I work with people of so many different backgrounds and cultures. It’s a learning experience, I’m continuously learning. There’s always something new I’m finding out.” She relishes the fascinating stories that Noble residents share about their travels, jobs, lifestyles, and childhoods.
For Christina her work at Noble is a two-way street. While she adores her residents, she feels cared for as well. “They make me feel wanted and appreciated. They’re concerned for me, always asking how I’m feeling, am I warm enough. For me, this isn’t a job, it’s a way of life.”