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No matter whether she’s at home or at Brentland Woods, Renada Dixon cares about her family, which includes the residents at Brentland Woods—just one of the reasons she was named the Catherine Johnson Caregiver of the Year in 2017.
She’s been with Brentland Woods for five years, but Renada got her start as a server at the Episcopal Church Home, and working with Episcopal SeniorLife Communities seems to run in her family. “My brother Ronald works in the dietary department at the Church Home, and my brother Marvin is a sous chef at River Edge Manor,” says Renada.
She was quickly promoted to night crew leader at the Church Home’s kitchen. She then attended Interim in Rochester to earn her certification as a home health aide. She went on to also become certified by Monroe County to give medications. Before joining Brentland Woods, Renada worked for two years with the ARC of Monroe. Now, as a resident care aide and preceptor at Brentland Woods, Renada is responsible not only for helping residents with their daily activities, but also for training new aides. “We’re here to help residents with whatever they need—getting showers, getting dressed, giving them their medications and tidying up,” says Renada. “But we’re also here to listen. I love learning about their pasts—what they’ve been through, and how they got through the tough times in their lives.”
Renada says that it’s the one-to-one service she gives to residents each day that makes her happiest. “Family members mean a lot to them. I’m especially close to the residents who don’t have family around anymore. And our staff is wonderful here—we all come together to make our residents relaxed and comfortable. We go over and beyond in our work, and help each other out. My saying is, ‘Teamwork makes the dream work!’ ”
Family is simply the most important thing to her. “I treat every resident like they‘re my mom or my grandma,” says Renada, who mentions she’s noticed her own mom getting older, and wants to do the best for her.
Renada is engaged, and has three sons, ages 14, 9 and 20 months. Her mom helps with childcare, which allows Renada to pick up occasional evening shifts, even after she’s worked her regular day shift. “I go over and beyond in my work. It’s just who I am,” she says.