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‘So Wonderful’: Retired Nursing Assistant Reflects on 26 Years at Hooverwood

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Wilma Edgeston visited Hooverwood for the first time in 1990.

Her aunt had a friend who was a resident, and Wilma—who had not heard of Hooverwood before—was happy to provide a ride. After the visit, Wilma, who had gone to school for nursing, submitted an application. Hooverwood called her back almost immediately and offered her a position. Wilma took it, and stayed until her retirement nearly 26 years later.

During her time at Hooverwood, Wilma worked as a certified nursing assistant. She was one of the unspoken heroes of the night shift, but the hours never bothered her.

“That’s the only shift I ever worked,” she said. “I took care of residents and made sure everything was all right. Whatever they needed, I was there to help them.”

Wilma’s tenure also allowed her to build close relationships with the residents. When she would stop by to check on a resident, they’d chat for a while, make each other laugh. She said one of the biggest rewards of working at Hooverwood was walking into a room and seeing a resident’s face light up with a smile.

“It was just so wonderful,” Wilma said. “Everybody was so nice and so respectful … I just enjoyed being there. It was like being a part of a family.”

Wilma, who retired on June 20—her birthday—said the hardest thing about leaving Hooverwood was having to say goodbye to both her coworkers and the residents. She—like so many other members of the Hooverwood family—talked about the facility’s warmth, inclusiveness, and loving atmosphere. How Hooverwood feels like a second home.

“It makes me cry, how good [my coworkers] were to me when I left. My nurse at night gave me a surprise pizza party. I cried then, too. Everyone was so wonderful.”

When asked what she planned to do during retirement, Wilma was quick to say she was interested in going back to Hooverwood.

“I actually wish I was still working there,” she said. “The people in the office, they were a lot of fun. I loved being able to see everybody and see the smiles on [residents’] faces. I really do miss all of them.”