Alden Town Manor Health and Rehab certified nurse aide Estefanny Bedolla took the meaning of “going above and beyond” to the next level when she recently learned how to speak Greek to communicate and care for a patient with Alzheimer’s disease.

Bedolla said her resident, Anastasia, was coping with advanced dementia, and her English faded. Bedolla felt motivated to do better for Anastasia by learning a language more familiar to her: Greek.

“I believe a language barrier should not be an obstacle to providing quality care,”  27-year-old Bedolla said. 

“Learning Greek has been quite challenging,” she continued. “But with everything new, repetition is key. I would stick to a word or phrase and repeat it to Anastasia throughout my shift.” 

Bedolla made it clear that her and Anastasia were on this journey together.

“Whenever I mispronounced a word, she  would correct me — and celebrate me when I got it right.”

Although she is not yet fluent in Greek, Bedolla said she hopes to achieve full language competency.

“For now, I am focused on learning specific words and phrases that will help me provide better care for her. Not only to facilitate her ADLs, but also trying to make her feel more at home and comfortable,” Bedolla said.

Bedolla said this experience has brought her closer with Anastasia as they continue their language and care journey together at the facility in Cicero, IL. 

“Some of [the residents] call me their granddaughter,” Bedolla added. “Many of them have difficult lives and no family, so we have to become their family.”

The hardworking CNA, who has been with Alden Town Manor for five years, emphasized that it is not just her, but all of the memory care staff at Alden that truly care about the residents. They do not hesitate to go “above and beyond.”

Estefanny Bedolla