Aretha Hardy of Lucedale, MS was presented with the Direct Care Worker of the Year Award at the 11th Annual Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Psychiatric Disorders in the Elderly hosted by the Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH). The award is designed to honor someone who demonstrates commitment, compassion, competence, and leadership in the field of dementia care.
Hardy, a Certified Nursing Assistant at George Regional Senior Care in Lucedale, has worked with individuals with Alzheimer’s disease for the past two of her 14 years of employment with the hospital. Nominated by her co-workers, she is described as a “strong mentor... who makes the patients know they are valuable to her.” In another submission, “being absent is not part of her job description... Our part of the medical field is challenging and Aretha is up to the challenge.”
“It is a pleasure to honor Ms. Hardy with this award. She has certainly demonstrated the characteristics of commitment, compassion, competence, and leadership in dementia care,” said Kathy Van Cleave, Director of the DMH Division of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementia. “I’m so excited that Ms. Hardy was able to attend the Conference. I trust she will take the information she has learned and will share it with her team.”
DMH hosted the conference in an effort to address the needs of people suffering from or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. More than 500 people attended the conference.