Sonia’s Story: Demonstrating Dignity

“Our clients thrive on consistency, and after having the same one on one care provider for six years, she was not happy about me becoming her new one on one care provider,” says Sonia, a program aid at Valley Village, regarding her relationship with a client in the day program. “I knew I had to build a relationship based on trust.” When they first started working together, Sonia decided to have lunch with her one on one client, which got their relationship off to a good start. “I’m always honest with her because she doesn’t deal well with dishonesty. She doesn’t trust easily.” Sonia provides care in a one on one scenario that helps her client thrive and maintain or reach the best of her abilities.

Sonia explained that she balances between providing support where it’s needed and giving the freedom to make choices. The structure Sonia provides while providing client choice helps her one on one client feel comfortable and trusting in their relationship. There are parameters and rules, and Sonia is fair, kind and caring, but she adheres to the rules consistently which allows her one on one to be successful. “I provide her with options that fit within the framework of care.” Our clients thrive in consistent environments. Since Sonia works with her one on one in the Valley Village day program and home where she lives, she ensures consistency across the two environments.

Sonia provides care and support for her one on one that demonstrates dignity. Through their work together, she understands the positive impact of care with dignity and the consistency of daily routines. “She sometimes may forget what she wants to say or what she needs, and she may become frustrated. Through our close relationship, I know her well enough to understand what’s happening and help provide what she needs and minimize her frustration. My job is to empower her to do things with my support, allowing her to remain active, engaged and maintain her abilities.

Through their relationship, Sonia understands how to help her one on one client be her best. “If you are honest, the clients trust you. They will be honest with you.” For example, Sonia knows her client doesn’t like going to the doctor. She’s found ways to help her get through appointments and feel secure and safe at doctor appointments.

Sonia has been working at Valley Village for almost eighteen months as an aid. When she’s not working with her one on one client, she often works with five to six clients, helping them to read, exercise, eat, walk, get to and from their bus and to use the bathroom. Sonia has a degree in Behavior Science from Pierce College.