On Tuesday, December 18th, Mandy Klarman, previous volunteer and current per-diem social worker at Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center, was recognized at the Long Island Business News “Achievements in Health Care” awards program. She was honored within the Volunteer category, a prestigious group of individuals who have had an impact in the delivery of care through volunteer work.
Mandy Klarman first came to the Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center in 2017. As a stay-at-home mother of two, Klarman engaged with many volunteer activities at her children’s school. However, she wanted to do more to give back to the larger community. She gained an interest in Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center because of a personal connection - her grandmother had battled Alzheimer’s disease. “Although I was not my grandmother’s caregiver, I was involved through my mother and grandfather in their roles as caregivers.” She also holds a Master’s degree in Social Work.
From her first day at Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center, Klarman felt at home and began volunteering for one four hour shift per week.
Melissa Katz, Klarman’s supervisor at Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center says she is “a natural and simply wonderful with our participants. She unfailingly treats them with dignity, respect and allows them to be as independent as is safe for them. Mandy has an extra spark which connects with our participants, their family members and our staff, and she is always so appropriate in her role as a volunteer.”
As a volunteer, Klarman assists during the day program as needed, from engaging participants in conversation, helping conduct program activities and catering to individual needs. Afternoon activities generally involve exercise, music, dance and help with dismissal.
“Mostly I socialize with the participants as another friendly face,” explains Klarman. “I bring compassion, patience and understanding to my work. I can see how the participants benefit from socialization and light conversation with another person. What I appreciate about older adults is that they have so much to share and so much history. With this population you can’t always expect too much but there’s enjoyment they can get in light conversation. It allows them to express their humanity, maintain dignity and have joy in their day.”