Letter: Nursing homes are reflections of their employees

I am sure there are many in Covington, and perhaps throughout Newton County, who are completely unaware of the passing of an era right here in our own back yard.

In recent years there has been a trend for large corporate organizations to become owners and administrators over previously independent nursing homes in local communities. Such an event has occurred with Covington Manor. I am not here to express an opinion on this decision, for I have no knowledge regarding such matters. My intent is to lift a voice of praise to those of service that became my friends, my counselors, my strength and support as they cared for my mother during her three years of residency at Covington Manor.

My mother was received with opened arms and cared for by loving hands. Daily she was bathed, fed and dressed with expert efficiency. She was smothered in love, made to laugh and sing and remember. When she was sad, weak or sick, she was hugged and kissed and spoiled. My days were easier because hers were made so. At my mother's death, our extended family from the nursing home world cried with us, and they miss her today as I do.

They say a business is only as good as the boss. Believe me, there was no one better than Mr. C.L. Johnson, long-time administrator. He ran his business with warmth and love as though every resident was a personal family member. He created an atmosphere of home for the residents as well as for the family members who had placed the responsibility of care upon his shoulders. Our expectations for high standards of care became raised to his expected levels! This level of care was felt throughout the building, from the office staff to the nurses and CNAs, to laundry and dietary, to maintenance and beyond!

My anguish over placing my mother in a nursing home was soon replaced with such heartfelt gratitude for the compassionate hands that cared for her, I am compelled to share the story. How do you say "thank you" enough?

As the arms of progress open into the lives of those so dependent, may they embrace the ones they are intended to serve by continuing to honor the tried and true tradition of love.

On behalf of my mother, Jewell Shelton, and from a heart that was touched.

-- Kitty King