After caring for her grandmother who suffered from Alzheimer’s, Aaron Hailey felt a calling to begin a career in senior care. Aaron and her grandmother had a special bond and grew even closer through her illness as she learned how complex and challenging it can be to care for a seriously ill loved one. This bond and first-hand experience as a family caregiver inspired her to work in administration at area assisted living and memory care communities. When an opportunity to work with the Visiting Nurse Association became available, she was eager to transition to a new role as a VNA Community Liaison. While working in senior-care facilities, she experienced the exceptional and compassionate care VNA provided to residents living in the facilities where she worked.
Realizing that the hospice philosophy has so many benefits for both the patient and family caregivers, Aaron quickly came to the realization that she was in the right place helping seniors age with dignity and independence at home. “I am passionate about helping people and caring for them for whatever time they have left on this earth. I believe people are called to work in this profession,” Aaron says.
In 2021, VNA made the mission-driven decision to launch Children’s Haven, a pediatric hospice program. Aaron was involved from the beginning working with Children’s Medical Center to accept referred patients into our pilot program. Aaron recalls how much of a humbling experience it was to work with her first pediatric hospice family. As a mom and woman of faith, Aaron felt called to lean in and rely on her faith to enable her to help families in one of the most difficult times of their lives. In her role, she helps patients transition into hospice care where both the patient and the family will receive the care and support they need whether in the home or a clinical setting.
“The smiles on the kiddos face when they arrive back home and the family’s gratitude for our services is what keeps me going,” says Aaron. She shares that her favorite part of this role is honoring the children’s and the families’ wishes to make the most of the time they have together. You can regularly spot Aaron making special deliveries to patients’ homes—whether it be Halloween treats or birthday surprises…even sometimes wearing a fun costume!
You can learn more about VNA’s Children’s Haven program here: