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Then Again

Audrey Juds, a longtime resident of New Berlin, has worked over 25 years covering the city as a reporter, editor and columnist. Contact her at dajuds@att.net.

Going way beyond the role of duty

                        State honors Patty Sanborn at LindenGrove

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Patty Sanborn, a dietary aide at the LindenGrove facility in New Berlin, is one of nine persons in the state to be recognized as a "caring employee" through the Wisconsin Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (WAHSA).

Living up to the WAHSA moto, "a caring commitment…dedicated to excellence," Sanborn is recognized for her eight years of outstanding dietary service at LindenGrove, as well as being an active volunteer. In both roles she is credited for giving "well over 100 percent of her capacity."

"I got the best job in the whole building," states this petite woman who is gifted with a positive outlook. After delivering snacks at 1:30 p.m., she finds time to work with the residents, encouraging them to participate in projects -- such as making pins for every seasonal holiday and occasion. They have made more than 9,000 of them.

During the past two years she also has donated numerous sweatshirts to residents with special embroidered designs based on their interests and personality. And for special occasions she makes embroidered aprons and T-shirts for staff.

When Sanborn was presented a large plaque, May 19, she was surrounded by residents, her husband and family. "I felt like a queen," she said. "They were all beaming and so was I." Most of them were wearing embroidered shirts she had made or holding items she had given them.

Sanborn also teaches a weekly craft class to seniors in the community. From these classes she brings little projects that she teaches to her craft group at LindenGrove. These items, which are sold at the facility’s craft and bake sales, support the LindenGrove Foundation.

How does she get people to participate in her projects? With those who continually refuse, she tells them they do not have to do the project, but just come down to socialize and get out of their room. Sanborn admits she has an advantage. She is not an employee who delivers "meds" to their rooms. "I got the good stuff, the snacks."

When she gives residents a little gift, Sanborn said she loves to watch them light up. They want to pay her, but she tells them their smile is their payment.

An instructor once told her to treat the residents like they were her grandmother, and that works.

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