To the editor of THE EAGLE:

Sometimes, key support people who do a lot are under the radar and they often go unnoticed. They work quietly, patiently and thoughtfully and you can take them for granted.

With the 37th annual National Nursing Assistant Week starting June 12, I encourage everyone to take a minute and thank the certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in our community. The work done by a CNA is demanding and carries a lot of responsibility, and the people in these roles don't always receive the appreciation they deserve.

As the executive director at EPOCH Assisted Living at Melbourne for 16 years, I've experienced firsthand the passion CNAs have for enriching seniors' lives by providing them with compassionate care and making sure they have a welcoming place to call their home. From assisting with personal needs to keeping rooms tidy, from serving meals to taking vital signs or lending a compassionate ear, CNAs walk side-by-side with the seniors in their care, often becoming friends as well as caregivers.

CNAs have a pivotal role in improving seniors' well-being -- in body and spirit. Their dedication and compassion help make assisted living communities (and nursing homes, hospitals and home care) more nurturing places. I am so thankful for these important members of our team. So, take a minute to thank a CNA when you see them -- they are truly pillars of care in many settings.

DIANE I. WEINSTEIN

Pittsfield

The writer is executive director at EPOCH Assisted Living. Blog: www.epochsl.com/blog. Facebook: www.facebook.com/EPOCHSeniorLiving?ref=3Dsgm