Healthcare Hero: For this nurse’s assistant, taking care of others runs in the family

Rachel Laffin was hired by a family to take care of their 90-year-old mother at home. In matter of weeks, she wove herself into the fabric of the family.
Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 12:38 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Rachel Laffin was hired by the Kashiwamura family to take care of their 90-year-old mother at home.

In just a matter of weeks, the certified nurse’s assistant has woven herself into the fabric of the family. Twelve hours a day, four days per week, she shows up ready to take care of her charge.

She’s gotten really close to 90-year-old Martha Kashiwamura and said “she constantly jokes around with me which makes my day.

“So I feel like I’m not even working, honestly. You know, (I’m) just hanging out with Martha.”

That relationship is even more remarkable considering that Laffin just became a nurse’s assistant six months ago.

Caring for people seems to run in her blood.

Her mom, Helen Balila, has run a care home of her own for nine years and her younger sister Roxanne Agustin helps her out as a nurse’s assistant.

It only seems natural that Laffin would take that from her own family to her work.

Debbie Ha is Kashiwamura’s daughter and is the one who nominated Laffin to be a Healthcare Hero.

“I think she treats my mom like a grandmother,” Ha said. “She does more than is expected, more than the job description is. Rachel is like a family member to us.”

The family says they have complete trust in Laffing and never have to worry about leaving Kashiwamura with her in their home. “You know, my mom is 90,” Ha said. So we don’t know how many years she has left. We want her to be happy in her remaining years and I think she is with Rachel.”

It’s just one of the reasons, she’s a Healthcare Hero.

This story is part of Hawaii News Now’s ongoing Healthcare Heroes series.

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