Calm Caregiver With War-torn Past Named Among Top Ten "Caring Champions" in the U.S.
After surviving a childhood and an early adulthood on the run from the brutality of a civil war in Sierra Leone that claimed more than 50,000 lives, Abu Fofanah’s gentle nature as a nurse and caregiver for the elderly in a country more than 4,000 miles away from home is nothing less than remarkable. His passion for older adults and his reputation for being calm and peaceful as a caregiver recently earned him the accolade as a top “Caring Champion” in the U.S. by Caring.com, a leading online resource for senior care. The “Caring Champions” program recognizes extraordinary eldercare by professional caregivers of seniors in the U.S.
A well-known and beloved employee of Roland Park Place, Abu was among only ten professional caregivers in the nation to earn the award this year, and was selected among almost 40 nominees from around the country. In an awards program dominated by votes through social media channels, Abu’s nomination story earned the most votes through comments out of all of the contestants, which weighed heavily in the judging process to select winners. Some of the hand-written notes submitted by residents can be read online here.
"I have had the privilege to know, work alongside of, and supervise Abu for almost ten years at Roland Park Place," said RPP's Director of Health Services Tanya Allen. "And I have never met another more imperturbable medical professional in long-term care nursing at any level. Our nursing staff can often be seen observing and admiring Abu’s soft manner and work to duplicate it in their own caring practice. Abu’s co-workers constantly emulate Abu’s gentle caring style."
"Professional caregivers like Abu remind us about the important, meaningful difference that can be made by choosing to work in senior care," said Andy Cohen, Caring.com CEO. "From his ongoing education and advocacy on behalf of older adults, to the many social votes and letters of praise he received, we're very impressed with his nomination story, and congratulate him on earning this honor of senior care excellence."
Abu obtained a pre-medical degree in biology and chemistry from the University of Sierra Leone with the intent to attend medical school and eventually become a stronger advocate for seniors in Sierra Leone and beyond. Abu’s experiences abroad and personal cultural beliefs contribute to his special attention to our older generation and this unique perspective on geriatric care and nursing services in Africa has fed his passion for providing excellence and strong compassion in care to seniors at Roland Park Place.