Member Spotlight: Kristina McGraine of Windsor Manor – Algona

September 24, 2020

Kristina McGraine holds a degree in psychology, and as a resident assistant (RA) at Windsor Manor – Algona, she enjoys working with individuals with dementia and creating the best day possible for them.

“Kristina is so amazing with our memory care residents,” said Terri Tweedy, executive director of Windsor Manor – Algona. “If you read the poem she wrote about Alzheimer’s (listed below), you will realize just how much she gets the individual residents. Even though she is an RA, she takes the time to do activities with the residents in her spare time. Just having her in memory care is so calming for the residents.”

How did you get started in the long-term care profession?
I graduated with a degree in psychology. After having a couple jobs completely unrelated to my degree, I was feeling unfulfilled. When my current position was advertised, I jumped in and was eager to learn!

What do you like most about working in long-term care?
My preference is working with individuals in memory care. I am very interested in dementia, how the disease progresses and how to create the best day possible for the residents.

What would you tell others to encourage them to consider a career in long-term care?
Working in long-term care is very rewarding. You not only make lasting relationships with the residents, but also with their families and other community members.

What lessons have you learned working in long-term care that also helps you outside of work?
I’ve learned to live in the moment because that’s all we really have.

When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy reading both fiction and nonfiction. I read about two books per week, on average. I also enjoy spending time with my two-year-old nephew and writing poetry and short stories.

A poem written by Kristina about dementia, titled Alzheimer’s:
I recognize your essence
Although I may not remember your face, and certainly not your name
You see, parts of my mind are a little broken
I still live in the same universe, but my world is no longer the same.

I don’t know where I am at
The name of the town or building that I am in
My surroundings are vaguely familiar but don’t feel like mine
If I ask you something, you may need to remind me again and again.

This isn’t who I am, I am more than only this
Please don’t forget that and become frustrated
The things I used to know, that I used to be able to do without thought
Have now become complex and complicated.

Often when I begin to talk
The words don’t come out like I had planned
Just talk back to me and try to connect
Even if you don’t understand.

Because I don’t either, I don’t understand
But underneath all that is on the surface, I am still here, you see
So keep visiting and talking, touching, caring and loving
My body and mind may have changed, but in my heart, I am still me.

More about the Member Spotlight
Recognize your best employees! Select an employee to complete this form and return it to Photos of the selected employee are also encouraged, but not required. The photo release form can be found here.

We will feature the Member Spotlights in the Weekly Bulletin, the IHCA Facebook page and the IHCA website.