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COLONIE: This nurse makes house calls

Traversing the miles of town roadways, most of which she knows like the back of her hand, Kaiser logs in lots of windshield time.

"My mileage is out of the ballpark," admits Kaiser. "In the course of 24 years, I'll bet I've been on every single town road at least once. But I'm living my dream. There's a lot of diversity and autonomy in my work. I could never envision myself sitting in an office behind a desk."

The majority of Kaiser's clients are senior citizens, primarily because service agencies for the elderly make referrals for people needing regular care.

"Most people I see are elderly and frail," said Kaiser. "It's not a requirement they be, but that's where the need is. Some are housebound, many are legally blind, and many have family members too far away to help them manage their medications."

Over the span of so many years, Kaiser has seen and experienced the best and worst of times in the lives of the elderly, from sheer desolation to people reaching out for some human connection.

"It's pretty prevalent that people want to see a friendly face, and I could drink tea all day if I had the chance to slow down and visit," said Kaiser. "They all want someone to sit with and reminisce. If I have the time, I will sit, but mostly I'm on the go. It tugs at the heart."

When she encounters a visible need, such as people living without proper utilities or stocked pantries, Kaiser alerts other agencies, such as Meals on Wheels.

"I've been known to bring in food and other supplies, but people need a sustained source for their basic needs," said Kaiser. "They become very isolated. They may not have seen another human being for days. I've been known to make phone calls to people on holidays just to check in."

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