“I was an archeologist and museum curator for almost 40 years.”
In this edition of our Exceptional Caregiver Voices series, Valerie describes why she enjoys being a caregiver, the very interesting story of why she became a caregiver, and why she enjoys working at Home Helpers of Bradenton.
Valerie – I truly enjoyed the opportunity to sit down with you and learn more about your story! You can truly empathize with the family members of our clients because you too have been a family caregiver. Thank you for all that you do. I appreciate you! -Jonathan
What do you like most about being a caregiver?
What I like most about being a caregiver? Lots of different things. I really like helping people, always have. This is a second career for me, so it's very different from the work I used to do, but it's nice to know that you are actually making a difference in someone's life.
I was an archeologist and a museum curator for almost 40 years.
I think the thing that has affected me the most is not a single event, but to see somebody improve a little bit, which doesn't have to mean they're getting physically better but maybe their emotional state is improving. And that to know I had something to do with that, but it's not a single event, but just with different clients, it's been different things.
Why did you become a caregiver?
I became a caregiver, because of my mother. I had taken care of her in her last, well she'd lived with me for a number of years, but she was bedridden for about six months. And I didn't know about places like Home Helpers. And I was 24/7 with my mother. I had also taken care of her mother for over two years and she had severe dementia. And I took care of my ex mother-in-law also. So I was working full time doing something totally different. I didn't know about services like this. And until the end of my mother's life, when she went into hospice care and I had somebody who came over and helped me.
And I think one of the most important things that I try to remember is how much that meant to me that I could get out of the house. I could do things and somebody was caring for my loved one. And I think that that's something that's always with me, is that what I do is not only helping that person, but if they have loved ones that are also caregivers. I've been a caregiver, I mean, for a loved one. And I know how just totally consuming it is for you. And so I'm a respite for them also.
And so I did caregiving to family members and it was a friend of mine who, when my mother passed, and I had retired, because I was doing it full time for my mother said, "Well, you wanna go back to work? I know this place that is a caregiving place." And that's how I came to Home Helpers.
What do you like about working at Home Helpers of Bradenton?
I enjoy very much working for Home Helpers. They answer my questions. When I have a question and I call the office, somebody gets back to me, or if somebody is there, they respond and I find that very useful. A lot of places nowadays don't respond when you have questions and you guys respond. That's what I like about Home Helpers. I think caring, is what I would describe Home Helpers as in one word, as caring.
HOME HELPERS OF BRADENTON
Home Helpers of Bradenton is one of the region's leading home care franchises specializing in comprehensive services for seniors. Home Helpers' sole mission is to make life easier for clients and their families. Based in Bradenton, Florida, the company serves all of Manatee County, including the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Palmetto, and Parrish. For more information or to request a free in-home care assessment, contact our office at (941) 499-5946 or visit our website atwww.homehelpershomecare.com/bradenton