Cherry Woods has been helping her mother care for her
grandfather with dementia for five years now, so when the opportunity to work
as a professional CAREGiver came up, it seemed like the perfect fit.
“I’ve always thought my grandfather should be home with his
family,” she says. “So when I saw the video for Home Instead, I really liked
She believes that her family experience has made her a more
empathetic CAREGiver – and given her a thicker skin for when her clients are
resistant to her help. “You have to understand how life changes for an older
person. They go from being independent to needing someone, and that can be
really hard for them. As a CAREGiver, you still have to do your job even though
they want to be independent. You just can’t take it personally.”
Often, Cherry says, clients are surprised when a CAREGiver
is doing a task, such as working with a nebulizer for COPD, that they’ve never
done before. But she reassures them by saying she is perfectly good at
following the directions and she is there to help. In fact, she finds that,
with all she’s learned, she’s now even better equipped to help her mother.
She also appreciates that her job offers her a level of
flexibility and independence that isn’t always easy to find. “I have two
daughters. And I have found a job that I love to do, that also allows me to be
there and take care of them.”
And how has her job impacted the girls? “My oldest daughter,
who’s 18, recently got a job as a nursing assistant at the place where my
grandfather lives and she’s very protective of all of the folks there,” Cherry
says with pride. “And my younger daughter, who is 12, asks me every day how the
people I take care of are doing. She is aware that this is important to me and
so it is important to her.”
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