Caring is a Family Tradition


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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 their approach.”

 

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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