“I’ve always been really comfortable working with people,” says Bill Zych who was in retail management for most of his career before becoming a professional CAREGiver seven years ago. “My mom had had a stroke and my wife and I were caring for her, and we were helping out lots of older folks at church, so CAREGiving just seemed like a natural fit.”
Bill generally takes care of men and works with about four clients at any given time. He has formed close relationships not only with his clients but with their families as well. “It surely expands your community,” he says of CAREGiving. “When you’re taking care of your mom, it’s personal. And when you help out someone at church, that’s personal. Well, when you do this job, it becomes personal, too.”
Since Bill works with several different clients, there is no such thing as a typical day on the job. Sometimes, he has just a three or four hour shift, sometimes it’s overnight. Sometimes he works mornings; sometimes, evenings. And that’s just the way he likes it. Working a variety of hours allows him to spend more time with his grandkids and attend their sports games and other important events. “I was doing retail when my kids were growing up and I always had to be worried about the store. Now, with my grandkids, I get to be way more involved.”
Bill loves swapping family stories with his clients and, as a former music major who plays piano in church, he has shared the gift of music with some of the seniors he cares for as well. When all else fails, he can usually find common ground when the subject turns to local sports teams.
“I once got a client involved in fantasy football,” Bill recalls with a laugh. “He was active in the summer but winter was really hard for him. This gave him something to look forward to, kept him motivated.”
And what keeps Bill motivated? “The people I care for and their families are the reason I love what I do.”
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