Question-and-Answer With Emerald Fuimaono, Staff Coordinator

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Q: In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges facing seniors and their families today?

A:  "The biggest challenge facing seniors is their possible risk of being at home alone, depending on the circumstances and their health. Some need more care than others, and it's not just challenging for the seniors – it is also challenging for the families. For example, who do you trust to come into the home to help your senior loved one? Home Instead Senior Care is a really great option. I love it when we get to step in, meet some of those challenges and gain the trust of clients and their families by providing unmatched care and companionship. At the end of the day, no matter how hard or easy the day has gone, it is a rewarding job."

Q: How did you become interested in a job in senior caregiving?

A: "I started as a Personal Care Assistant in 2002 and took care of my grandmother, who needed basic assistance like cleaning and cooking. About two or three years later, she became even more infirm. At that same time, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at a relatively young age. When she underwent treatment, she became very ill, so I stopped working my other job and dedicated my time to my mother and grandmother. They both eventually were able to get their strength back, and I resumed work as a PCA. When I think back about it now, I know that it would not have been OK if I had not been there with them or at least had the support of an agency with PCAs to care for them."

Q: You are known at Home Instead Senior Care for being able to multi-task really well. What prepared you for your job?

A: "After helping Mom and Grandma, I remained a PCA until 2011, when I became a community coordinator whose responsibilities included scheduling, receptionist duties, time-sheet corrections and a lot more. I was hired to work alone in an office in a smaller community, and folks told me I was doing the work of five people. I think I adjusted well and grew with the job. Because it was in a smaller community, the workload after a while didn't seem quite as daunting as it appeared to outsiders. But as a result of handling so many responsibilities, I do have a lot of office experience."

Q: Do you think you'll remain in senior care, and would you recommend it to others?

A: "For sure, I will remain in senior care. I work in the office as a staff coordinator now, but I also get to work with clients as a fill-in CAREGiver. I love it all! At the end of the day, it's a very rewarding job because I know I have assisted colleagues, clients or their families, whether I have done it as a staff member or a CAREGiver. As a CAREGiver, I have kept clients safe, prepared meals for them, provided medication reminders and companionship, and did whatever else was needed to help them. Since the time I started as a PCA, I have recommended this kind of fulfilling work to others who appear to have a compassionate heart."


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