A female nurse was the first Care Pro we hired in our Lewis office. Once you meet her, you’ll know why. It’s not just her 13 years of professional caregiving experience, it’s the way she cares that makes her special. Since everyone who meets her becomes a friend, she’s all to us—and to all her Eniola clients. We’re so happy she heads our Care Team.
1. Is there anything about your family or background that makes you especially passionate about caring for others?
Absolutely. I have always been passionate about caring for the vulnerable and less fortunate than the general populace. I was always around doctors, nurses, and patients. That was my normal. I was so excited when I started helping with bits and chores around the house even mundane things such as peeling potatoes, which I learned from my great-grandma. To this day every time I hold a potato, a Great-grandma smile comes through.
2. How did you get into being a caregiver?
When a friend of mine went into labour prematurely, I supported her labour and delivery nurse Rachel, who had the most incredible amount of patience and took such amazing good care of her. That experience was a huge learning curve. It served as a great insight — to be there and care for others I shadowed and watched Rachel care for my friend. Rachel later had her own baby, and I was there as well, in fact, we’re still friends over a decade later. I guess I had two great influences guiding my fate. That first-hand experience with my friend was meant to teach me empathy and direct me to help people.
3. Why did you choose Eniola?
Since it was a passion, it soon became a dream to be heavily involved in the Care industry. I had been working in a lot of facilities, but there were a lot of restrictions at nursing facilities. You can’t really enjoy being with people. It’s too hectic and too many people yelling for you. I decided I wanted to get back into home care and I met with a few friends who shared the same vision and we started with our Lewis’ office. Unlike other jobs, it was always that we need bodies to fill spots. We are always looking for people to fill spots—she was looking for people who love to care for others.
4. What do you love most about being a professional caregiver?
Sounds cliché, but I enjoy the difference I can make in someone’s life. When families become caregivers they stop being family members. Husbands stop being husbands, wives stop being wives. When I come in and take care of the tasks that nobody wants to do, I let the other person be a spouse or a child again. I get to give family members back to their families. That makes me feel really good.
5. What’s your greatest challenge in this work?
I take it all in stride. My experience takes over most of the time without me thinking about it. Like reflexes. The only thing that I can truly say bothers me is when someone asks a person with Alzheimer’s, “Why don’t you understand?” Or “I just told you this an hour ago”. People who aren’t empathetic to another person’s affliction are hard for me to watch.
6. What’s the secret to a great relationship between a caregiver and a client?
Complete honesty. And that builds mutual respect. Nobody wants someone in their home who is going to be fake or can’t be trusted. If a Care Pro doesn’t love what they do, the client can feel it. They want someone who can talk truthfully about what is going on and treat them like real people, not just another number.
7. Will you share with us a rewarding moment you’ve had as a Care Pro?
Recently, I was working hard to get a bed-bound man clean. It took a good hour. I was really struggling and sweating, and he was uncomfortable. I was talking to him, trying to make him feel at ease, but he didn’t say a word. When I was done, he looked at me and softly said, “Thank you”. And I remember feeling so good about helping him. Those two words made that all worthwhile. All caregivers have little moments like that and they feed your soul.
8. What do you like to do outside of work?
Always, always, always at the gym. I run obstacle course races. Knit. Crochet. Spend time in the company of friends. Sleep sometimes.
9. Name one thing about you that might make people say WOW!
Most people don’t know that I am really good at swimming. They don’t picture me doing the butterfly or the freestyle—but I’m a pretty incredible swimmer. I often go to the pool. It helps me relax and concentrate. Almost meditative.
10. What do you collect?
Easy. Coffee mugs. I love coffee mugs. When my friends travel they always bring me back one they think I might like. The only rule is you have to have actually been there, not just passing through. I have about 150 so far. Now you know my weakness. ☺