“…you always need that person in your life who can help. I was meant to take care of somebody. It doesn’t matter their age.” – Kaylee A., Firefly Caregiver
Tell us a few things about you: I grew up between Mishawaka and Goshen. I live in Elkhart now, with my husband and three children. I have two girls—one is thirteen, the other is nine. My youngest is a boy, he’s seven. I’m currently going to school at Ivy Tech to become an LPN and I plan to graduate next May. I also rescue dogs and cats. My intent is to re-home them, but I never get around to re-homing! I currently have six cats and two dogs. One dog is a Husky, the other is a Bull Mastiff—Staffordshire Terrier mix. This Staffordshire Terrier mix is about the same size as the husky but looks more like the Bull Mastiff in her features and is my constant companion.
What is it like being a caregiver at Firefly? I started working for Firefly last spring. It was part-time at first, but then I went full-time last October. Currently, I have one client that I’m with full time, and another client I see for a short shift on Thursday evenings to help her get ready for bed. When I work on weekend shifts, I have different clients.
You haven’t always been a caregiver. How did you choose this role? I believe you always need that person in your life who can help. I was meant to take care of somebody. It doesn’t matter their age. When I was young, I wanted to be a mom. When I was older, I helped with my grandparents. Before working for Firefly, I was working in a doctor’s office, but I wanted more flexibility. I started working part-time at Firefly, and for a time I was working both jobs. A few months later, I started to work full time for Firefly.
Kaylee is a very dedicated caregiver, she is extremely compassionate and takes care of every client like they were a family member. I am so blessed to have gotten to know her and had the opportunity to be working with her! – Rachelle C., Kaylee’s Manager
Can you share a little about what you do for one of your clients? I’ve had one of my clients for a few months now. At first it was only a few shifts a week, but now I go there five days a week. We talk a lot, and I cook and clean for him. I really enjoy when he tells stories about his life. I love it when we are talking and he just has that sparkle in his eyes when he’s remembered something from a long time ago. When he is having a good day, we’ll visit with his friends. Other days, we color, and he does scratch art. Sometimes he’ll play Sudoku, or play other games on his tablet. Something interesting about us is that we have the same last name (my married name), and I was best friends with his daughter when I was in middle school. We’ve tried to research to find out if we are related, but haven’t found a connection yet. He enjoys when I share stories about growing up with his daughter.
Is there something you do that is just for fun? I started to kayak a couple of years ago as a way for our family to spend time together while doing a physical activity. It started out as something I did with my husband, mom, and brother. Now, we include our kids. In July, we will go on a kayaking and camping trip. Last summer we had about 150 people come for the trip, and I’m looking forward to camping and spending a day floating on the White River in Montague, MI.