Tell us a little about you: I’m originally from North Dakota. I met my husband Kevin at college. He is from Indiana and we settled here after college. We live in the Middlebury area and have three grown children, a son and two daughters.
What led you to becoming a caregiver? I was a nurse for twenty years, but I got burned out and left the profession. For a few years, I worked at a Mennonite thrift shop. When my youngest daughter, who is also a nurse, started talking about the work she was doing in the ICU, I realized how much I missed working in healthcare. That prompted me to search for healthcare jobs that weren’t nursing and I found Firefly. I didn’t realize they offered caregiving positions; I had thought that they only had nursing and nursing assistants. I started working for them in April, 2021.
What do you enjoy the most about being a caregiver? I’m so happy with what I can do, and what I get to do as a caregiver. One thing I really enjoy is the variety. I see between two and three clients a day, and every shift is different. One client likes to go outside in his utility vehicle and pick up limbs and stack them. So, we do that activity together. Another client needs a bath and personal care. One client needs their dog walked, while another client wants their house cleaned. There is so much variety to being a caregiver.
What do you feel is a successful shift with a client? With every shift, I want to make the client smile, or get them into a better mindset. I want them to know they are safe.
What is the best thing about working for Firefly? I really appreciate the Firefly staff. They are more flexible than anywhere else I’ve ever worked. When my mother was visiting us, she needed medical care and was in and out of the hospital. When I spoke to the office staff about the situation, they just asked what time I needed off. Another time, I asked if I could move a client to another time and they were very accommodating to make it work out.
What do you do for fun in your spare time? I like to sew and go antiquing. My favorite antique is a thirty-gallon pickle crock I found in this tiny North Dakota town. I use it as an end table next to my couch and have a lamp on it. I also like to work in my flower beds.