Caregiver Profiles: Jackie

Senior Caregiver Profile

Jackie is also originally from Jamaica and has been living in south Florida for ten years. She has been working as a caregiver for 10 years, five of those years caring for the elderly with us. She is currently enrolled in nursing school.

Excerpt from Jackie's BEI:

Care giving is sometimes a thankless job with some Clients. Why do you want to do this kind of work?
I entered this field initially because of the job availability but after the first year I realized that it was no longer for the availability but because it gave me a peace of mind knowing that I can actually do something that is so fulfilling.

Clients can be very demanding. What do you do to keep your spirits up?
I try to be professional and not take anything personal; I attribute their behavior to their sickness and frustration because of the position they are currently in. I never take my problems to work and I never take my work problems home.

How do you take care of yourself?
Honestly, I don't take care of myself the way I want to but when I get overwhelmed I read my bible and that keeps me up, however, if I had the time and money I would socialize and travel more!

What is your favorite part of taking care of elderly Clients?
Making my clients happy has always been my favorite. I have taken care of people who have a mean spirit and I go in and my personality changes their mood or habit. I always try to bring out the best in them.

Most memorable magic moment with a Client?
I had a 90 year old female Client who lived next to her sister. Her sister's caregiver and I used to trade every evening and play cards (my client used to be such a bitter loser) but it was no longer a job, it was like four family members playing cards and hanging out at the movies. We would bake cakes together and sip tea like "English women" almost every evening after dinner. It was something that she looked forward to every evening, they had no family members in Florida and this past-time was the best thing that I could have done with her.

What in your opinion are the most important traits in someone considering this kind of work?
Honesty, caring, giving, dependable, professional, reliable are just some of the characteristics.

When a Client is feeling down and does not want to do anything, what can you do to help improve the Client’s mental state and attitude?
First you need to find out what the problem is and based on the client, I always find a way to have them open up to me. Sometimes I will go over and ask them if they need a hug, and just holding their hands sometimes does a world of good.

Are you a member of a church? How often do you attend?
I belong to Church of God and Saints of Christ in Miami, FL. I attend church regularly.

What is the hardest part of being a Caregiver?
When I lose a Client. It is very difficult for any caregiver not to be attached to their Client especially if you have a connection with them. I have witnessed a few of my patients’ deaths and it has always been hard on me.

What is the best part of being a Caregiver?
Providing excellent care and knowing that you are making a difference.

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