It’s impossible to speak with Ashley de Choudens and not smile. Her enthusiasm, positive outlook and energy is infectious. In 2011, Ashley began working for Family Resource Home Care thinking it would be a short-term job. She planned to go to nursing school, but while earning her CNA license she found that she loved working with seniors in an in-home environment. She no longer plans to attend nursing school and dreams about one day opening a special needs day care program. Meanwhile Ashley finds joy in the everyday process of caring for her clients.
Ashley has worked with one of her clients for more than two years. This assignment began as a couple, and when the husband died, Ashley stayed on to work with the wife. “We’ve been through a lot together,” said Ashley. “The death of her husband changed everything. She was grieving and home was not the same anymore. It was comforting to her that I still came each day as usual. This helped her see that life goes on, plus it helped me grieve as well.”
Before beginning the CNA program, Ashley worked in customer service and says it was great preparation for her work as a caregiver. “The customer doesn’t care what kind of day you’re having. You could be angry or upset but the customer expects your full attention. I became really good at leaving whatever I was feeling at the door before going to work,” she explained.
Ashley is interested in her clients and enjoys getting to know them. She also appreciates their position in life. “Most older people don’t want to have a caregiver. They never thought they’d hit this point in their lives. I try to help them see that they can still do things. They can be social and enjoy life. Even small things can make a day fun, like taking a drive and getting ice cream,” she says.
When Ashley isn’t working, she sings and plays guitar and piano in a band. For this and other reasons Ashley truly appreciates Family Resource. “I play music at night and sometimes go on tour. FRHC is flexible and accommodating with my schedule,” she says. Ashley is so happy to have discovered caregiving. “It’s the perfect job for me,” she says. “It’s just so much fun.”