“They would never leave you out in the cold,” says caregiver, Christine Lubajo, of her FRHC supervisors.
Christine Lubajo loves her adopted city of Seattle where she came as a refugee in 2003. “The weather is like Sudan,” she says. “The rain and the green of the city make it feel like home.” In the 10 years since she arrived in Seattle, Christine has focused on building her skills in the area of health care. Prior to joining Family Resource as a caregiver in 2007, she earned her CNA certificate which enabled her to provide home health care, and worked in hospitals where she was trained to provide health care for individuals with spinal cord injury and respiratory problems. She has also worked with dementia patients, people with ALS, paralysis, Parkinson’s Disease, and hospice patients.
Christine has a few relatives in WA State and several more scattered throughout the U.S. but when she emigrated she left behind her immediate family. Working as a caregiver helps to fill the hole left by their absence. “When I work with elders, I feel like I’m helping my own family,” she says. “Of course we all work to earn money, but that is not the reason I do this work. Working as a caregiver makes me feel that I am making a difference in a person’s life. Someday, at the end of my own life, I will need the same kind of help. Money won’t help me. It is human beings that will help. I know there are other jobs I could do,” says Christine , “but as a caregiver I feel that I am also helping myself.”
“With Family Resource, my shifts have mostly been fill-in,” says Christine. “One week I may have a live-in home health care assignment and the next week, mostly do short shifts. I’m always going into new situations where the client is used to having another caregiver.”
Christine believes that it’s her job to help her clients feel comfortable with her as quickly as possible. She does this by asking the client what they want her to do. She also asks how they want things done. She tells them that everyone is different and that she wants to do things the way they want it done. “Usually, by the end of the day my clients are happy with the job I’ve done,” she says.
Christine has much praise for her Family Resource supervisors. “They treat you so well,” she said. “One night I had a client who was trying to run away and the on-call supervisor stayed on the phone with me until my client was back in the house. Another night I could not find the client’s house and again the on-call supervisor stayed on the phone with me until I found the right house. They never leave you out in the cold,” she concluded. “Since I’ve been working at Family Resource they’ve sent me two appreciation cards and they always send a gift on your anniversary date.”
Family Resource supervisors want Christine and all of our other caregivers to know that acknowledging their efforts is one of the best and easiest parts of their job. “We have the best caregivers in the business,” says Sheila McKannay, VP of Client Care. “We would never stop telling them how much we appreciate them.”