“I’m qualified to do other types of work,” says caregiver Julie Lord; “I do this because I love my clients.”
Julie Lord earned a degree in recreation from San Jose State University which led to her first career as a recreation director. It was while working in this capacity that she discovered what would become her life-long passion; working with the elderly. “I was working as a recreation director in a private housing complex. Most of the people who came on the trips I ran were seniors. I found that I really loved their wisdom and the stories they told. Even if one of them told the same story 6 times I still enjoyed it,” explained Julie. “At one point I took a recreation job in an assisted living facility’s Alzheimer’s unit. I discovered that I have an affinity for working with the elderly who are in poor health. I changed direction and looked for a job in senior care, and that eventually brought me to Family Resource Home Care.”
Julie has worked part-time for FRHC off and on since 2003. She currently has 3 clients one of whom lives in a facility. “When I’m with my clients my goal is to keep them engaged,” she said. “These are intelligent people and they can do more than just sit in front of the TV.”
One client Julie describes as having been an “outdoors man.” Despite being in a wheelchair, Julie takes him on walks outside of the facility where he lives. They talk about the trees, weather, and the people they see. She says that when she comes to get him he’s usually very docile and vacant. But as soon as they get outside, his mood changes. 2 or 3 hours later when Julie leaves, he’s become more lively, happier and alert.
“Over the years I’ve done different things with my clients,” said Julie. “One elderly woman usually wanted me to take her to church. She also liked shopping for beauty supplies. And once the facility she lived in packed us a picnic lunch and she really enjoyed eating outside. When I’m caring for a client I’m hyper-focused. I believe they deserve 100% of my attention and I never bring my personal issues with me.”
“I really appreciate Family Resource,” added Julie. “They do a great job of keeping the caliber of caregivers high. I also love the annual in-service. I learn so much, and when I leave I always feel grateful and amazed by the high quality of caregivers. Because of this, I always feel confident about recommending them.”
“You can’t do this kind of work well without the love of the elderly. I’m qualified to do other types of work,” concluded Julie, “but I do this because I love my clients. I would find it very hard to leave them.”