Rachael Figueroa speaks slowly in a calm, soothing voice. Her patient and kind style fits perfectly with her work as a caregiver. “Right now I have six clients,” said Rachael. “I’ve been with one of my clients since I started at Family Resource Home Care and I see him every day. He had a stroke and is a quiet man but I enjoy being around him and his family. Every morning I sit with him and his wife at the kitchen table, drink coffee and just chat.”
A lifelong Washingtonian, Rachael has worked for Family Resource for just over three years. After graduating high school she got married and began working in retail. But her new mother-in-law was a Care Manager for a home care agency and after attending a workshop, Rachael earned her CNA license and gave caregiving a try. She found that she enjoyed one-on-one work with seniors and left her job in retail to become a fulltime caregiver.
Rachael worked for other home care agencies before finding Family Resource. “The agencies I worked for were sending me to jobs far from where I lived and I did not like having to drive an hour to a job in Seattle from my home in Auburn. Now I work out of the Family Resource Tacoma office and my jobs are all near where I live. The supervisors are all very accommodating, nice and very consistent. I appreciate that,” she says.
Reflecting on what makes a good day or a hard day as a caregiver, Rachael spoke about the difficulty of seeing a client hurting and not being able to do anything about it. “Elderly people have aches and pain and I can’t always help them,” says Rachael. “So I just do what I can to make them comfortable and let them know I am here for them. But most days are good days,” Rachael continued. “I like doing things with my clients like cooking their favorite recipes and talking and learning from their life experiences. I know that my client and I have had a good day by the smiles, laughter and happy conversation.”