Caregiver of the Month: Adam S. and Caregiving with Compassion
The caregiving vocation comes to people in many different ways. Caregiver Adam S. had a serendipitous beginning to his caregiving career at the young age of 16. “I was working as a dishwasher at an assisted living home, but I spent more time speaking to residents than washing dishes, so the company decided to offer me a caregiving position instead.”
Speaking to the residents was the first moment Adam had of realizing that caregiving was his passion. He would spend hours in conversation, checking in on how people were doing, and sometimes helping people eat if they needed assistance. These small things opened his eyes to the rewarding experience of being of service to others. To this day, Adam can still recall the names of the residents he spoke to.
After his experience of dishwasher-turned-caregiver, Adam decided to continue on a caregiving path. He feels very fortunate that this path led him to Alegre Home Care near the end of 2016. “I wasn’t doing health care when I moved to the Bay Area from Southern California, and Alegre Home Care was recommended by a friend. It was good to get in with a reputable agency right away — I had briefly worked with other agencies and didn’t have the same quality experience.”
The Traits of a Quality In-Home Caregiver
Adam believes that patience and compassion are the two most important qualities of being a home caregiver and this is what he strives to bring to his clients everyday. For Adam, working with clients is like having an extra friend to care for. The human, social, and emotional connection is a blessing and is part of what makes being a caregiver so rewarding.
Adam’s coworkers feel the same way about Adam. “Sweet, uncomplicated Adam never complains, always does what is requested, has been there since literally day one, always shows up with no drama and no complaint, and cares for his client Charles as if he were a beloved grandparent,” says Elizabeth McDonald, the private Care Manager of Charles. “He has been an unwavering rock and I’d like to go on the record to say so. Simply, Adam is the most dependable, compassionate, and willing caregiver we have had on the case.”
Empathy is always an important quality that Adam uses with his clients. For example, if a client is having a bad day, he tries to talk to the client and understand why they might be having a hard time. His main client has difficulty speaking, so it can be tough to communicate. Adam’s empathetic solution is to find middle ground and to suggest an activity he knows his client enjoys, such as playing a boardgame, going on a walk, or listening to music. Becoming so familiar with a client’s personality, likes, and dislikes is one of the benefits of being an in-home caregiver.
Connecting with Community
One of Adam’s favorite aspects of being an in-home caregiver is connecting with his community and it’s something he would like to do more of. The community-based, local focus of Alegre Home Care is another reason he likes working with the agency. Alegre Home Care sponsors community events, partners with charities, and does a lot of extra work in raising awareness about Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia care, and the needs of LGBT seniors. There’s a reason why Alegre Home Care’s slogan is, “Your Neighborhood Home Care Agency”.
Adam wants to continue as a caregiver for a long time. He hopes to move up in the community of health care and would like to give back more to the community, such as being involved with charities, and fundraising for causes like Alzheimer’s Disease.
Another goal for Adam is to continue helping the people in his care maintain their independence, both within their communities and in their homes. “Most of my clients don’t like to be 100% catered to. They want independence. My goal is to help people make progress in that, and to maintain a level of dignity as a strong, capable person.”
Adam has a bright road ahead of him and has certainly found his calling as a caregiver.