Caregiver of the Month: Nonni N. Is a Caregiver At Heart
When she was just three years old, Nonni N. would sit by her grandmother’s side and feed her soup. Nonni may not have been able to provide all the caregiving services her grandmother needed, but she was able to offer care in the way a three year old knew how — by offering nourishment and companionship.
Nonni has felt drawn to the caregiving vocation ever since. She began officially working as a caregiver when she was completing nursing school in Orlando, Florida. Nonni was trying to follow in her mother’s footsteps of being a nurse. However, it was providing caregiving services where Nonni felt most like herself. Rather than caregiving being a stepping stone for a career in nursing, Nonni decided to follow her heart and pursue caregiving full-time instead.
Caregiving with Alegre Home Care
The thing that drew Nonni to caregiving the most was the connections she made with clients. Building relationships is a cornerstone of caregiving and it’s an aspect of the work that Nonni finds deeply fulfilling.
When she moved to California in 2017 to study two of her other interests — coding and software engineering — Nonni continued her work as a caregiver. She spent time working in senior homes with a facility, but soon missed the quality of care she was able to provide within an in-home care setting. She applied to Alegre Home Care and immediately became a caregiver that was beloved by her clients.
Nonni’s coworkers are appreciative of her, too, speaking highly of her work ethic and dedication to providing high quality in-home care services for all her clients.
The feeling is mutual on Nonni’s end. She really likes her managers and coworkers and feels supported by the entire team. She says, “When I need something and I contact them, they have the answers for me. When I need to go to the office, they treat me as a friend instead of just as an employee. They make me feel welcome.”
Nonni pauses and adds, “Our CEO is funny, too.”
This is the type of connection Nonni appreciates, especially at her place of work, but didn't feel she wasn’t getting when working at a facility. At Alegre Home Care, Nonni works in the South Bay, close to her home. She gets to connect with her coworkers and enjoys quality one-on-one time with her clients.
Nonni explains that she had 20-30 clients at a time while working in a facility and she always felt that the people in her care deserved more time than they received. With in-home caregiving, she gets to provide that quality time for her clients.
Building Relationships through Caregiving
As a nurse, Nonni’s mom inspired a passion for helping others. But nursing wasn’t quite the right fit for Nonni. Caregiving is less medical and more about companionship, which is Nonni’s favorite part about being a caregiver. Sometimes her clients don’t have anyone to talk to, but Nonni is able to sit with them and provide a listening ear. It’s about relationship building and being present for people. Part of caregiving is simply holding space and having empathy for people who need it the most.
Nonni loves getting to know her clients and having interesting conversations with them. She tries to go above and beyond by helping out with extra tasks, even when it isn't required. For instance, doing an extra load of laundry or picking up food because it’s quicker than delivery. She feels that caregiving is more of a vocation than a job.
For Nonni, caregiving is a calling. Caregivers need patience and a willingness to understand. For instance, two of her clients are bed-bound. Since they can’t go anywhere, Nonni spends time reading to them and sometimes even reads them to sleep. She focuses on range-of-motion exercises, assisting the physical therapist, and proving personal hygiene care. Being a quality caregiver is all about understanding what each client needs in their own unique ways.
Nonni still plans on transitioning to coding and software engineering, but she wants to always make space to at least do caregiving part-time. Being a caregiver is simply her natural way of life.