Brianne Day’s first caregiving experience was with her own grandmother. Her “Nana” was living with and being cared for by Brianne’s mother who also worked many hours outside the house. She needed help, and Brianne, who had her own baking business, was looking for a part-time job. She started helping her mom and discovered what a huge difference it made to her mother to have even a few hours of help. “I would go over in the morning and get my Nana up, washed and dressed, and give her breakfast,” said Brianne. “She had a bad incontinence problem and could be mean and verbally aggressive with my mom, so it was really important that there was someone else helping out.”
Brianne took a caregiving course but by the time she was certified, her Nana had passed away. Still in need of a part-time job, Brianne looked for a caregiving position with an agency. She found several on Craig’s List but kept coming back to Family Resource Home Care because of its good reputation and wages. Knowing she could quit if she did not like the work, she applied to Family Resource, was hired, and has now been with the company for over a year, working out of the Tacoma office. She works 2-hour shifts, part-time, and has four clients. Each of her clients has different needs and Brianne goes between doing such things as household chores to working with an in-home hospice nurse to feed, change, dress, and move her client.
“I found that I really enjoyed caregiving,” said Brianne. “I enjoy assisting others, but one of the best parts of the job is knowing that I’m helping the client’s family as well. One client’s daughter often tells me how much the little things that I do matter. Knowing that there is someone else to get her mom up and cleaned, dressed and fed takes a lot of the stress off of her.”
When asked about challenging aspects of the job, Brianne spoke about clients who become agitated or verbally aggressive. “It’s important to be able to calm a client and keep their mood from escalating,” she said. “When a client starts to get upset I just take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and stay calm. I tell myself that this is not who they once were; that it is just the stage of life they are in. Right now I have a client who is going through a crisis of faith. She talks about the Lord so I have found that the best thing is to just sit with her and listen. Being attentive to the needs of my clients and spending personal one-on-one time with them is important. I know my clients appreciate the attention because they all communicate positively with me and thank me daily.”
Brianne has worked in the food industry for 13 years and while she currently owns her own baking business, she does not think she’ll continue for the long-term. “I love the work, but it’s really strenuous and exhausting,” she says. “I can see making caregiving my full-time profession at some time.” Meanwhile, Brianne is happy as a caregiver and baker. In her free time, she plays the violin, crochets, reads and spends time with her boyfriend of six years.
In closing, Brianne spoke about her supervisors in the Tacoma office, Maria, Ashlyn,
and Dorene. “They are really understanding and wonderful,” she said. “I love that Family Resource feels so family oriented. There is a real sense of community and that is not something you find often.”