It is very apt that Lemlem is our September Platinum Caregiver as this month marks her 8th anniversary with Family Resource! Lemlem first became a caregiver in 2008 and was inspired to do so simply because it’s in her nature. She comes from Ethiopia where, “in my culture,” she says, “We take care of each other. We take care of the elderly. There are no nursing homes.”
Lemlem came to the United States in 2005 after winning the Green Card Lottery. She soon ended up in Seattle where she started looking for jobs. She knew caregiving was right up her alley and went to school for her CNA. The company she worked for sadly shut down during the 2008 economic recession. When they did, they recommended work at other companies for their caregivers. Family Resource was among those recommended. Lemlem has been with us ever since, and we couldn’t be luckier.
“I love working with Family Resource,” she emphasized. She loves her supervisors and enjoyed catching up with the staffing team when she used to visit the office more frequently. The feeling is certainly mutual. Seattle Regional Director Trish McKinney glowingly remarked, “She is outstanding and has extraordinary talents.”
It’s truly Lemlem’s nature that inspires her to help her clients. “It makes me happy when I help them,” she says. And she added enthusiastically, “I love the stories they will tell. They have a lot of things to tell; and I’m learning a lot from them.”
Speaking about some of her favorite recent clients Lemlem said, “When you go to a home for the first time, you get nervous. But these clients said, ‘this is your home’.” Lemlem has worked with many, many clients over the years. Some have become family to her. “I’m very lucky,” she says. “I’ve had some of the best clients. The sweetest people ever.”
She cared for a married couple who were together for 72 years until the husband recently passed. Lemlem still cares for the wife and their relationship is intimately special. She can tell when her client is thinking about her late husband. Lemlem shares, “She’ll put her face in her hands and shake her head. ‘It’s okay to talk about it,’ I say. ‘It’s okay to cry.”’
Outside of caregiving, Lemlem enjoys spending time with the people closest to her: her family, her boyfriend, and her best friend who’s like a sister to her. She enjoys long drives around the city and the Western Washington, taking in the breathtaking scenery. “It’s a really beautiful city, Seattle. Especially when the trees and flowers come out.”
Lemlem’s connection with her clients, her reliability, compassion, and dedication to caregiving is invaluable to us and the clients she serves. We are so appreciative of her long-time dedication to us and we hope she will continue to be part of our family for many more years to come!