Rolanda Rogers is one of our most dedicated, long-running caregivers, with this being her 25th year of service with Family Resource! The Spokane branch adores her saying, “Rolanda has proven to be a rockstar caregiver, giving 110% effort all the time.” After being a caregiver for about 40 years, she’s a total pro. The prologue of her caregiving career was in physical therapy (PT), where she administered PT to seniors in a facility. She was first exposed to physical therapy while accompanying her brother to appointments when they were younger.
After many years in PT, Rolanda began suffering from physical stress to her joints and body from administering therapy to others. Transitioning from physical therapy to caregiving was a natural progression. “I always liked taking care of other people,” she said. “and working one-on-one is nice.” She knew with certainty, however, caregiving in a facility was not for her. Given the caseload for a day in a facility can include a dozen or so people, she believed it’s not enough time to spend with the clients or do the job satisfactorily. In-home care was the obvious choice for her.
Shortly after Rolanda moved from Carnation, Washington to the Spokane area in search of more affordable living, she began working at Independent Services. That agency later became Family Home Care, which has evolved into the Family Resource Home Care we know today. Despite serving through three different iterations of our company, Rolanda says not much has changed for her other than different paperwork, rules and regulations, and the general changes in office staff.
What certainly hasn’t changed is the aspect of caregiving Rolanda appreciates the most: getting to know the people. From the clients, their families, to the people they rely upon in their communities, she says, “it’s interesting and it changes all the time. Everyone’s different.” Of the myriad array of client dispositions, Rolanda’s favorites are what she calls the ‘cranky’ ones. She believes that they’re cranky for a reason, and that reason is usually pretty simple. They may be cranky if someone’s not listening to them, or perhaps they’re just born cranky. But, in any case, “they’re usually the most interesting people to talk to once you get past it.” Regardless of the underlying cause, Rolanda enjoys the problem-solving puzzle of understanding why a home care client may be ailing. That, and her grandfather had a cantankerous disposition, so perhaps the cranky ones remind her of him.
Rolanda also doesn’t mind a good debate if a client is in that mood. She is adept at communication, listening, and conflict resolution. When a client wants to contend with her, she either lets them vent and blow off steam, she talks to them, or, if necessary, she walks away and returns when they’ve calmed. It’s important to know what response is needed depending on the situation. Most of the time, however, they just need someone to vent to, and the caregivers are often the ones there to listen. “If you can’t listen then you’re in the wrong job,” she suggested. “It’s all about being able to communicate. You’ve got to be able to talk, and you can’t be shy.”
When the stresses of Rolanda’s job or life become overwhelming, she likes to find outlets to recharge her spirit. Her favorite form of stress relief is retreating to one of her five sewing machines. An avid quilter, Rolanda likes to sew and finds the hobby brings her great relaxation and reprieve. If she’s really upset, Rolanda goes outside and pulls weeds. This productive activity helps keep her expansive garden – consisting of tomatoes, green beans, carrots, onions, peppers, eggplants, lettuce, and much more – healthy and thriving. During harvest season, her garden produces all of the vegetables that she uses to cook at home. Her favorite vegetable, onions, is the hardest to grow as they take longer to mature. But, as in her professional life, Rolanda exhibits great patience and care, even with the most demanding of the bunch.