Meet Cynthia, a Personal Care Attendant who has been providing care to people for over 14 years! Cynthia was kind enough to do an interview with CRI Lewisburg staff and talk about her passion for caring! We hope you enjoy the interview!
Q: Can you tell me what office you're from?
Q: And are you a PCA? DCW?
Q: And can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
“Well, I'm a widow for about 24 years. I have two sons and one grandson. And I'm a horse person. Always have been, (since) five years old.”
Q: How did you hear about CRI?
“I actually had a friend from church introduce me to a friend of hers that worked for CRI's. I don't know whether Darlene was a mentor. She's in the office here when the office was in Lewisburg Proper. And then, Darlene introduced me to another friend who was a retired nurse that was working for CRI. It was nice.”
Q: And did you say how long you've been working there?
“I started part-time in 2008. And went full-time in 2010. So, it's been about 14 years.”
Q: What, if any, challenges do you think that you faced during working with CRI?
“Sometimes, it's upsetting that the families aren't more involved with people. Especially last year with… Well, 2020, with COVID. It seemed like some people that lived independently by themselves, maybe like an apartment complex, the families weren't around much. Sometimes with the challenges, like not having a ramp to get out, or not having a power chair for somebody.”
Q: Was there a reason you chose to be a PCA? Was there a calling?
“Yeah. Well, doing therapy riding… We started getting people that had Parkinson's and MS and MD, older people like, in their 40's. And most of them had family members. But you just realized that how long can the family take care of them?”
Q: How do you connect with your consumer on a personal level? Or on any other levels?
“I try to get to know them, get to know their family and their likes and dislikes. One lady was really into puzzles, so I'd find puzzle books somewhere for a dollar and bring them to her. Another lady and I connected because she (was) a horse person many years ago. Just talk about that. And another lady, she was into art. And even though I don't know a lot of the big artists, I knew good art when I saw it. And we'd always talk about art. So, trying to find something that's a personal connection somehow with them.”
Q: Would you recommend this job to somebody else? And why would you?
“I actually have recommended the job to, like, four different people. And one is still working with CRI. And she enjoys people. And that's what I always tell people when I talk to them.”
Q: What would your consumers say they like the most about you?
“I try to get the work done. I try to (do) whatever they want done. Sometimes, a little challenging is, you get somebody that doesn't speak well. So you really have to be creative: okay now, what exactly is it you want to eat? Or what do you want done when clothing wise? Or one lady changes shoes all the time, and she had like, four pairs of sneakers. Well, you have to go pick out the sneakers, because I don't know what pair you want.”
Q: And when you're stressed, what kind of things do you like to do to de-stress yourself?
“I actually like (to) dance. I've been doing that for many years. And in the summertime, I try to go horse (riding). I try to get somebody to let me ride their horse, maybe, for 20 minutes. Or just go out and just run around the pasture with the neighbor's horse. To, just forget your worries.”
Q: How do you help consumers keep their independency?
“I try to encourage them to come help me cook, or if they want things dusted, okay, you pick it up, I'll dust underneath it. The doctor's appointments, you know, try to say, "Well, let's call your doctor." Or, "We need to change an appointment. One lady figured out that she could do stuff. Well, when we were there to take care of her, she could do it herself.
Dressing, some people maybe put their pants on, they just need a little help pulling them up. Trying to (move) even around the house, let's go move around a little bit. If it's something simple to move, I can sweep or mop.”
Q: What are your hopes for your consumers?
“(For) a lot of them to stay independent. I have family members in a nursing home, and the care was fine. It's just, sometimes, especially with COVID in 2020, I know people that didn't see family members, and the family members didn't understand what was going on. I'd like to see some of my consumers maybe be able to go out in the community more.”
Community Resources for Independence would like to thank Cynthia for coming up to Lewisburg and doing this interview with us and also for the dedication, time, effort, and kindness she shows for her consumers.