Diane H. is from the Lewistown Office. She is a direct care worker, who has been working for CRI for 22 years. She loves this company and would recommend it to anyone who wants to help others live their best life.
Q: How long have you been working for CRI?
“About 22 years.”
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
“Sure. I was born and raised in New Jersey, moved here in 1989. Have two wonderful children, four wonderful grandchildren. In Lewistown, PA, of course. And I love the area here. And I'm a wonderful friend. I’m a direct care worker, I'm pretty sure that's what we're calling it ... I have, right now, four consumers. For the first 18 years, I had one consumer, which was awesome. Now, since 2019, I have four and they're all really great. When I lived in New Jersey, I worked in nursing homes. I either worked in nursing homes or an office. Then I came here and decided ... I worked at a nursing home here for a while. Then got into it with CRI. I Just love helping people and just trying to make their day better.
Q: If you could describe CRI in a few words, what would you say about CRI?
“They're a wonderful company. They have treated me well all these years. I would recommend them to anybody. They're very caring. They work with you when you need time off or something happens in your life or whatever. I would recommend them to anyone.”
Q: Can you walk me through what a day would be like?
I have one consumer that I have mostly all the time. It's a great day with her. She has dementia. And I go there. We get ready in the morning, showered, breakfast. We like to go out for breakfast because she likes to go out. I take her to her doctor's appointments. We go shopping. I've only been with her since this past September. We get along very well and stuff. She likes to, well, of course, when the weather's nice, she likes to go outside, but it's just been a very cold winter and stuff. She loves to sit outside and watch the birds and we watch TV and it's just ... most days are very good. Of course, there's a couple rough days every now and then. Like I said, I've only been with her since September, but we've gotten to know each other very well.
Q: How do you connect with someone on a personal level?
“Just by talking. She's not a very big talker, but I love to talk.”
“I always bring things up, but there's days where she likes to be quiet, so I don't really push her, but I try to get her involved in things and stuff because she doesn't really go out much and stuff. Like I said, with only being there since September, we're still getting to know each other, I guess.”
Q: What would your consumers say they like the most about you or that you excel at?
Of course, her husband is there with her, and he likes to go out and do things, but he just is very thankful that he can have a little bit of freedom because dealing with someone with dementia is hard. It's hard on everybody. She seems to really enjoy me. She always has a smile on her face when I come in. When I tell her it's time to go, she'll say, "Will you be back?" I'm like, "Yeah, I'll be back in the morning." I do Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Fridays. When I leave on Fridays, I'm not back till Tuesday, and she'll say, "Tuesday." It's only a couple days and stuff. She's a sweetheart.
Q: Someone who's interested in this job, what would you say they need to be aware of or have an understanding of?
“You got to have compassion. I think that's the most thing. You got to have compassion. You have to care. You can't just go in there and give someone a bath and just … you have to be compassionate. You have to care. You have to the best that you can.”
Q: Thinking of any of your consumers, can you give an example of how you help them keep their independency?
“One comsumer is not very social out because she's very shy ... but I've been with her now for, two years. And like I said, I love to talk. And so if someone's not talking, I'll just bring something up, maybe, "Did you see this on TV?" Or this or that. And she definitely has come out of her shell. And you just have to try to do things with them. You can't just go there and just sit there. You know what I mean? Different people have different needs and that's what you learn. And that's what you have to try to help them with to be more social, to try to get out. You can't sit in the house all day.”
Q: What would your hopes be for your consumers, any of them or all?
“I hope is that they can live the rest of their lives better. And that they get something from us. And I just hope that us being there helping them ... That's what CRI is all about so people don't have to go to nursing homes. They could stay in their home and still be able to do things. So that's what I love about CRI.”
Q: How did you know that this was the career for you?
“Like I said, when I lived in New Jersey, I worked in a nursing home. I worked in one for quite a while. Then I moved here and I kind of knew back then. But then when I came here, I worked at a home here for a while and then did a few odd jobs. But then I'm like, I think I need to get back into home care and stuff. And then I found CRI, and I don't know, it's just, like I said, I like helping people. I enjoy putting a smile on someone's face if they're having a bad day. I like to joke around and just be there for them. And, I said, I'll do this until I retire. And I've enjoyed every minute of it.”
Q: Is there anything else you would like to say about CRI?
“Like I said, they're a great company. It's not just ... We had Christmas parties and they have things for us and stuff like that. And they're always there for you. You have a problem, if you need a day off … certain things like that, they will always work with you and stuff. And I just find them to be an outstanding company that I'm very proud of. And I'm very proud to have my 22 years with them. And I am 65, be 66 soon. So I think that my next chapter, well, I will probably have to say goodbye shortly, but I'm not sure yet. I'm very proud to have put the last 20 some years of my life in CRI, and I would not have changed anything about that.”