Meet Eileen A., a PCA from the Warren Office. She loves her job and the people she works for. Eileen has always loved taking care of people and knew that this career was the one for her. She wants to thank her office staff and the CRI for always being there and supporting her in her job!
Q: Eileen, can you tell me about yourself and your position at CRI?
“I'm a PCA here at Community Resources for Independence. I've been here since October 2010. I did retire. I decided to come back. I worked with my grandchildren for the summer taking care of them. So I was working just kind of part-time, but then I went back to full-time.
Q: How did you know this career was for you?
“I didn't at first. I had taken care of my husband for quite a few years. He had Alzheimer's … and one of the nurses that I had, she told me how well I had taken care of my husband, and she said, ‘You know, you kind of have a gift for that.’ After he passed, I've always been a busy person and I just didn't kind of want to sit around and I thought, ‘Yeah, I really need to do something.’ We traveled and did a lot. There wasn't a whole lot of jobs around, but the jobs that were plentiful were for healthcare. And so I thought to myself, ‘I bet I could do that.’ I worked in the furniture industry for 19 years.
Anyways, I happened to be downtown here, and I saw their sign here and I thought, ‘I got a job!’
Q: Can you tell me a day in the life of you and your consumer?
“I shower some of my consumers. I do a lot of shopping, making doctor appointments. I clean. I make sure that the bathrooms are clean. The kitchen, the dishes are done, floors. Every consumer is a little different.”
Q: Think of how you help your consumer practice their independency or help them be more independent.
“Pick out a lot of the stuff they want. You know what I'm saying? I help get it in the cart for them and visit with them. They like that. It kind of makes them feel good.”
Q: And how do you connect with them on a personal level? How do you get them to open up to you?
“They'll be watching a TV program, kind of asking questions. One consumer liked westerns. She was MS. Pretty much confined at home a lot. And after I did her lunch and so forth and did some things I'd sit down with her and she liked the old movies. Well, that was a big thing to her. I sit and visit with them. We could talk about just daily things. And I get along with all my consumers.”
Q: What do they like about you the most?
“That I'm caring, trustworthy. I think I have a good personality.”
Q: People out and about, what do you like to take them to? I know that COVID has been a little bit of a barrier this year and last year, but when you were able to, where did you take them?
“Well, mostly, there are some that like to go to Goodwill and Walmart. And pause by the river. Some like to do that. Like I said, doctor appointments, drugstore, Actually I have, right at the moment, two that like to do lunch. And then I have one that likes to go to breakfast.”
Q: What would you say about CRI?
“Oh, I like CRI. I think they're very good here. They've been very good to me. The office staff here I think is excellent. And I'll tell you one thing, when you get an award, which I have gotten a few, they always thank you for your work. Always. I love Kathy. She, I think she does a tremendous job. I give her a lot of credit because I think that's a hard job to do. Me, myself, I like the company.”
Q: What if someone was interested in this job, would you recommend it?
“ I would recommend it. I have. I have to different people. The job, working in the field. There are some people that can do this job. They might think they can do it. I think it really takes a caring person and me, myself, I enjoy my job. I enjoy taking care of people. A lot of people I think come into this job thinking it's easy. And basically in a way it is and then in a way it isn't because you have to know how to handle people a little bit.”
“And I think a lot of people think they come into this job and then there's a lot of work to it. Taking care of an elderly who has bowel problems, or thrown up, or different thing. Some people can't handle that kind of thing.”
“And honestly, I tell you this. I worked in the furniture industry for a lot of years. If I had known more back then, what I do now, and job like this was open, I'd have taken it.”
Q: My last question for you would be is there any hopes that you have for your consumers and what would they be?
“I have one consumer right now. I hope that she gets better. I know she said she's been having a lot of difficulty and I know she had just gone into the hospital. So I hope and pray for her. She's 95.”
“I hope all my consumers appreciate what I do. I try to do my best.”