Mary K is from the Somerset office. Mary is a kind individual that likes to work with the elderly. She cares for their well-being and makes sure that all get the exercise and companionship they deserve. She makes sure that the consumers spend some time moving around and not cooped up in their homes. She has patience when a consumer is having a bad day, and wants the best for them.
Q: Thank you for joining me, Mary. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and what office you're from?
“My name is Mary Klegg. I'm from the Somerset office. May 8th, this year, I’ll be with this company for eight years. I did this line of work for about 32 years.”
Q: And how did you know this career was the career for you?
“I took care of my parents until they both died at home. They had cancer and I worked in nursing homes before and everything else.”
Q: Did you ever have any challenges while working at CRI?
“Not really. I love all my consumers. They're older people I deal with mostly. I have 95, 96 (year old consumers).”
Q: Why did you choose to work as a direct care worker?
“I don't know. I like to work with older people. I always had jobs that I worked around older people. I'd rather work with the older people than younger people.”
Q: How do you connect with a consumer on a personal level?
“I just know how to talk to them, how to understand their situations. And like I said, I always worked with older people so you can pretty well tell the moods and stuff like that.”
Q: If I asked your consumer, what would they say they like the most about you?
Q: Do you work well with your consumers?
“Yes, I do. And matter of fact, if you ask the office, some of the consumers that I only filled in with are all the times trying to call to get me back there permanently.”
Q: When you are stressed out, what kind of things do you do to de-stress yourself?
“I go home and cook and clean and aggravate my husband.”
Q: Do you have any hopes for your consumers? Do you have any positive thoughts for them?
“Well, right now with COVID, everything's kind of up in the air, so to speak. I try to have safety for myself plus the consumers. But other than that, everything's going pretty well here except ... You know Crystal's gone and Katie and Jolene are picking up the slack and I think they're doing a terrific job.”
Q: What if your consumer is having a bad day, what do you do to turn their day around or make their day a little better?
“Some of mine have a bad day. I just give them a hug.”
Q: Would you recommend this job to somebody else? And why would you recommend this job?
“Actually, I have recommended (to) some of my friends and in their future. I'm 69, I'll be 70. And they're looking for something part-time and I said, "This would be perfect." Because they worked around in nursing homes and things like that. And they understand. This is more on “one in one” where a nursing home is more like an assembly line. You have to be pushed in, especially shower. You don't really get time to be more one on one.”
Q: And how do you help your consumer keep their independency?
“To keep fit. I have a lady right now, I watch the physical therapist give her exercise and I try to say, "Okay, let's get up and move instead of staying in your chair all day." To walk her and walk around the living room a little bit, or "Let's do heel toe, heel toe or your stretching exercise… That keeps them up and moving."
Q: And you said you worked for CRI for 32 years? That's a long time.
“Well, not for CRI. Different companies in this area. CRI just came to this area seven and a half years ago. I actually took my training in Altoona.”
Q: Would you like to say anything else to your consumers or about your consumers?
“I can actually say (that) all my consumers that I have are loving and kind. And if they get in a foul mood, you just have to try to joke and carry on and try to get them out of that bad mood.”
Community Resources for Independence would like to thank Mary for coming up to Somerset and doing this interview with us and also for her dedication, time, effort and the kindness she shows for her consumers.