3410 W 12th St, Erie, PA 16505

Get to know our direct care worker, Tiffani B!!!

When interviewing Tiffany B, the first thing I noticed was how cheerful, happy, and eager she was to talk to me. She was ready to tell me how her job affects her and her consumers. She explains how she always had an passion for taking care of other people, and this love for care has followed her into her field of work.

Q: Why did you become a direct care worker?

I like taking care and being there for other people. Giving back to those who need it the most. It is rewarding to me to take care of others and to help them out. It makes me grateful, very grateful.

Q: What excites you about going into work each day?

Knowing that I’m there for the consumer that need help; with every day activities, taking care of themselves, their environment, and making sure their health needs are met.

Q: Can you remember a time or a person that made you want to pursue becoming DCW? Does the person know you choose this career because of them?

This just made me sad a little, my grandmother was the reason I wanted to pursue to be a direct Care worker. My dad’s side, she had Alzheimer and I took care of her for a year, and to see how my care affected her was special to see and was so kind. The care that I gave to her brought her joy. She wouldn’t know who I was but since my face reminded her of her son, she would tell me stories about my dad, and that brought a lot of joy for both me and for her. My father passed away and so did my grandmother. My mother doesn’t know I went into the direct care working, but she knew I always wanted to be a nurse. She knew I wanted to help people in any way possible. School was not a big thing for me at that time and I also had a son, so my mom knew that I wanted to work for others and help others live their lives. My mother is proud of me and that makes me happy.

Tiffany B. cares deeply about her consumers when asked about her hope for her consumers, she kindly responded with hope in her voice. She is very optimistic for the future of her consumers and hope for the best.

“All the consumers are very different from each other, but I hope they all can have the rest of their life to be happy and live out their lives the best way they can. I like to make them laugh, bring them joy, a little bit of happiness.”

I wanted to know what her consumers would say they liked the most about Tiffany, she smiled with glee and thankfulness that her consumers think the world of her.

“They would say thank you for taking good care of me. They would thank me for being understanding, being kind, and caring for the consumer like they were my own family. The gratitude the consumers shows makes my job rewarding. The gratefulness and gratitude is what makes my job worth it.”

“The consumers are the best part of my job, knowing that they are happy to see me. They are very grateful that you showed up and care. It is a good feeling.” – Tiffany B.

When asked how The City of Erie can help with inclusion of the elderly and people with disability consumers?

It’s really hard right now for the city of Erie to include the elderly and disable people because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, and there are not many inclusive activities for consumers. I try to take consumers out of their homes to get some fresh air, or take a walk, anything to get them outside their houses, because seasonal depression is a thing, and it happens to everyone especially people are stuck days in the house. Even giving a consumer car ride to someplace can help, a fresh breeze can make a whole lot of difference. I believe that there should be more activities and programs for everyone and everyone means including the disabled and elderly and anyone else.

How does a consumer trust you?

I never really felt like I had to prove anything, I think by just showing up, doing your job, and taking care of them speaks volumes. To show that you care about your job and care about the consumer should help build trust. Taking the job seriously and respect them and do your job to your best ability.

Is being a Direct Care worker an easy job?

Try it out for a week and then come back to me. I would tell them make sure it’s something that you really want to do because a lot of people think it’s just coming and just sitting around and not doing anything. It’s the total opposite of that. The job entails a lot, at time yes you are sitting down, but you still have to interact with the people around you including the consumers. It’s a lot and some of these consumers are looking forward to these interactions because it might be the only interaction they get for the day. They want someone who is present in the moment, not in their phones, not talking on their phone, but actually paying attention to the consumer. Engagement is key, you might be there for an hour, two, or even four but engaging with them will make the job easier for yourself. They need help with cleaning, bathing, dressing, doing every day activities. It might be a paycheck to some, but it is someone’s livelihood or only option is to receive help. You have to respect and care about people’s life to do this job. It is a hands on job which some consumers require you to 100% committed to working.

Last year was hectic and Sometimes scary. When asked if the company provided a safe working environment for the worker and consumer, Tiffany responded with a resounding; yes!

“Yes! Absolutely! They provide everything we need. Everything from gloves, masks, sanitizer, anything we need to help protect our health and the health of others, CRI has equipped us promptly and with care for everyone. If we ever needed anything, we just ask for and CRI is very responsive and quick to get back to us with solutions and answers.”

Tiffany was asked if she ever feels appreciation from either the company or even the consumer, she responds with excitement and appreciation!

“This company, Community Resources for Independence, does show a lot of appreciation for their workers. I get a lot of thank you notes and it feels good. This is the first company I’ve been with that actually makes you feel glad you’re working for a company that cares, honestly. They reach out, have awards, gifts and things like that make you feel appreciated and knowledge that work you are doing is good and people see that and want to celebrate that with you. I want the company to see that I am a good worker and that I am trying to do the best for the company by giving the care and support to the consumer, because that is a part of my job and I’ll continue to show my progress and always strive to be the best I can be at my job. “


To receive a pdf copy of this interview, please click here  Interview with Tiffani B