Michelle Dovci: Caring with a Smile

  1. When did you start with Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care, and why?

I started working in May of 2018. My children had graduated and had extra time on my hands. I noticed a caregiver job ad and since I had worked with Seniors in the past, I decided to apply. It has been a perfect fit for me. I enjoy caregiving with a smile and appreciate the laughs and encouragement I give and get back with my seniors.

  1. What activities do you help seniors with?

Grocery shopping, outings to the library, and puzzles are popular along with visiting with them. I do light housekeeping and help with anything the seniors ask for. I enjoy cooking with them; they will tell me what to put in a dish or share a family recipe and we make it together.

  1. What is a typical visit like?

I normally care for Mrs. Coates for 2 days a week. Monday is a full 7 hours and Wednesday is 4 hours.  If she is in bed when I arrive, I start her coffee and wake her up.  I ask her if she needs help with anything and ensures she gets dressed and makes it to the kitchen for coffee. I do some light housekeeping like laundry, vacuuming, and cleaning the kitchen.  And I keep her company throughout the day.

  1. Tell us about a special senior you have worked with.

Mrs. Coates is a spunky 92-year-old teaser. We do a Mrs. Coates and her Snowmanlot of funny little things together. She enjoys decorating her house however her eyesight has been failing. So, I have been helping her decorate for the holidays and rearrange her things in different ways according to her request.

  1. What are some of your fondest memories of caregiving?

This past Christmas, Mrs. Coates left a snowman up in the living room until March. When decorating for Easter, I put the snowman away. I came back for my next visit to find she had pulled the snowman out and put it in the living room.  She said the snowman was lonely in the back room, so she moved it into the living room.  Now we decorate it for every holiday and season and move it around the house so it can look out different windows.  We laugh and laugh. It is a lot of fun.

  1. What have you learned working with seniors?

Seniors want to be treated with respect and dignity.  They have a lot of wisdom, advice, and insight to share. And they do not want to be forgotten.

  1. How do you care for someone with memory problems?

Speak slowly. Use kind words. Be patient. And be ready to repeat yourself until it clicks with them.

  1. What would you like to share with other caregivers and potential clients?

Caregivers need to be good listeners and always be respectful. Respond when seniors speak to you. Have a good outlook during every visit; enjoy caregiving with a smile and have fun with them.

Families looking for care should always include the senior in the decision-making process. And find a caregiver that clicks with your family and loved one.