I was asked one day, “Amy, what makes a great caregiver? How do you know what to look for?”
I replied, “Well, it’s like following a recipe.” And then I gave them what my favorite caregiver recipe looks like. First, you must find a person who smiles through the phone as well as face to face. When your heart is smiling it shows in your voice and eyes. Then, you add a pinch of sass, spunk and joi-de-vie, give that a stir and bada-bing you’ve got your base.
Now, here the comes the real work. You must have a cup of compassion, a cup of attitude, a cup of respect and two cups of excellence. Combine all your ingredients together and blend them into your base. While blending, add in a cup of education, a cup of positivity, a cup of love and two cups of communication. That ingredient is key. Slowly stir until the mixture is nice and smooth. Take your caregiver and pour into several shift cups and bake for one week at low temperature.
Now, you’ll need to baste your caregiver everyday with positivity, encouragement, and respect. When your caregiver is ready to be let go into the world, you’ll have baked a perfect CAREgiver. That’s mnemonic so you don’t forget your basic needs. Care, Attitude, Respect and Excellence.
I had a caregiver just a few weeks ago that I had baked to perfection. Let me tell you, I was the proudest recruiter/baker you’ve ever seen. She and her husband came into my office to surprise me with the news that she had simultaneously gotten her PCA education completed and been accepted into the LPN program at our local community college! We took pictures together, had snacks and enjoyed our own little celebration. I was stunned! I asked her why she wanted to do this, and she said, “Mrs. Amy, if it hadn’t been for you holding my hand through the PCA class here and encouraging me to be positive, I would never have done this. You made me realize that with faith and hope, all my dreams are possible. You never let me give up, you emailed me a giggle every morning which reminded me to have fun and just breathe. Now look at me! I’m going to be a Nurse! I wanted you to be a part of our celebration and I’m going to stay with you here at Care Advantage for as long as you’ll have me.” Cue the tears….
This is what it’s all about folks. Remember, you’re dealing with human beings who, most of the time, will respond to all the ingredients this recipe calls for. Sure, you’re going to occasionally have issues like burning, flattening, and just not rising, but at the end of the day, if you follow the steps of the recipe for every caregiver, they’ll amaze you with what they can do.
So go on and get in those caregiving kitchens and bake up some wonderful CAREgivers! It’s what we do and why we exist. To make caregivers and clients happy, satisfied and fulfilled. That’s how we put our brand of sweetness and goodness out into the world. So, ‘til next time, Happy Baking!
ABOUT THE WRITER:
Amy Honeycutt, is a Recruitment and Employment Specialist with Care Advantage in South Hill, Virginia. She has been in the medical field since 1998. Her father is a retired Air Rescue Medic with the USAF during Vietnam and entering the world of caregiving was how she knew she could pay his amazingness forward. She is a nationally published writer and is excited to share her thoughts with the world.