CAREGiver Spotlight: Mary Smith

When Mary Smith was looking for a job, she searched online for “jobs for seniors.” Struggling with arthritis, she knew she couldn’t sit at a computer for eight hours a day and needed a job with flexibility. She saw a job posting for a CAREGiver at Home Instead Senior Care, where she could care for seniors in Roanoke, Virginia.

“At first, I thought that maybe this wouldn’t be the best job for me,” said Mary, “because I tend to be on the quiet side.”

“But I had taken a leave of absence a few years ago to provide 24/7 care for my mother when she was going through some medical issues. So it was nice to know that I could help people in the same situation we were in then.”

A Supportive Team

Mary decided to jump in and hasn’t looked back since. Having worked as a respiratory therapist in the hospital and assisted-living facilities, Mary sees the massive benefits in providing at-home care to seniors. “It’s essential to have that hospital setting where people can be treated with intensive, 24/7 medical care,” said Mary, “but for recovery or long-term care, as someone gets older, it’s such a wonderful and necessary thing to keep seniors in their own homes.”

One of her favorite things about working with Home Instead Senior Care is that she knows that the company has her back. “Anytime a difficult, unexpected issue or question arises, the staff is always ready to give guidance and support,” said Mary. “They are empathetic, kind, knowledgeable, and professional.”

“It is so great to be able to work as a team for the clients,” she said.

The Importance of Listening

Reflecting on the past couple of years, she enjoys spending time with her clients. “Our clients are very strong people,” says Mary. “It’s common for people in that generation, who have gone through so much in their lifetimes, to not complain or express difficulty with life changes, even though all of this has got to be hard on them.”

“It’s so important for us as CAREGivers to be good listeners and learn to be focused on them,” she explained. “Be in the moment, so when they do start to open up, you can pay attention, ask questions, and show genuine interest. It’s amazing the things you can learn from your clients.”

What drives Mary to continue working hard for her clients is her belief that it’s the right thing to do for those in their golden years. “There’s a lot of really serious needs with seniors as they navigate grief, loss of independence, worsening health, or loneliness,” said Mary. “You don’t always see that immediately, but once you know the person, it becomes apparent. And I feel like I can serve them by being there for them in these moments.”

You Can Become a CAREGiver

We’re so happy that we have CAREGivers like Mary to support our clients and keep seniors in their homes because home is the best place to be.

If you are interested in becoming a CAREGiver and working to help seniors live their best lives, you can check out our job listings on our website. Home Instead Senior Care is proud to offer benefits such as PTO, 401(k), health insurance, as well as a $1,000 sign-on bonus.