Ivorine Grant – November Caregiver of the Month
We caught up with Ivorine, who goes by Ivy, the other day to congratulate her and had a lovely conversation about her favorite experiences as a caregiver, and why this job means so much to her.
Ivy has been a caregiver for seven years now, but her dedication towards the elderly spans back decades. In fact, Ivy recalls that when she was growing up in Jamaica, she’d help complete strangers and seniors whenever she could. It was a natural inclination, and she credits her upbringing and general culture of multi-generational families in Jamaica for this.
Once Ivy came to America, she took her first steps towards becoming a caregiver by finding a job as a housekeeper at a nursing home. Of course, darling Ivy couldn’t just stay away from the clients living there, and would offer to help the employed nurses and assistants with their clients. She cites this time in her life as the best training she could have received before becoming a caregiver.
At the nursing home, Ivy recalls each nurse having between 8 to 9 clients, which made it impossible to give them the attention they deserved. So, she’d bring them meals, help make their beds, and simply talk to them and see if they needed anything. Not every elderly person will tell you they’re in pain or are suffering, and feel very alone because they’re simply not comfortable enough with their caretaker.
Once employed as a caregiver, Ivy recalls her meaningful experience with her very first client, a man who was dying of lung cancer. She grew very close to the client, who grew to trust and love her very much. In fact, Ivy was there until the day he died, and remembers that the day before, he told her softly, “everything you did was a gift from God. Because God sent you to me.”
What a beautiful story!
Of course, Ivy stresses that caregivers must always have faith when first starting. She says, “don’t take advice from other people, learn from other people. Get experience and you’ll get better. Don’t be afraid, and if you see something that isn’t right, call your agency and use their support. Call the family too. Patience is key!”
We can’t get enough of Ivy’s wisdom, so we’ll leave you with this standout quote from Ivy that all caregivers should take to heart:
“If you don’t love the job, you can’t do it! It can get rough, but be patient! Love, faith and patience, that’s all you need.”