Employee Spotlight is a new Homewatch CareGivers of Crystal Lakeblog seriesmeant to surface stories of the amazing individuals behind our local caregiving service. From office workers and owners to the actual caregivers in the field, you’ll get to hear stories from our team so you can get to know the people who makes us who we are.
Barbara has worked as a caregiver for Homewatch CareGivers (HWCG) of Crystal Lake since 2011 and has about 15 years total experience as a caregiver. Before becoming a professional caregiver, Barbara acted as a caregiver for her father and was impacted by the role a good caregiving partner had in the life of her father. She was able to be a partner in care with her father so his later years could be filled with kindness and joy and wanted to bring that to the lives of other elders. After her father passed, she cared for her mother and that is when she also moved into professional caregiving as it afforded her the flexibility she needed in order to care for her mother and the ability to impact more lives through her care.
One of the client Barbara worked with was a woman named “Janice” and she found that Janice was often uninterested in participating in a lot of the daily activities and instead preferred to just watch TV. One day Barbara decided to try do a simple craft together, and Janice absolutely loved it! Since she enjoyed the crafts so much Barbara started bringing a new craft almost every time she went to see Janice and every time she did Janice’s eyes would light up because she was so excited to do the craft for that day. Many of the crafts were seasonal, like creating Christmas trees, stars, and hearts during the holidays, or leaf shaped window decorations out of colored tissue paper to hang in the windows in the fall. These simple projects added a lot of joy to Janice’s life and allowed Barbara to connect with her on a level that was difficult to reach otherwise. This kind of personal connection and partnership is what gives Barbara life in her work as a caregiver and is something she seeks to find with every one of her clients.
When Barbara is not at work, she loves to spend time with her adult children and three grandchildren. She often uses her Cricut machine to make cutouts of different shapes to create tee-shirt patches and cards with her grandkids. Little crafts like this, and those she does with her clients, give her the opportunity to take something she is passionate about and share it with her loved ones.
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