Pictured above: Andy Preston (left) and Homewatch CareGivers franchise owner Anzor Gachechiladze (right).
For more information on owning a home care business and making a difference in seniors’ lives, please visit our senior care franchise website.
People choose to become professional caregivers for different reasons: some fulfill their life purpose to help others; some round out a career in nursing or a related field; many find themselves providing family care and realize they can transfer their skills to a new job.
Andy Preston, 70, has been a caregiver for Homewatch CareGivers of The Triangle in North Carolina since 2007. He earned Team Player of the Year, Caregiver of the Year, and Patient Advocate awards almost every year. Mr. Preston worked as a biomedical engineer in the United States, Canada and Europe until he retired early to care for his parents. His mother had developed dementia and his father had already become blind. He spent several years being their primary caregiver and after they had both passed away, he had new choices to make.
“I didn’t want to go back to my profession,” he said during a recent interview. “It was pretty intense.”
He realized that being a professional caregiver suited him. “I got plenty of experience with my parents,” he said. “It’s emotionally satisfying work for me. I can work fairly independently most of the time and I like getting to know the people I care for.”
The rewards have been in seeing people get better, in part because of the care he provides. “Some people are quiet, but others like to talk,” he said. “I had one client, a former judge, who had bleeding on the brain and was told he wouldn’t make it. I watched his cognition come back and he got off the walker and was able to drive again. He would say all of our talking got his mind going again. We still have lunch together from time to time.”
Along his caregiving path, Mr. Preston has applied what he has learned from his professional training and as a close observer of people in need of home care services.
“I used to have asthma, gout, poor kidney function, and was pre-diabetic, but I got rid of all of them by paying attention to nutrition,” he said. “I like to spend my time learning about Parkinson’s and dementia just as a hobby and maybe for my own benefit.”
As much as Mr. Preston enjoys his job, he said he would like to see more support out there for family caregivers. “It worked out in the end, but there was no help and it was hard on me in many ways,” he said. “Now I get to meet a lot of interesting people.”
For more information on owning a home care business and making a difference in seniors’ lives, please visit our senior care franchise website