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Compassionate Care: An Insight into the World of Home Care with Octavia

By MissionCare Collective | May 01, 2024

Compassionate Care: An Insight into the World of Home Care with Octavia

The field of home care is a crucial aspect of healthcare that ensures elderly and vulnerable individuals receive the support and compassion they need. In an enlightening interview with Octavia, a dedicated home care worker, we delved into her reasons for working in this field, her journey, the challenges she faces, and her thoughts on the current state of the industry.

A Calling to Care
For Octavia, home care is not just a job but a calling. Her love for elders and babies makes this profession a natural fit. She cherishes the connection between the beginning and the end of life and feels fulfilled by making a tangible difference in the lives of others.

She entered the field by initially volunteering in the community, assisting with health and those who couldn’t help themselves. An opportunity to become certified through a Walmart scholarship with the American Red Cross allowed her to follow her passion and help her aging family members.

The Journey to Professional Care
Octavia’s path to becoming a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) wasn't easy, especially as a single parent. Through determination and research, she found the scholarship that enabled her to complete her training.

When choosing an agency to work for, Octavia places great value on morale, witnessing the progress of the people she assists, and appreciating the little signs that show the staff are valued, such as having a coffee maker on the counter.

Appreciation and Improvement
Octavia believes that caregiver appreciation can be creative and doesn’t have to break the bank. Something as simple as a birthday card or an awards system goes a long way.

She stresses the importance of quality assurance in the industry, with companies proactively seeking feedback from employees about what they can improve. Octavia calls for better communication and clearer expectations to avoid conflicts, such as misunderstandings about the extent of the caregiver's responsibilities.

Challenges in the Field
Octavia highlights that home care workers are often underpaid and sometimes underappreciated, making it difficult for them to meet their financial needs. The struggle to adequately care for multiple patients simultaneously in a facility is a significant challenge. She advocates for good leadership, adequate training, and resources to set caregivers up for success.

The issue of wages is poignant, with Octavia reflecting that needing more pay doesn’t diminish her love or care for her patients but emphasizes her need to provide for her family.

Impact of COVID
The COVID pandemic profoundly affected the home care sector, increasing risks for both caregivers and seniors. Families struggled to balance the need for care with the potential health risks, a struggle that Octavia understands well.

A Family-Oriented Perspective
What stands out in Octavia's approach is her family-oriented perspective. She appreciates companies that started as a family and values being seen and acknowledged for her hard work. The connection she feels with her clients reflects her commitment to treating them like family, respecting their preferences and cultural practices.

Octavia's insights offer a window into the challenging yet fulfilling world of home care. Her dedication to her clients and her passion for her work shine through in every aspect of her career.

Her perspective underscores the need for increased recognition and support for home care workers, who play an essential role in our society. By addressing wage challenges, improving training opportunities, enhancing communication, and fostering a culture of appreciation, we can ensure that the field of home care continues to attract compassionate and dedicated individuals like Octavia. Her story is a testament to the incredible difference one person can make, guided by love, empathy, and determination.

To listen to Octavia’s interview and to see more stories of the direct care workforce, explore the "One Voice. Many Stories" project published in partnership with the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.