Organization: Senior Helpers
What role does your nominee have in senior care and senior care issues?
Barbie was born and raised in California and had a great childhood. Her family is very close to each other, literally. Her grandparents lived one block away and her aunts family lived next door to them. She was always surrounded by extended family. It was ingrained in her to love and take care off her relatives. Barbie went to college to become an elementary school teacher. She taught for 10 years and then became a stay at home mom to her 2 children.
Ten years ago, Barbie re-entered the work force as a Caregiver for her 92 year old grandmother. She cared for her for the last 4 years of her life. At the same time, her husband's parents were in two different care facilities. She witnessed both great care and horrible care. That is when she decided she wanted to make a difference. She loved helping others and joined Senior Helpers. She has been an Outstanding Caregiver with us for the past 8.5 years!
During her free time, she regularly checks in on her senior neighbors, she volunteers with her church in feeding the homeless, and she is a mentor to five girls in a foster home. She also loves to travel, ride her bike, and spend time with family and friends.
Why should this person be nominated
Being a Caregiver is fulfilling to Barbie, just like her former students, she gets the opportunity to share in people's lives. She tries to motivate, sometimes educate, but always encourages her senior clients. She treats each client as if they were family as she enters their homes. She is loving, positive, and cheerful each day. She cherishes the wisdom and friendship she gets from her clients. Besides providing companionship and care, she tries to reinforce their skills and promote independence.
Barbie had a veteran client for 4 years, he was in a wheelchair due to a massive stroke, and he had a service dog. During caring for him, Barbie learned to drive a large handicap accessible van with a side ramp so she could drive him to an indoor pool, where she got into the pool with him weekly to exercise. She learned a lot about being a great Caregiver from this man. She says together, they were a good team.
It is not often enough a great Caregiver gets honored for their work. It takes a special person to be a good Caregiver, and an exceptional person to be a great Caregiver. Barbie Reed is an exceptional person and is very deserving of this nomination.