Finding her calling
Sandra had been a longtime caregiver to Lib before she joined the BrightStar Care of Greenville / Spartanburg team.
They made the switch together, and Sandra hasn’t looked back. A former manager at a fast food restaurant, Sandra enjoyed morning coffee and conversation with an elderly crew of patrons. After several years, she realized, “I need to go to school for this. I really enjoy being with them,” she recalls. She met Lib soon after graduation.
Sandra cared for Lib for three years before Lib passed away, in early 2018. Lib’s daughter, Libby, is very fond of Sandra. “She is so special,” she says. Sandra did whatever Lib couldn’t do herself, Libby explains, which included cooking and laundry for Libby’s dad, Buck.
“Sandra saw things that needed to be done and just took care of it,” says Libby. She praises Sandra’s communication skills, patience, and compassion, adding, “She would go the extra mile.”
For Sandra, that’s the only way to work. “If that person were my family member, that’s how I would want it done,” she explains. She never felt that caring for Lib was work.
A few months after Lib’s death, when Buck needed home health care, Libby was grateful to have Sandra reconnect with her family. “It was nice that I got to stay with him through the grieving process, because I was there all the time (with Lib),” Sandra recalls.
Continuity of care
Sandra has since been promoted to Client Care Manager, responsible for hiring and scheduling, and she makes sure Buck gets the care he needs. “(The caregivers) have been amazing and have stepped up to the plate for different things,” says Libby.
Each month brings its own challenges as Buck’s health changes. “Every one of (the caregivers) has been right, ready, and prepared to do whatever needs to be done,” Libby says.
Buck receives eight hours of care Monday through Friday, four hours on Saturday, and a family friend lives with him, providing around-the-clock assistance.
“I don’t know what I would do trying to keep my job and be his only caregiver, his financial aide, his doctor, his nurse, his everything. It’s really hard,” says Libby. “I’ve got great help, I really do, and that’s been a blessing,” she adds.
Sandra often calls Buck and Libby to check in and takes an occasional weekend shift to visit them in person. Confident in her new role, she is grateful for her field experience.
She feels confident telling new recruits about the job’s professional and personal rewards. “This isn’t just work and then you go home—this (work) actually means something to someone every single day,” Sandra says.