Congratulations to Pam Greer for being nominated for our caregiver of the month award. Pam has worked for Preferred Care at Home since 2014, but recently retired in May. Pam has always been a stellar caregiver and will be missed greatly. She was recently interviewed her for an article that Lisa Barry wrote for the Hendersonville Standard Newspaper.
Pam Greer was more than happy to share her story. The kind of story that makes caregivers who they are, what they stand for and what makes them tick. Pam, a caregiver since 2013 has seen lots of clients through many situations. After caring for her father, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, Pam realized how much the senior population is somehow overlooked and misunderstood lots of times.
“I learned a lot about how older people are treated, says Pam. I remember being with my dad one time at a retail store and the cashier was trying to hurry him along as he was struggling to get money out of his billfold. It was heartbreaking to see the young cashier not understanding the situation. I asked the cashier to be patient with my dad, but instead, he rolled his eyes. I asked for the manager, and I explained to him how the cashier had treated my father. When we left the store, the entire crowd standing in line at the store began to clap and cheer for us”. Before Pam worked as a caregiver, she worked in human resources at Walmart. At that time, she did not expect that one day she would be working with senior adults, but after caring for her elderly father who lived with her through his illness, she changed her mind quickly.” When I decided to become a caregiver, I knew in my heart that I would stand up for my clients just like I did for my father. If I am out with my client, I will not allow anyone to disrespect them or rush them,” continues Pam.
While Pam has received dementia training, caregivers add their personal approach to how they handle certain dementia situations. Pam’s interest in dementia associated with Alzheimer’s Disease due to her father’s diagnosis, has given her a compassionate way of dealing with her clients’ situations. “I worked for a sweet and special client who suffered with dementia and hallucinations. One day he asked me if I saw him riding his chair (not a wheelchair, but a regular chair) all through the house. He was laughing and acting like he was having a great time. Remembering a conversation with my father’s doctor several years earlier, I learned that I should never try to argue with my client and convince him that something did not happen, but instead, I should realize that I am dealing with his reality,” Pam says. Pam recalls, “One memory that I have of my father is a time when he said to me, ‘Sis, I’m not a child.’ This memory reminds me to be caring toward my senior clients and not to be bossy with them. Seniors with dementia are human beings and should be treated that way.”
When asked about how Covid-19 has affected her job as a caregiver, Pam explained that being safe and taking extra precautionary measures have been her focus during the Covid-19 pandemic. Interestingly, caregivers who have shared how the pandemic has changed their jobs have all shared the same thoughts – safety and the best hygiene measures are most important at this time.
Submitted by Lisa Barry
Community Liaison, Preferred Care at Home