“She’s so good to me” Davie said while smiling brightly at Natalie, her Helper Bee. Natalie H. has the gift of kindness, she has been a Helper Bee since the beginning and she’s been working with Davie for around five months. We thought their deep connection and a great match on our side, needed a place in our blog. Davie […]
Great Matching Makes for Great Stories
We believe a great story can is best shared if there is a strong connection between two people. And our mission is to make great connections. Here are some of the fantastic stories of our Helper Bees and the seniors they have been matched with. We all have a great story to tell, and those stories need to be shared.
Matthew has been a Helper Bee for 3 months now. He sat down to share with us, the value of having the flexibility as a private-duty caregiver and the joys that come with it. He visits with a senior named Betty for a couple hours during the week. “It’s like a new experience every time. She […]
Lesby and Anabel have been friends for over a year now. Their connection is magnetic, as well as their laughter. They are both originally from Honduras, but have taken different paths to the world of caregiving. Lesby has been a practicing Certified Nursing Assistant for 13 years now. She’s highly motivated by caregiving and hopes […]
“My favorite thing about the Helper Bees is that they are always there when I need them and I get to work for the best clients. I love working with the Helper Bees’
Brenda Folks has been with the Helper Bees for nearly one year.
She enjoys helping seniors in any way that she can and talks of her work as if it’s a calling, not just a job. The joy that being a caregiver brings Brenda is apparent when you first start talking to her. What really motivates her as caregiver is the ability to be a wonderful companion for a variety of people, no matter what their age or background. Brenda has worked in facilities, but really likes to have the freedom as a private-duty caregiver. She loves the idea of assisting people closer to her own neighborhood, which is one of our core values here at The Helper Bees.
If you like people, you’ll enjoy caregiving.
“I seem to do best one-on-one”, Brenda said when thinking about her relationships with her Helper Bee clients. She enjoys sharing moments and chats with them during the day. “If you like people, you’ll enjoy caregiving,” she said. Brenda is the epitome of dedication, as she spends 6 days per week assisting and caring for her clients. Brenda has a favorite thing about each client and has been known to keep photos and memories of them with her wherever she goes. Her attention to detail is helpful for cultivating great relationships and remaining a stellar caregiver. Brenda’s biggest tip as a caregiver is to “earn their trust and take time to listen to them.”
“I got really blessed with this couple. They're such sweet people.”Randy E.
Ervin Waters was a traveling preacher when he met his wife, Mary. At 99-years-old, he recalls that fateful day with a gentle smile. From day one as his Helper Bee caregiver, Randy Edwards has encouraged Ervin to tell his stories from past adventures. One of Randy’s favorite stories to hear is of when Ervin first moved to Texas. Ervin and his family made the decision to pick up their roots and travel to The Lone Star state and did so with the help of their trusted horse and buggy cart. He talks about how difficult it was to navigate due to the lack of street signs. “Can you imagine?” he said, in a way that would resonate with anyone who has struggled to reach a destination without the help of a map or technology.
We rode into town in our family's horse and buggy. Can you imagine?
There’s a simple, yet extraordinary exchange of gratitude in the Waters household. Randy cares for him physically and Ervin shows his appreciation through storytelling. In the back corner of Waters’ living room, there’s a loving display of family photos and Father’s Day cards, showing just how much of an impact Ervin has made on those around him. In an age of digital memories, it’s nice to be reminded that the art of storytelling is still alive and incredibly useful for daily perspective.
“She’s such a professional and really takes care of me.”Kathy T
Kathy has had a wealth of experience throughout her life. She’s raised four wonderful children, worked in accounting for 40 years and provided care as a caregiver for three years before retiring at the age of 75. During her time as a caregiver, she assisted a lady with Alzheimer’s and enjoyed it immensely, although she said with a chuckle, “I wake up every morning thankful that I’m not working. I put in my time.”
Now, Kathy is under the care of one our Helper Bees, Yvette. Kathy says “I love Yvette to pieces. I wish that she could be by my side, day in and day out. And I’ll tell you somethin’, if you feel like having a day at the spa, just have Yvette give you a bath. It’s just like a day at the spa! She’s such a professional and really takes care of me.”
I love Yvette to pieces. I wish that she could be by my side, day in and day out.
It’s clear that the appreciation for each other is mutual as Yvette turned to Kathy to say, “I feel like your adopted daughter.” Yvette and Kathy love to go out to lunch when they feel there is time on the calendar. Yvette also helps to organize Kathy’s day that is always filled with visits from medical professionals, family and friends. Yvette reads to Kathy and they also do some coloring together whenever the mood strikes. Kathy believes that Yvette is very skilled with drawing, so it can be a great motivator! “We try to keep Kathy active after her surgery. A lot of people come here to visit her every week.” she said thoughtfully.
Throughout our visit with the two of them, Yvette was rocking a brand new Helper Bees T-shirt. She said that when her niece in New York saw a photo with her in it, she called her up and needed to know where she got it. “She’s fascinated with bees,” Yvette said with a native New York accent. Sounds the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
“They are simply the sweetest. It feels like I have another set of grandparents.”Ashley A
Mr. Gorr is the epitome of a grandfather figure. He enjoys spending his time talking, telling stories, and listening to football. Ashley is a young writer and storyteller and loves working with Mr. Gorr. “The highlight of my week is getting to talk to and spend time with Mr. and Mrs. Gorr. I’ve learned so much from them.” Ashley says. She loves listening to Mr. Gorr’s stories and talking about the Green Bay Packers with him.
The highlight of my week is getting to talk to and spend time with Mr. and Mrs. Gorr. I've learned so much from them.
During their visits, Ashley reads to Mr. Gore. Recently, they’ve been reading about the pre-season events of the Mr. Gorr's favorite team, the Green Bay Packers. Mr. Gore loves this and will go on forever about football stats and the history of the Packers. The energy he has for the team is one of Ashley’s favorite things to see.
“Alma has been kind of my side kick. She’s there for me. ”Diane Hardin
Diane Hardin knows what it’s like to be a caregiver. Her 40+ years of providing care has shaped the way she thinks about the elderly and those that offer their time and attention to helping them. She first got her start as a caregiver in the 1950’s as a Brownie Scout when she was a child. Although the facility was grim, she vividly remembers falling in love with the elderly population, so she spent the rest of her life trying to help out where she could. She also worked in a retirement community for awhile.
They acknowledge that the caregiver is entitled to a larger percentage of the compensation.
Due to her deep understanding of the caregiving community, she was drawn to the concept of The Helper Bees. As she puts it, “[The Helper Bees] acknowledge that the caregiver is entitled to a larger percentage of the compensation” (as opposed to other traditional agencies).
Her Helper Bee, Alma, comes a couple days a week to help Diane with transportation to doctors’ appointments. Having to depend on rideshare companies was demoralizing to Diane. She appreciates the consistent reliability of the Helper Bee platform. Diane used to live by the beach in Georgia, and although she misses those sandy-shore walks, Alma and Diane make it a point to go for an hour walk every day. She’s a big believer in an active lifestyle, saying that “[...] movements help all your bodily parts that may not be happy. It makes a difference. I think it’s really important to stay involved. People need to have a sense of purpose.”
“She let's me talk. She's a great listener. ”Elder
Elder is a retired Baptist preacher and Virginia is a Catholic Missionary. They come from different worlds, but have grown quite fond of each other through intellectual discussion and theological talks.
Virginia was born and raised in Brazil. Throughout her adult life, she has lived and served in places all over the world including Florida, Texas, and the jungles of Bolivia. She is very close with her family back in Brazil and talks to them daily. She loves spending time with her sister and makes an effort to visit as much as she can. One of the biggest forces in her life is her religion and the mission work she does within the Catholic Church. She has learned about so many different things through her compassionate work and actively seeks opportunities that allow her to expand her knowledge. This is what lead her to the world of care-giving and to our Helper Bees hive.
We make lists of the places we'll go. One week it's the library, the next week it's a VA meeting. He enjoys our little routines.
Elder grew up in Texas and has seen a lot of the changes the state has been through over the years. He loves to tell these stories to anyone who will listen and talks frequently about his life as a Baptist preacher. When spending time with Virginia, Elder enjoys discussing theology and his old sermons. He says that Virginia is a good person to talk to because "she let's [him] talk" and "she's a great listener". Virginia serves as a friend and companion for Elder. Throughout the week they plan outings and make lists of errands to run together like going to the grocery story, visiting the library, and attending doctor appointments. Virginia comments on their system, "We make lists of the places we'll go. One week it's the library, the next week it's a VA meeting. He enjoys our little routines."
Upon first glance, a Baptist preacher and a Catholic missionary can be seen as quite a funny pair, but for Virginia and Elder this combo is what makes it work.