I Am Visiting Angels: Shirley Huff
Shirley Huff has been taking care of people for most of her life. She became a nurse at age 21 and worked in the medical field for the next 15 years. After a short break from the workplace, Shirley was also employed in a factory for several years.
Then, her life took a tragic and unexpected turn when her husband and children passed away. It was time to try something new. As she explored different career possibilities, Shirley asked herself, “What did I like doing best?” The answer was nursing. She wanted to care for others again, but this time, Shirley decided to try working for a homecare agency.
Two of her relatives were employed by Visiting Angels and spoke highly of it. Shirley discovered that they had an opening, applied, and was hired. She would tell you it’s one of the best decisions she has ever made. And we would have to agree; Visiting Angels would not be same without her.
Shirley is a natural caretaker who loves connecting with people. She enjoys listening to her clients’ stories and learning from their knowledge and experience. Spending time with them makes her day brighter. While the services she provides improve her clients’ quality of life, Shirley believes that her clients add just as much value to her life.
“I love waking clients up in the morning and helping them get ready. I love to cook them a special breakfast,” she adds. Shirley enjoys helping her clients make the most of every day. She keeps them company, performs light housekeeping, and takes them out to run errands. She says, “We go wherever they want to go, and do whatever they want to do. They're the boss. If they're happy, I’m happy.”
Her goal each day is to help those in her care excel and experience the best quality of life they can. Shirley says the key to doing that well is communication. It’s the most important skill she brings to the homes she visits. And the most important thing Shirley communicates is love. “If people don’t feel loved, they won’t open up to you. But when they know you care, they’ll open up. Then you know what they need and how best to care for them.” Shirley believes that her first job every day is to show her clients that she loves them, and that doing so lays the foundation for the excellent care she provides.
“When I go into a home, I try to discover how my clients do things. I look to see how their towels are folded, how the clothes are hanging in the closet, how things are put away in the cabinets.” Shirley is careful to notice how people live, paying attention to their habits and preferences. “You have to learn your people,” she says. “To care for them the way they want to be taken care of - that’s love.”
One client, Ray, often tells her that she spoils him. But Shirley says, “That’s part of my job, and it’s what I want to do for him. Whenever I see clients smile, that’s a win for me.” She provides a service that makes a real difference in someone’s life, and that gives Shirley a boost everyday. “I leave work just as enthused and energetic as when I came in. We have a great time together, and we’re family.”
Shirley also believes that she is able to excel as a caregiver because she is well supported by the Visiting Angels staff. “The training program for Visiting Angels is very good. We get classes, educational materials, and I can call anytime I’m in a client’s home and get whatever guidance I need. Visiting Angels wants the best for all our homes and for those of us who serve these homes.”
That willingness to work together and care for one another extends beyond a caregiver’s interactions in the home. Shirley adds, “Visiting Angels cares about all of us. Some places, the bosses are distant or standoffish. But at Visiting Angels, when you walk into the office, someone usually greets you with a hug.”
Caregivers like Shirley are the heart of Visiting Angels. Her enthusiasm and compassion enrich the lives of her clients and enhance the workplace for all of us. Perhaps, like Shirley, you’re looking to join a family of co-workers who inspire each other and add value to the lives of others. Or maybe, you have a loved one who could benefit from the companionship and care of someone like Shirley. Either way, we hope you’ll contact us today. Let’s talk about current opportunities to join the Visiting Angels family.