Audra Archambeau went from working as a floral designer to being a caregiver with Comfort Keepers, 4855 E. State St., Rockford – both careers requiring skills that make the world a better place for someone.
Audra took a job with Comfort Keepers five years ago, after hearing her brother talk about his experiences there.
“He loved the job, but was working a lot of hours. I had a small son, so I didn’t think I could do it. But then he told me you can choose your own hours, and a lightbulb went on inside my head,” Archambeau says. “Caregiving is such a rewarding career. There is not one day I don’t look forward to going to work. You get to know the clients and you feel like you are an extension of the family.”
In the time she has been with Comfort Keepers, she has served about 15 clients, some for many years. While a few clients still have spouses, she helps them both by coming in to cook meals, do housekeeping, and run errands, giving the other caregiver a break.
Compassion is the most important quality to have when working as a caregiver, Archambeau says.
“A good caregiver has built-in compassion for people and a natural ability to care for others. You can’t fake it,” she adds.
Comfort Keepers’ caregivers assist with all non-medical needs such as light housekeeping, preparing meals, companionship, bathing, grooming, mobility assistance, bathroom needs, laundry, transportation to appointments, shopping, attending events and more.
Lucretia Ristin, co-owner with Mark Podemski, says although most people serviced by Comfort Keepers have at least one medical condition, others seek out help because they are tired and can’t handle the workload any longer, or because they are lonely, which can lead to depression and a lack of interest in self-care. Caregivers work part time or full time and have to pass an extensive background check, drug test, and show they are caring and empathetic individuals.
Comfort Keepers is also in Freeport. Future plans include opening a Janesville office. For more information on hiring or becoming a caregiver, go to comfortkeepers.com or call (815) 229-9100.❚