This week Caring Senior Service shines the spotlight on Ann Levison, a caregiver in on our Caring Senior Service of Kerrville office. In this interview, Ann discusses how she was inspired to become a caregiver for the seniors in her area.
Can you tell a little bit about yourself?
I am 61. I was born and raised in Texas.
How long have you been a caregiver?
I’ve been helping to take care of the elderly ever since I was probably in my 20’s but as far as making a living of the job of being a caretaker, for the last about 8 years.
How long have you been with Caring Senior Service?
I have been with Caring for six years.
"If you would just stop
and treat them with respect
and honor them,
they will teach you a lot."
What inspired you to become a caregiver?
I’ve always had a closeness and been drawn to helping the elderly. I moved here and (there were) not a lot of job opportunities but there seems to be quite a few opportunities there for that. I thought, “Why don’t I just do that for a living?” I love doing it and it’s fairly good money and it’s very rewarding to me. … I was in the restaurant business for years; I owned my own sub shop. I was the manager of restaurants. I worked for a phone company, for a wireless service for AT&T. I was the supervisor at a call center. I’ve always worked with people but I’ve always just been associated with helping to take care of the elderly just by choice, it wasn’t something that I ever thought would be my final job that I ever did. It just turned out that way.
Are there any significant challenges you had to overcome to get to where you are now?
No, not really. I find it that the longer I am with a particular person that has depended on me to help them, the farther that I get involved with them on a personal basis, which is something I can’t help that’s just the way it is. I was with one lady for five years… I’m still very close to her niece and nephew; they have become extended family to me…that's one of the great perks of caregiving. I’ve met some wonderful people.
What has been your favorite story/experience since working with Caring Senior Service?
I think one of the things that is important to me is being able to show them that they are not useless. They are people who are valuable to your life. If you would just stop and treat them with respect and honor them, they will teach you a lot… I had one (experience where I learned from someone) in particular. I took care of him and his wife and she passed away and he was kind of - he didn’t really believe that there was a heaven or a hell he just believed that when you died you went and that was it. During the last year that he was alive after his wife, he had a really hard time with her being gone and we had a chance to talk about going to heaven and being able to see her again. I believe whole heartedly that the day that he died he finally accepted that Jesus was going to take him to be with her and that is something that will stay in my mind forever.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a caregiver?
Probably seeing them realize that there is someone out there that cares about them enough to take that extra step to show them that they are loved and that they are valuable. … It makes a big difference in their lives for them to know that there is somebody out there that cares about them. A lot of them don’t have any family. Some of them do but their family is too busy for them. That’s where we come in.
What is the most challenging thing about being a caregiver?
Watching them pass away. You know they gotta go but it’s just so hard to say goodbye when you get attached to them.
What advice would you offer to someone looking to become a caregiver?
If they want a job that is rewarding and that gives back to them, then you couldn’t find a better job to do.
Everyone here at Caring Senior Service National Headquarters would like to thank Ann and officially recognize her for the service she provides to Caring Senior Service of Kerrville and the seniors in her community. Ann we hope you enjoy the Samsung Galaxy Tablet 4 we sent you, its our way of saying thank you as we celebrate 25 years of helping seniors!