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Caregiver Spotlight:  Lisa Gruman

by Vanessa Valerio, June 28, 2019

Lisa is truly a one of a kind caregiver who understands and values individual client needs. Learn more about Lisa's journey as a caregiver and what she loves most about working at Care Indeed.

I didn’t decide to be a caregiver; it’s been more an extension of myself. When I was five, my cousin had the stomach flu and had to stay on the couch during Thanksgiving dinner. I couldn’t bear her being by herself, so instead of Thanksgiving, I chose to lay on the couch with her. This calling was reinforced by my parents, who were also givers-of-care, bringing chicken soup to sick friends, etc.

After college, my career included being a typesetter, a receptionist, and an administrative assistant, yet I realized fluorescent lights weren’t my calling. To utilize all aspects of myself, I began one-on-one, in-home personal care as my full-time profession. It’s great working in a home setting, with maybe a pet to look after, dishes to wash, meals to plan, appointments to be kept, showers to be given, laundry to be done…I love doing laundry.

Helen met me at church and asked if I’d like to be a companion for her mom, which lasted for four years and provided many happy opportunities for relationships to grow between our friends and families. This has continued for over 15 years and now includes a few years of my providing care for Helen herself. She seems to enjoy my ongoing stand-up routine and my singing, while I support her with her personal care needs. Her generous, supportive spirit makes her a blessing to all who are fortunate to be around her.

Our working relationship includes lots of laughter, good food, outings to movies and meals, celebrations with our friends and families, support during the hard times - both physical and personal. Striking a balance between friendship and client-caregiver relationship poses daily challenges, including when to step in and when to step back. Frustrations from daily life can come in to challenge both of us and is an ongoing process. Training from Care Indeed has provided me with helpful tools for respecting client wishes and privacy. There are plenty of opportunities for personal growth throughout each day and differ with each client. Being flexible and patient are daily challenges for both caregiver and client alike. Helen and I ultimately manage to talk about any of our unique challenges or frustrations.

It’s great having a neat person like Helen with whom to share the journey. It’s great having a vocation that is an extension of myself.

I have always had a passion for helping people and making them happy from the very start. When I had the opportunity to work as a caregiver, I was thrilled to find a profession that I found joy in, which also allowed me to make a difference in a senior's life.

- Lisa Gruman