I became a caregiver out of necessity when my husband died and I had to sell our business.
I needed to find a job to supplement the social security benefit I was getting as a widow with two young children. I had been driving a bus for the local school as a little side job. A job that was thrust upon me because of the need. It seems good bus drivers are hard to get and hard to keep.
Without any formal education and not having the time to go back to school, I took the LNA course offered by the local nursing home. In six weeks, I was trained and hired by the nursing home. The flexible hours allowed me to be home with my kids during the day and still drive the bus.
I worked there for six months but their schedule interfered with my school bus schedule so I left the nursing home and went private. Being bilingual in French and English gave me an advantage in the Northeast Kingdom where the population largely constitutes French-speakers.
After a while, I realized that there was more that I could do for the needier so I went back to school and took the course offered for 2nd level LNA. That gave me the skill I needed to do more hands-on care like tube feeding, wound care, straight cath., colostomy care, etc.
I continued this for 20 years until I retired. My kids were now grown and gone so I applied for a permanent position with a health care agency so I could have full-time employment, as private duty did not always mean steady work.
I do only live-in help as I work far from home and that fulfills many needs especially my own. I will be doing this until I may be needing the same care. Hopefully, the LNA I may need will be as caring and loving as I was.