Caregiver Spotlight: Barbara Will

1 month ago

Amidst the hum of daily activities and the quiet moments of reflection between serving clients, Barbara Will, caregiver and CNA at Senior1Care, stands out. Barbara’s journey from her childhood roots to her role as a caregiver is a tale of compassion, resilience, and a deep-seated sense of purpose.

Barbara was born in the United States, but when she was just five years old, her family moved to England. Sadly, her father passed away a few years after the move. Family ties in Ireland pulled her mum to this forever home; and for her part, Barbara spent her formative years and formal education in her adopted homeland. She says it will always be a part of her, and it’s not the slightest bit hard to believe. After all, despite her return to the United States 27 years ago with her husband for a new work opportunity, her accent, like a cherished keepsake, remains firmly rooted in her English heritage.

“I can’t get rid of it,” she chuckles, her voice a melodic blend of two worlds. “But that’s a bit different, isn’t it?”

Compassion for Caregiving

Barbara’s journey into caregiving wasn’t a traditional path. A devoted stay-at-home mom, she drew inspiration from her own upbringing by a single mother working tirelessly to provide for her family. Determined to be present for her children, Barbara embraced motherhood with open arms, yet their latter high school days left her wondering about the next chapter.

Her background in conservation now felt like a relic of the past, but fate intervened! She came across a simple advertisement for Senior1Care, calling for individuals with compassion to join their ranks, and thought, “I’ve got a bit of that!”

“It was just over seven years ago now,” Barbara reminisces. “My mom had died, and although I was there with her at the time, I wasn’t able to look after her before she passed and I had that guilt. I couldn’t look after my mom, but I feel like I’ve got lots of other moms that I’m looking after now. I feel like I’m sort of part of their family if that makes sense. And I really enjoy it. I feel like I give something but I get an awful lot more back.”

A Voice of the People

Barbara found solace and purpose in caring for the elderly residents of Senior1Care, and as she settled into the role, her influence has only expanded. She found herself offering an orientation to new recruits, sharing her experiences and insights to guide them on their own journeys of compassion, and was recently asked to speak at the organization’s end-of-year event. “I was scared stiff, but I did it,” Barbara said triumphantly. “They asked a few questions, and I was honest about things that have been working and things that needed a little improvement. The voice of the people, if you will. I’m honored that I was asked to do that. We really do feel like one, big, happy family.”

The family atmosphere and compassion at Senior1Care extends not just to those receiving care, but also to the caregivers themselves, Barbara reports. When encountering end-of-life care for the first time, Barbara found herself navigating uncharted waters but was supported by the unwavering compassion of her colleagues.

“It isn’t scary, but an honor,” she reflects, her voice tinged with reverence. “And they realize that we grieve as well.”

Beyond the Walls of Senior1Care

In addition to her caregiving duties, Barbara’s life outside of work is filled with simple joys and cherished moments, and an increasing desire to experience more world travel and more of the States, including Indiana. Walking with her husband and their faithful canine companion, exploring local parks, and indulging in the occasional theater outing fill her days with contentment. She lives life to the fullest and finds that over the years she’s become more assertive, just like one of her very first clients, a pioneering advocate for women’s studies. Barbara held her in the highest regard and still does.

What Barbara might not recognize, however, is how she is building an amazing legacy of her own every day. She’s an inspiration in her own right with the threads of empathy, resilience, and unwavering compassion she extends to everyone crossing her path. Her colleagues at Senior1Care recognize how incredibly humble she can be, so it also bears mentioning that Barbara has volunteered to serve the homeless from time to time– whether taking them doughnuts, blankets, or just being a friend.

Barbara lives by a simple mantra that she imparted to her children, and this golden rule she lives by seems to shine a warm light on everyone around her as well: “If you can look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and say you’ve done the best you could, you’ve had a good day.”

The post Caregiver Spotlight: Barbara Will appeared first on Senior1Care.

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Jordan M
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