Albert N. knows the value of a genuine smile—and can even detect one over the phone. Albert’s kindness and humble demeanor are what Honor clients notice first. His professional training, flexibility, and quality care help clients form a trusting relationship that changes lives for the better. Having Albert on our team makes us smile!
1. How did you get into being a caregiver?
Before I came here to the Bay Area, I was taking care of my grandma, so I thought I could do some training with it. When I was trained on how to take care as a professional, I got a job as a home health aide, and then at a skilled nursing facility.
2. Is there anything about your family or background that makes you especially passionate about caring for others?
Oh, yes. I took care of my sister when she had cancer. It was painful leading up to her death, and I know how much care she needed. So many others today, they also need care. It’s my passion now. It comes from the heart.
3. Why did you choose Honor?
A friend referred me to Honor, a friend I value so much. Working for Honor, I get to meet people in their homes. When clients have a caregiver they trust and like and get care in their homes, it’s so nice for them. It’s a good experience—and one that has changed my life too, making a difference in other people’s lives. Honor’s Care Pro App helps me to be a better caregiver. I can write notes to clients after every visit. And I see care details and read notes from other Care Pros so I’m always prepared before I arrive. The people at Honor are so sweet when I talk with them on the phone and when I did the training too. Sometimes, I like just chatting with them.
4. What do you love most about being a professional caregiver?
Sometimes you need to get closer to people, and they really allow you to get into their personal space. I think that shows they trust you, and I like that aspect. Then, when you help somebody and you see them recover and get a smile on his or her face, it’s so rewarding. Even when you support someone who is dying—maybe just giving the necessary comfort. It may not be the best moment, but you feel better that you did all you could that was available to you to care for them.
5. What’s your greatest challenge in this doing work?
Some days I meet somebody for the first time. Then I need to meet another client for the first time. When you meet new people every day, even though you keep on building on them and they become good relationships, it’s sometimes challenging.
6. What’s the secret ingredient in great caregiver-client relationships?
A smile. Then authenticity. You need to be real, you need to be yourself. You are trained for the professional aspect of the care, but giving yourself to somebody is something that comes from the heart. I think caregivers should be those who are called to do it, not just those who are going for some financial aspect.
7. Any particularly rewarding Care Pro moments you’d like to share?
I have so many of them. I took care of this gentleman, and he had memory problems. The family was trying as much as possible to get him the best comfort he needed. It was difficult, but when finally he trusted me, I became more of a family member than even the family members. After some time, he recovered, and we could sit and talk about how it was back then, and how it is now. Just laugh like a friend and family member.
8. What’s the most important question to ask before hiring a caregiver?
I think it should be about your professional experience. There is no negotiation for that. If you go to help somebody, you should know how to help. You should not go and cause harm, because if you are not professionally efficient, then you can cause more harm. In addition to that now, the person’s personality: What are your goals in life? Is it leading towards caregiving? If it’s not, then why are you there?
9. What do you like to do outside of work?
I volunteer so much in the church, with the homeless. Most of the time, we provide food and clothing and things like that. Then we also do a lot of singing and dancing. There’s always something to do with the church.
10. Anything else you’d like to share?
About Honor, some of the Care Team I don’t get to meet in person. But when I get a phone call, sometimes I feel the smile in their voice. I think it makes me want to work more. Even sometimes when I’m like, “No, I don’t want to work today,” then I get a call from this smiling, nice voice, and I say, “Okay. Today, I can do it.”
Albert, a Certified Nursing Assistant and Home Health Aide, has been a professional caregiver for seven years and a standout Honor Care Pro since early 2016. Albert provides care to Honor clients in San Jose, Los Gatos, Menlo Park, Pleasanton, and San Francisco.