Recently we sat down with Annette Cyrus, our July Aide of the Month to congratulate her and talk about her experience as a Home Health Aide (HHA) with Blossom. Annette was born in Philadelphia and moved to Rochester right after the snowstorm of 1991. For the last 15 years, Annette has been working at Blossom and has been the bright spot in her clients’ lives since day one.
It was Annette’s grandmother and the time she spent taking care of her that inspired Annette to start working in home care and she hasn’t looked back since. “I just love this job and that’s pretty much it.” Her client used to work at a laundromat, so she is always making sure things are tidy. “She sees a speck of dust on me, she is wiping it off”, Annette shares with a smile. Annette has been working with her current client for about two years now, and shared how it takes time to build a rapport with your clients, but that is something she values about home care – working one-on-one. “People say 'Why don’t you be a Nurse?' I don’t want to be a Nurse. I don’t wanna do that. I love what I do.”
It is the people that inspire Annette to keep going. Annette recognizes that her clients need her and look forward to her coming into their home to take care of them and spend time together. “Sometimes we are the only [people] they see. Even though they may have family, family is not always there, family is not always nice. So we are that bright spot in their day. They look forward to us coming.”
When we asked Annette which one of our Core Values she relates to the most, she exclaimed, “Get it Done!” To Get it Done means we show up and get the job done, no matter what. “You know that sometimes you have a lot of downtime. There are things that you can be doing, and I can't just sit around and see stuff and wait. I have to just deal with it.”
Annette’s favorite thing about working for Blossom is having the opportunity to meet people from different walks of life. “You meet all kinds of people and some you remain friends with even after a shift is over and you no longer work together, you still build that rapport. I love the people.”
As someone who has worked in the home care for over 15 years, Annette reminds herself of this to keep doing her best, “I myself can have a bad week and you say ‘I can't wait till this week is over. I can't wait till Friday’, but then when it's all over in your home and you think about so and so. You just smile. You have to smile and think about how they said something or did something.”
For anyone looking to begin a career in home care, Annette gives this advice, “You just gotta have passion to do this work. Treat people how you want to be treated. You have to have an open heart. You have to have compassion in this type of work… it’s not always easy. You have to care and if you if you don't, it's not going to work.”
Annette works a very full schedule, but on her days off, she enjoys time to herself watching movies (horror movies specifically), barbecuing, and shopping. “I like to shop for shoes. I’m a shoe girl – I love shoes!”
We are so lucky to have a long term employee like Annette, and we look forward to working together for many more years to come. Thank you for all you do!