On Tuesday, we announced that Donna Embray (@donna) created the winning slogan (“Hire Someone Skilled in Caregiving: They Care About More Than Making a Living”) for our Hire a Family Caregiver campaign. Through our campaign we want to encourage employers to hire family caregivers as well as retain them as employees.
Donna lives in St. Joseph, Mo., with her husband and twelve-year-old son. She has been a caregiver for her husband since his brain injury in 2008. For the past year, she has been doing peritoneal dialysis for her husband at home. Donna is also self-employed as a house cleaner. She volunteers at her son’s school and is active in her church. She is an avid reader and checks out armloads of books on each visit to the library. You can read of her story on her blog, donnaembray.blogspot.com.
I asked Donna to share more about her life; my questions and her answers follow.
Tell us about your caregiving situation.
I have been a caregiver for my husband off and on since very early in our 13-year marriage. This has been my longest stretch, as I’ve been caring for him daily for the past six years. In 2008, at the age of 33, my husband suffered a brain injury while on a ventilator in the ICU when the tube popped in the middle of the night. In the summer of 2012, routine labs showed that his kidneys were failing. I have been doing peritoneal dialysis for him in our home since last April. He is currently on hold on the transplant list until he can lose some of the weight he’s gained since starting dialysis. Last year, right before my husband began dialysis, my dad was diagnosed with metastatic kidney cancer which had already spread to his lungs and ribs. His prognosis is heartbreaking. I try to emotionally support him, even though we are separated by too many miles.
What do you wish employers understood about working family caregivers?
I wish employers would see that family caregivers are able to focus on activities outside of the home, and bring so many skills with them. I would like to see employers be flexible when possible, as long as performance isn’t affected.
What skills have you gained as a family caregiver that make you an invaluable employee?
Being a family caregiver has taught me patience, time management, multitasking, and endurance. I have been forced to become adept at organization since I’m in charge of everything from daily medications to ordering dialysis supplies.
Tell us how you came up with your slogan.
I struggled with coming up with a slogan that conveyed the intended purpose. I was trying to think of one that would be catchy, but also get the message across. In the end, I went with one that rhymed. I would like people to know that caregivers have a unique perspective, which makes them more devoted in all aspects of life.
Congratulations again, Donna! We’re excited to roll out your slogan with our campaign later this week.
And, please be sure to tell us how your caregiving experience makes you an invaluable employee. We’ll use your experiences in our Hire a Family Caregiver campaign.
- And, the Winner Is… (caregiving.com)
- Caregiving Slogan Contest: Hire a Family Caregiver (caregiving.com)
- Vote for Your Favorite Slogan: Hire a Family Caregiver (caregiving.com)
- In Ten Words, How Would You Describe Your Life Path? (caregiving.com)
- How Does Caregiving Make You an Invaluable Employee? (caregiving.com)
- How Employers Can Help Their Caregiving Employees (caregiving.com)
- Little Difference in Caregiving Responsibilities Between Working and Non-Working Family Caregivers (caregiving.com)
- Friday Chat: Paid Family Leave Overview (caregiving.com)