Started as a Caregiver and Now I’m Here: From Helping One at a Time to Helping Many
24 Hour Home Care Client Care Consultant Clara Sarti started her career nearly 20 years ago as a family caregiver. Fast forward to today, where she now ensures hundreds of clients are receiving the best possible in-home care through her quality assurance visits as part of 24 Hour Home Care’s new “Care Concierge” program.
How did you get started in your career as a family caregiver?
About 18 years ago, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer and needed care —my children were very young at the time (one a toddler and one an infant), but we decided to move my mother-in-law into our San Fernando Valley home so that I could care for her. I went above and beyond as her caregiver because she was so dear to me. Fortunately, she beat the cancer. Much later, she did pass, but I’m so happy I was able to be a part of her life when she needed support.
After that, I cared for my cousin, a friend’s grandmother, and a neighbor until finally joining a caregiving agency where I worked as a caregiver and in various management capacities. Earlier this year, I joined the 24 Hour Home Care team as a Client Care Consultant to oversee the quality of our services.
What’s something you learned as a family caregiver?
As a family caregiver, I learned that we are all just people, and will one day need help from others for our daily living. For many of the clients I see, it’s hard for them to accept the help, but I try to think of it like this “they have given so much to others throughout their lives and now, it is time for others to give back and help them in any way we can.”
What is 24 Hour Home Care’s “Care Concierge” program?
The 24 Hour Home Care “Care Concierge” program is a quality assurance check to make sure ongoing clients are happy with their in-home care services. It offers direct in-person follow-ups (made by Clara) to gather client feedback and check-in on how client and caregiver pairs are doing. Virtual meetings are also offered if clients feel more comfortable with this format.
What is it like checking in with clients in their home?
Due to COVID-19, many of our clients haven’t had too many visitors during the past few years. They are often excited to see me and give their feedback. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to connect with them face-to-face.
What is your favorite part about working in the in-home care industry?
Working in this industry for nearly 20 years, I feel fulfilled and complete. To do this work, you really need to have a big heart and lots of compassion. I’ve seen people turn 101, and I’ve also seen many people at the end of their lives, but knowing I was able to help them in some of their last days is rewarding.
What’s a life lesson you’ve learned from your career?
It’s important for caregivers to also care for themselves — after an emotionally taxing day, make sure to talk it out with your support system, take a break, pause, meditate and re-charge how you need to.
I’ve built great relationships with some of the people I’ve worked with over the years, and a huge life lesson here is that you cannot wait for things, life has a special urgency to it. Time is of the essence and life is short and dear so do with that what you will and make each second count.