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Open Arms Academy

Caregiver summer series: Nikki Arana

What inspired you to be a caregiver?
Before becoming a caregiver 15 years ago, I was working as a housekeeper in a retirement community. I saw caregivers taking care of residents and became interested. I love to help people.

What is your favorite part about being a caregiver?
My favorite part about being a caregiver is forming meaningful relationships with aging adults. There is one woman I have been taking care of for three to four years, Muriel, who I am particularly fond of; every Christmas she gives me a letter telling me how grateful and appreciative she is of my care. It reminds me that the work I do makes a difference.

What are some challenges you have as a caregiver?
The greatest challenges I have are caring for aging adults who get sick or have mood changes. It is also challenging at times to begin caring for someone new – it takes time to get to know the people you care for.

What lessons have you learned being a caregiver?
Be humble and respectful and enjoy life while you can. The people I care for enjoy life but are limited. Still, they remind me that no matter what, life is beautiful.

What do you like most about working for Open Arms Solutions?
The teamwork. The nurses and care coordinators I work with are wonderful. I can go to them with any problem I have and they will solve it.

What are two words you would use to describe yourself?
Friendly and outgoing.

What are you most looking forward to this summer?
My sister, who I have not seen for 10 years, is coming to Chicago with her kids. I am looking forward to spending time with them.


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