Valerie Akeyo is a soft-spoken woman with many strengths. Originally from Tanzania, she came to the United States in 2001 with her husband and children. They lived in Kansas and Indiana before settling in Seattle. As a child in Tanzania, Valerie helped care for her grandmother and always felt that helping others would be her life’s work. Valerie has been a caregiver with Family Resource Home Care since 2012 and for the first 1 ½ years worked full-time with one client. She grew close to the client’s family and when the client passed away, Valerie was able to provide comfort to the family, especially to the client’s daughter. “It was very hard to see what the family went through,” said Valerie, “and I was happy I could be there to help.”
Valerie now works full-time with a client in his late 50’s who has a spinal cord injury. She has training to work with people with this type of injury and each day helps him with personal care and tasks of daily living. Valerie believes that it is important for her client to stay as active as possible. In addition to helping him with his exercises she takes him shopping and to his physical therapy appointments. “My client also likes to talk a lot and he is curious about my life. He asks me many questions about my life in Tanzania,” said Valerie.
Valerie enjoys her work as a caregiver. “I truly like taking care of people,” said Valerie, “and I like to learn new things. Since my clients are usually older than me, when they talk to me and tell me their stories, I am able to learn from their experiences. Every day when I say good-bye to my client, I hope that I have helped him. I want to be able to help him reach his potential so that he can be who he wants to be.”