Meet Kleora Downs, a Personal Care Attendant who has been providing care to people for a little more than a year! Kleora was kind enough to do an interview with CRI Delmont staff and talk about her passion for caring! We hope you enjoy the interview!

 Q: What is your name?

“Kleora Downs.”

Q: What office are you from?

“I’m from a Delmont office.”

Q: Can you tell me about yourself?

“Yeah. I am from Apollo, a small town, and as soon as I graduated high school, I knew I wanted to help people. I wasn’t sure what field I wanted, whether it was nursing or therapy, et cetera. So I started working at a nursing home and I loved it there, but unfortunately, I didn’t like how the residents were being treated. So I left. And then, I started doing home care and that is when I found you guys a Community Resources. I fell in love with your guys’ job. And I just love it. So I enjoy it a lot.”

Q: How did you hear about CRI?

“And I think I heard you guys through online. I’m pretty sure it was online. But I’ve known people that have worked for you guys and stuff like that too. And I’m like, “Wow, this is like, your guys’ company’s a lot more common than I thought.”

Q: How long have you been working for CRI?

“February… Not too long, but in February 8th, will be a year.”

Q: Were there any challenges that you faced while working at CRI?

“When it came to the people that you’re taking care of, they had their likes and dislikes. And sometimes, if they didn’t like how you did something, they would let you know in a not so nice way. But at the same time, I think that’s the worst thing I’ve ever experienced. But I just let them know that I’m sorry. And then, I just keep going off my day. But other than that, though, no, the job’s excellent.”

Q: How did you know this career was for you?

“Well, so if we’re going to back forward a little bit, I took care of my grandma since I was 14. And she passed away last January, but I took care of her since I was 14, all the way up to when I was 21. And I’m 22 now. So when I was taking care of her, I knew I’m just a very nurturing person. That’s what I knew. I just know taking care of people, being there for people, trying to make people feel better. That’s just something I really enjoy doing. And not only just taking care of, but I really want to have people get better. It’s not just maintaining their health. It’s trying to get them better. So I really knew, since I took care of my grandma and then I worked in the nursing home, I knew. And then, at this job as well.”

Q: Why did you choose to become a PCA?

“Well, like I said, when I graduated, I jumped into working for a nursing home. And I got my CNA license through them and then it expired. And then I found you guys. I was like, well, you guys don’t necessarily need to have everyone to have it… They don’t need their CNA license. So I never really thought I had to get a certification or a degree or anything like that. But I do hope one day to get my associates in PT so I can do that as well.”

Q: Has COVID-19 affected you or your job?

“No, if anything, I just worked more hours. And which is not a bad thing, which is not a bad thing at all. Typically, the people that I worked with, they never went out. So now, when I joined your guys’ company, COVID was a little bit more lax. It was still serious, but people that you take care of really don’t go anywhere. You go places for them and you take care of them. So honestly it didn’t really affect me. I still had a job. If anything, we needed more workers to help with people, but no, the job was great.”

Q: What are your hopes for your consumers?

“I just want them… With the consumers I take care of, I love them all and I really do. And I just really want them to get better. Because I see them, some of them declining. It’s something that I can’t prevent or anybody else just what’s going on with them. So if anything, I just hope for the best and they just live happy day to day. And then, when I come in, I really try to… I’m like a bubbly person. I really try (to) be optimistic, cheer them up. If they’re laying in bed and they’re sad, “No, we’re getting up.”

Q: When you are stressed, what kind of things do you like to do to de-stress yourself?

“I actually go to the gym. I go to the gym as much as I can. I have a little one year old son, so I can’t always go when I want. But I go when I can. If I can’t actually go to the gym, I will walk or I’ll do little home workouts or I’ll actually… Yeah, just the gym, honestly.

Q: If your consumer is having a bad day, what can you do to make their day better?

“I will offer them. This happens actually kind of a lot, to be honest, but I will suggest things. If they don’t want to do anything or if I see they’re really sad or something like that, I’ll be like, “Hey, do you want to go play Yahtzee? Do you want to go play pool?” Cause a lot of them have a pool table or they have board games, I’ll offer activities for us to do. And that, all the time, it immediately makes their moods so much better. And it makes me happy. It’s like, “Okay, well, I’m doing something right.”

Community Resources for Independence would like to thank Kleora for this interview with us and also for the dedication, time, effort, and kindness she shows to her consumers.