Lynn Walker has held many titles in her lifetime, daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother, but in 2016 after retiring from her position of 19 years at Smith and Butterfield Office Supply, she decided to take on another role, caregiver. Walker didn’t know just what to do with her time during her first year of retirement. After running into a friend that spoke highly about working as a caregiver, and the freedom that comes with scheduling, Walker decided to give it a try. She was drawn to the idea of working in a position that finally gave her some choices. Walker stated, “The best part of working as a caregiver is the freedom of choice after working a regular job where you don’t have a lot of say in things. Here [Home Instead] I was able to say this is how many hours I can work and so on.” Walker truly enjoys what she does and loves having the freedom to be herself. She added, “I am married, and my husband still works full-time. This gives me the ability to work some during the day and then still have time to do what I need to do when I come home; It takes the pressure off of you.” Walker just celebrated her 71st birthday this month. Her flexible schedule working part-time as a caregiver brings her fulfillment in ways she hadn’t expected.
Walker is the caregiver for VCC’s December Surviving Spouse of the Month, Mary Porter. Mary stated that Lynn has become like a member of the family, noting, “She’s trustworthy and dependable and just couldn’t be no better.” Walker said, “I’ve been with Mary for six years.” She got choked up as she explained, “My mother died of Alzheimer’s after seven years, and I told Mary being with you is like having my mom back.” Right now, Mary is her only client, and she spends a few hours a day, approximately four days a week with her. As her caregiver, Walker will spend part of the time cleaning and cooking or meal prepping, but they love spending time talking and playing their favorite card game. Mary taught Walker to play hand and foot, which is a variation of Canasta.
Home Instead, Owensboro, KY, has been delighted to have Walker as part of their staff. Karen H. of Home Instead, Owensboro, KY, praised Walker stating, “Lynn is an excellent and devoted caregiver who is a joy to be around. She is dedicated to her clients, and we feel blessed to have her as part of the team here at Home Instead.”
When Walker was asked if she would recommend someone going into caregiving, she revealed, “I would definitely recommend it, but if you are going in it just to make money, you won’t do too well. You have to go in with an open mind and an open heart, and a willingness. Not everybody can do this. It’s just not for everyone, but I’m not doing anything that I feel like I am not capable of.” Walker went on to say, “Every client I have had has been a blessing. When you find where you fit, it just works.”
Veterans Care Coordination would like to thank Lynn Walker for her dedication to providing not only the best quality of care but also providing amazing companionship for her clients, especially the Veterans and surviving spouses you work with. You are a true example of the definition of a caregiver.