After a nearly 40-year career at Hanesbrands, you might think Willie Hill would be ready to step away from the workplace. But it turns out, Willie was lost without a job to go to. “I’ve just never been a person to sit down,” she says. One day while visiting the offices of Piedmont HomeHealth, where her daughter worked as a caregiver while going to nursing school, Willie joked with the staff that they should give her a job too. “I guess it wasn’t too much of a joke, because they hired me on as a caregiver too!” Willie says.
For ten years, Willie has been a vital part of the Piedmont HomeHealth team of caregivers, bringing her unique personality and love of learning to the job and helping many families along the way.
“I give my clients respect, passion and love,” Willie says. “I feel the best way to care for people is to get to know them, and have fun together.” For Willie, that means finding things in common that she and her clients can enjoy. With one of her male clients they watched sports together, debating over the ref’s calls and cheering together when their team won. With her current client, when they’re together during the day they enjoy doing word puzzles together and watching the hummingbirds and squirrels out the breakfast room window. “When I get on my shift, which is usually nights right now, I got back to the bedroom and talk with her a few minutes, and she says ‘I just feel so safe when you’re here.’ That makes me feel good,” Willie says.
Taking time to get to know her clients is just one aspect of learning that’s important to Willie. She also works continually to increase her knowledge of healthcare issues and technical aspects of the job. She took it upon herself to get her CNA license shortly after joining Piedmont HomeHealth, in order to understand her role better and bring more knowledge to the job. “Going to school helped me know more about what my clients were going through and how I could better serve them,” Willie says.
She also appreciates the classes offered through Piedmont HomeHealth. “Inservices on topics such as Alzheimer’s awareness and safety issues are very important,” Willie says. “Safety comes first, and it’s important to know how to do things the correct way, such as turning a patient in the bed, so you don’t injure yourself and you keep them safe and comfortable.”
Whether she’s caring for her 6-year old granddaughter during the day or her 90-year old client at night, Willie gives her all to everyone in her life. “I just treat everyone the way the Lord wants us to treat people,” Willie says.