There comes a time when many stay-at-home parents decide to re-enter the workforce, and it was that moment in 2019 that brought Michael Gettel-Gilmartin to Sinai In-Home Care.
“A friend of mine had worked here, and she said it would be a great place for me,” said Michael, who recently celebrated his fourth anniversary with Sinai In-Home Care. “The kids were grown and didn’t need me as much, and it seemed like a good time to return to work.
“I think I found my vocation at my late age of almost 60!”
Michael was a volunteer caregiver for three years during university in Exeter, England, where he grew up. “It was a sweet connection with seniors in our community,” he said. “We’d have a cup of tea and chat.”
After graduating with a bachelor of arts in English literature, Michael moved to Japan where he met wife, Marie, an Oregon native. The couple have three boys, and Michael managed the children’s schedules and activities for 20 years.
Michael initially began with one client at Sinai In-Home Care, and now works about 30 hours a week. Currently, he has four clients, all male, ranging in age from 78 to 99. Typical tasks include driving, reading, helping with the computer, dressing, writing cards, going to the store, and helping to organize appointments.
“I just love it,” he said. “I love hearing their stories and I love being able to help them. One of my clients is a World War II veteran and self-made businessman, and he is just a hoot. I just loved him the minute I met him.”
Michael often provides respite care for his clients’ families who do the bulk of in-home care, but sometimes need a break.
“Everybody loves Michael,” said Heather Hess, Sinai In-Home Care interim director. “All of Michael’s clients would love more time with him because he is a man with a heart of gold. He is so dedicated to his clients. Even when he’s away on vacation, he will send emails asking how things are going with his senior friends.”
Added Michael: “It would be a nice thing if I were able to encourage people to try caregiving. I like listening to stories, helping people, and meeting others, so I would 100% recommend this job.
“I like working here. Everyone is very supportive and there’s good training and support.”
For more information about Sinai In-Home Care, call (503) 542-0088.