When asked about his favorite part of caregiving, Mike Maday pauses. “You want me to pick one?”

Maday, a Care Manager at Lakeview Methodist Health Care Center in Fairmont, Minnesota, has been a caregiver for thirty years. Being faithful and humble in his work, and making residents smile and feel happy, are some of the things Maday enjoys about his profession. “I want to be an extended part of [their] family if I can. I don’t want [them] to feel like a stranger.”

Watching what his elderly family members were going through and wanting to help them inspired Maday to pursue a career caring for seniors, and he is always looking for ways to make care even better. “After a few years, you learn how to tweak a program to your liking so you’re able to do it better than when you first started.”

Maday says a challenging aspect of his job can be learning the wants and needs of new residents. “Sometimes [they are not] able to express what they want to you at first until they get to know you.”

Being a caregiver has made Maday think of life and aging differently. “You don’t know what it’s like until you’ve experienced it. It’s not something that can be learned from a textbook on how it should be—a textbook can give you the basics of it, but as far as the knowing and the compassion of it, you have to be there and experience it yourself.”

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Posted on 03/01/2017