Caregivers like April are talented when it comes to taking care of people, especially for their families. But April was able to take her talents a little further. April now has her own business centered around being a caregiver and is succeeding in more ways than one.
By April Fan
My baby is not quite 4-weeks-old when my sister sends an email that simply states, “Mom has Parkinson’s disease.” I’m instantly choked up. I try to read the email a second time thinking that maybe I misread it. Before I realize it, I can’t see the screen anymore; there are too many tears silently rolling down my face. My baby is nestled in my arms without an ounce of fear, yet a gush of terror is flowing throughout my entire body.
Time for a Caregiver already?
My parents have just reached retirement age and now this? I stumble onto the web for information on what to do next and I get frustrated, really frustrated. Competing against dietitians along the western states, I was awarded the “Clinical Dietitian of the Year” for 2003 and 2005. I’ve cared for seniors for over a decade and right now I can’t find simple direction to help my ailing parents.
With determination I think, “I will make a difference.” I pluck out my bucket list – you know, the list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket – and I scribble on the bottom:
• Own a business.
• Have freedom to help my family.
It’s time for this ball of fire to pool all of her resources and experiences together. I will create a senior resource website that makes sense of all this “stuff.” That way, any baffled adult child out there will be able to care for their aging parents without doing it alone.
I decided that whenever I nurse my baby, I will use the pockets of time to work on my business. I’ll call it “rockin’ and writin’” and use the phrase as a constant reminder to help my mom. Thinking to myself, “There’s no reason I can’t succeed with this,” I decided that I will launch my website when my baby turns one.
I gather my strength and pour my energy into what I do well. I willingly accept the position as a juggling caregiver for my two sons and now, my parents. I live out of my comfort zone for a year … on purpose. I have an epiphany regarding my negative naysayers, the people who don’t believe in me; none of it matters as long as I know that my parents and my kids have faith in me.
For years I would consult up to 200 seniors at any given time. I conducted hundreds of family meetings, I knew exactly what the families wanted, and I gave them the information and support they needed. I have the experience and the know-how to pursue this new endeavor and am inspired by the fact that I have the potential to touch more families through my business than I could ever accomplish at any of these meetings.
Flash forward to today, caregiver through my website
My baby is 13-months-old, SeniorResourceCentral.com has launched and is up and running. Mom looks the same and still spends a lot of time in the kitchen cooking my favorite Chinese dishes. She declines any help as she persistently stuffs the wonton skins, ignoring the tremors in her hands; this is where I get my perseverance.
Am I out of my league? It doesn’t matter. I’ve developed an incredible backbone for entrepreneurship and am making huge progress daily – not bad since I came into this knowing nothing about websites or the world of business.
I’m excited about the future of my company and my family, and am so glad I’m not living a status quo existence. I took a tough situation and turned it around to help myself, my family, and the many, many other people out there who are already receiving the benefit of my expertise. As I take charge of my new life and my new business, I know that I now have so much more than just “Fridays” to look forward to.
I am a Power Woman.
April answers the Identity 5:
What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
I keep thinking that my plate is always too full to accomplish the things off my bucket list. However, it’s crazy how I will make time for the things that I really love and/or enjoy.
What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
I really love people. As a healthcare professional, I love the part of sending the “healthy” patient back out into the world. I naturally want to nurture my family and patients. It gives me a sense of appreciation in my life.
What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
I started my own business just months after my second son was born. I would hold him in my arms as I worked in front of the computer typing down all my dreams and goals for the world to see. I would like to branch out to other countries. Caregiving is universal.
What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?
Sometimes I turn into a cranky mom, my patience gets tested every day. My imperfections created a more down-to-earth girl that tames my caregiving tasks down to a more simple level.
How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my family…wouldn’t change one a thing.
All of Identity’s October articles will be representing the Charity, Sole Ryeders. Sole Ryeders will be raising money for a fund to supply Breast BFFL Bags to the under-served in White Plains, NY at White Plains Hospital. Tax Deductible donations can be made directly to the hospital or Sole Ryeders. Please feel free to make a donation below.