Tuesday, September 2, 2014

CSA Spotlight, Nakia Street

As a young girl, I had always enjoyed being around older adults. My brothers and I loved going to grandma’s house because we knew that something exciting was going to happen there. Strange, I know, but Grandma El was in a class by herself. Grandma’s house was the best! She had all kinds of pictures, whatknots, stories to tell, and her circle of friends were down-right funny. The laughter and joy of them telling old stories of “you remember when?” would fill the room. I can remember imagining myself being right there with them on their journey, as they told their stories. Before you knew it, the house was full of friends, family and food. OMG, the food was great!

Even as an adult, I still find myself socializing and leaning more toward seniors. Volunteering in senior centers when I find the time is a must. It’s something about the wisdom and knowledge they have to share that I just can’t get enough of. My mother is the same way. She has been a Private Duty Nurse/Caregiver and is well-respected in the community. She is the only woman I know that has a waiting list of potential employers ready to hire her as a Private Duty Caregiver. No kidding around! They want “Bobbie Street” to take care of their parents. She has made lasting impressions on every person she has met over the years. I watched her walk, how she talked to people, and how she cared for whomever she came into contact with, and I modeled after her. As the years went by, I often thought of how to turn this into a family business. Yes, I’m my own little Duck Dynasty. Taking something your parents started and pushing it to the next level. Now, I’m nowhere near the millions Phil Robertson is bringing in but the concept is there and it’s in the stages of something great. So I completed LPN school in 1999, Registered Nurse degree in 2002, worked several years in Assisted Living which led to my provisional licensure as a Category II Specialty Care Assisted Living Administrator, and finally the Certification as a Certified Senior Advisor, which sealed the deal. Now, since the necessary tools are in place, it’s time to start this business. 

As of today, I am the owner of Divine Help In Home Care & Assistance, LLC. “A Ministry of Helps for Senior Care”. I knew eventually I would have to make the decision to leave my current position as Program Director of a local non-profit to fulfill the calling and destiny in my life full time. It was not an easy decision, to step out on faith and leave sure ground. I think I cried the first six months of leaving my job and remember thinking what have I done? Finally, the tables turned in my favor and I began to get referrals, clients, and formed a community and networking partnerships in rural Northeast Alabama. Truly, I would not take anything from my journey, thus far. 

Working with seniors and the aging population is more ministry to me and not just a job or career. Everybody can’t do this. It takes a special person to work with special people. We all have been given a gift and I have been given the gift of helps and love every minute of it. Some of my friends ask me, “Girl, how in the world can you do that?” and my reply is, “I’m working in my gift”. It’s easy to do what you love and what you have been gifted to do. My words of advice is to cherish and love the senior population because they have paved the way for so many of our hopes and dreams. Honor them for their sacrifices and you will be honored days to come. Give to them and it will be given unto you. There is so much wisdom packed in their spirits and you would be crazy not to draw from those deep wells and reservoirs. Oh what a joy it is to help seniors and families. Their eyes have seen so many hills, mountains and even valleys. Take advantage of every opportunity they give you to learn and draw from them. 

So, what led me to CSA certification and education? In our line of work, education and networking is key to the success of our business and maintaining clients. I have held this certification since 2011 and it looks great on my resume or when I’m speaking to potential clients who want to know more about my background. Even with 20 years of experience in nursing and caregiving, this certification only expanded my knowledge about senior care, Social Security, Medicare benefits and how to help with primary caregiver issues. The support of the staff and website tools are excellent resources for my clients and necessary for the growth of my business. I will continue to hold this certification and encourage others in my field to do so as well. 

Nakia Street, CSA 
Certified Senior Advisor 
Assisted Living Administrator- Category II 
Divine Help In Home Care & Assistance, LLC. - Owner 
"A Ministry of Helps for Senior Care"


Nakia was featured in the July 2014 Senior Spirit newsletter.
 
Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors