At Juniper Homecare, often a job turns into more than a job. And for the people who come to Juniper Homecare for help, a stranger often turns into a friend. “Mary* says to me I’m like her daughter, her second daughter,” said Valentina Dukaleva, who is employed by Juniper Homecare to provide companion services. Mary is one of her clients, and her help each week enables Mary to stay in the home she loves. “I used to take care of myself,” said Mary. “I raised my beautiful daughter by myself without any help after I got divorced when she was a child.”

While Mary and her daughter, now married with a child, are close and “she and her family help me a lot, they are busy with their work and can’t assist me as often as I need,” Mary said. “I never thought I would need a stranger to take care of me. But I’m so glad I have this ‘stranger’ from Juniper Homecare.”  Valentina said she and Mary “have gotten very close. I often find myself checking up on her or going to visit her when it’s not our scheduled time.”  Of course there’s always plenty to do during scheduled visits. Like all Juniper Homecare companions, Valentina’s goal is to perform tasks and provide support. “Valentina takes me shopping and on medical appointments,” said Mary. “One of the best parts is the time we spend walking in Elizabeth Park.”

Valentina said her experiences shared with Mary and other clients are very rewarding. “I get to do things for them that really make a difference. It’s not just about making money.” Juniper Homecare also provides Mary with someone to do housekeeping services. “She is very neat. She does a perfect job in my home. I feel really comfortable with both my caregivers.” Mary said that one of the best parts is the flexibility of working with Juniper Homecare. “Sometimes I have an emergency doctor’s appointment, and Valentina is able to assist me on very short notice. “I am so amazed with the ‘girls’ from Juniper Homecare. This is such a relief for my daughter,” Mary said. “She knows that I am well taken care of and that she doesn’t need to worry about me.”

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