Reaching Out With A Helping Hand

How Hayley Chadwell found her passion of taking care of others


Kay Copeland

Hayley Chadwell is passionate for her role as a caregiver.

Kay Copeland, Reporter

Senior Hayley Chadwell has a job that not a lot of teens have. Her job involves late nights, working four days a week, and taking care of the agitated and confused elderly. She has a job that many other teenagers can’t fathom doing, and don’t have the patience and passion to do successfully.

By day, Chadwell is a Liberty student. But by evening, she works as a caregiver for elderly patients with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive mental deterioration that destroys memory and other important mental functions. The main symptoms of Alzheimer’s are memory loss and confusion.

Chadwell’s motivation to become a caregiver was a reason close to her heart, her great-grandmother.

“My great-grandma had Alzheimer’s, so I wanted to go into that field to help the elderly. I didn’t want to work with only Alzheimer’s patients, but once I got there I wanted to work with them specifically.”

Chadwell has been working as a caregiver for around two months. Already, she has gotten attached to her patients, despite the sometimes tough moments she’s experienced with them. 

“Getting them to cooperate can be difficult. They don’t know a lot of stuff sometimes, so they get angry and agitated. But I talk them through it. I love helping them. I get attached very easily. I love it.”

Although Chadwell has been working in this field for a couple months, she has already picked up some tricks to do her job successfully and has advice for other people who are considering going into caregiving.

“You have to have a lot of patience, especially if they’re elderly,” Chadwell said. “You have to be sweet and caring and you have to have a lot of passion for it. You got to have a soft side for them.”

Kids her age have criticized Chadwell for being a caregiver. They call her names such as weird, and are shocked when she talks about her job. However, she doesn’t listen to her critics. She listens to her supporters instead, such as her mom and other understanding adults. Hayley loves caring for Alzheimer’s’ patients, and no one’s opinion is going to stop her any time soon.