Vivian Huddleston: A Career of Caring
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
BURLINGAME — When asked how she got involved in the home care industry, Vivian Huddleston traces her motivation back to a set of personal experiences. “In 2003, my husband was injured in a terrible accident that necessitated a six-month recovery period,” she recounts. “During that time, I went through quite a few caregivers, many of whom didn’t know how to properly do things like use a gait belt for transferring or give a bath. I ended up going back to school so I could get the training to care for my husband myself.”
While her husband’s predicament alerted her to the lack of quality in-home care providers, it was the influence of an elderly loved one that inspired her to get professionally involved. “My grandmother lived until she was 100, and she was independent up until the very end,” she tells. “Before she passed, she told me I should start a senior care business and call it Rise & Shine and Sweet Dreams, quipping, ‘We old folks only need two hours in the morning and two hours at night.’ Being semi-retired with a background in business, I started to think seriously about her suggestion. I contacted a few friends and we put our heads together. It wasn’t long before we started a small homecare business.”
Today, as Director of Home Care Management at Huddleston Care In-Home & Around Town Service, Vivian says her favorite part of her job is interacting with others. “I love working with people who are honest, sincere, mindful and empathetic. These are the qualities I look for when I hire staff, and they’ve been the foundation upon which I’ve built my business.” Vivian has also taken her grandmother’s recommendations to heart, offering “Rise & Shine” and “Sweet Dreams” services, each consisting of a two-hour visit in the morning or evening.
A lifetime Bay Area resident, Vivian expresses her appreciation for the beauty and diversity of the local landscape. “I love hiking in the mountains and spending time at the ocean,” she says. She also likes having her family nearby. “My son, my two sisters, and our parents all live in close proximity, which enables us to do a lot of outings and get-togethers.”
When asked what her life would look like if she were to retire tomorrow, Vivian says she’d continue to serve others in more of a hands-on capacity. “I love what I do so much that I hope to work forever, but if I retired from management, I’d probably be a caregiver. I’d be out there in the field doing all the things my staff does on a daily basis.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: Ever read a book more than once?
A: “The Learning Journey: Absorbing Life’s Lessons” by June Lamb, one of my mentors.
Q: What’s your favorite season?
A: Spring—Beginning of anew.
Q: If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Clean out my closet.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for dessert?
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A: Vanilla ice cream.