After working in the health care field for many years, Jena Cruz, the new coordinator for Sulphur Senior Center, has found her niche. She has been in the medical industry working as a private home health aide, CARC employee, direct care worker and has worked with developmentally disabled people.
1. Tell us a bit about your background.
Well I was born and raised here in Sulphur. Two years ago we moved to Westlake to get away from the traffic and we also have a few animals, chickens and goats and such. My husband is Felipe Cruz and we have a 17-year-old daughter, Raylee.
2. What drives you to do this job, working with seniors?
This is my calling — it’s my passion! In this business I’ve noticed that the elderly often get overlooked. But I love my job! In years past I’ve taken breaks from it and I’ve tried other jobs but I always come back.
3. So far how are you liking your new position?
It can be tough taking over a position such as this. So I made it a point for the clients of Sulphur Senior Center to get to know me, to like me, and to give me a chance. I think that I’ve achieved that. My bosses said that at the SPAR Halloween Party recently all my clients were coming up to them and telling them how good they think I’m doing; that they haven’t gotten one bad report the whole time I’ve been here. And that to me is just amazing.
4. What activities do you already have here at the center and what would you like to see added?
I’ve been researching ideas as far as what events I’m hoping to add to our calendar. Currently we have Bingo, a billiard room, quilting and a Bridge group. I would really like to get chair aerobics back again. Another thing I want to see us host is a rummage sale and craft fair with $5 plate lunches for sale. It’s a busy time of year right now so I’m still making plans.
5. What are the rewards you get from your job?
I love the company of our old generation. They are very knowledgeable and I like being friends with them. This is the type of job that when you leave at the end of the day you feel good about yourself — like you might have made a difference in somebody’s life. I just love it!