What Makes a CAREGiver: Kathy LaFone

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By Home Instead Senior Care of Chapel Hill

Kathy LaFone.jpgHome Instead Senior Care of Chapel Hill has more than 70 CAREGivers on staff, and no two are alike. Each one brings his or her own unique personality, experience, and passion to work every day. Defining the requirements of the job is not an easy task. Advanced education or certifications don’t necessarily get the job done. It’s not about making a buck. It’s about making a difference in someone else’s life and having a personal connection with the client. Today, we’ll spotlight one of our CAREGivers, Kathy LaFone, who exemplifies what makes a CAREGiver.

Kathy actually started as a client of Home Instead Senior Care back in 2007. Her husband, Tim, was dealing with a neurological disease and needed help with things like transportation and general companionship while Kathy was working. Home Instead Senior Care assisted Tim for a few years and then helped transition him to a long-term care facility when his condition became more acute. “They really helped me put together the pieces of his care,” Kathy said. “It was like putting together a quilt of care for him.” 

After retiring from her career as an educator to care for Tim, Kathy found herself with free time as Tim settled into his new routine. Missing her work life and not being one to rest on her laurels, Kathy contacted Home Instead Senior Care about becoming a CAREGiver. “We were absolutely thrilled to have Kathy come on board,” said Chapel Hill Franchise Owner Stephen Lair. “Because we already knew Kathy as a client, we had a good idea of what kind of CAREGiver she’d be and started matching her with clients very quickly.”

As a CAREGiver, Kathy is known for being good at finding what’s important to each of her clients and making a connection with them. She is warm, caring, calm, and listens well. “I’m happy when I can make someone else happy,” said Kathy. “I just listen, pay attention, let them vent if they want to, and keep smiling.”

Society often discounts older people, but Kathy recognizes that people of all ages have gifts. One of her clients writes poetry and reads it to Kathy when she visits. “My clients’ fierceness inspires me,” Kathy said. “They’re determined to stay home and keep living life. It’s a privilege for me to be able to join them on their journey.” Another of Kathy’s clients recently agreed to join her for a walk after being unable to for nearly a year. “I just respect their space and meet them wherever they are.”

Home Instead Senior Care of Chapel Hill is proud to salute Kathy LaFone for the example she sets at our company, being a part of the “quilt of care” for so many others. On behalf of our team and our clients, we thank her for her service to the seniors in our community.


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