Honoring our 2017 CAREGiver of the Year: Rena K.


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CAREGiving is not a second career for this person.  This is who this person has always been; this is who this person is.  This CAREGiver does not see themself as being remarkable, but those around this person most certainly do!

So, who is this CAREGiver?  This person is a helpful, caring and loving human being who lives their life with purpose.  This person is a parent with struggles of their own.  This person is a soon-to-be, first-time Grandparent.  This person is a friend to many.

This CAREGiver is............................ RENA KIRTLAND!

Rena shines most brightly when she spends time with her full-time Client Kathy, and Kathy’s husband Gary.  Kathy has multiple sclerosis, and the profound impact Rena has made directly in Kathy’s life and indirectly in Gary’s life is immeasurable.  Back in September of 2016 when Rena was selected as CAREGiver of the Month, Gary had shared the following:

“Kathy and I wanted to share the following thoughts regarding Rena and her many gifts that she shares with us every time she is with us.

If you were to take a few cupsful of Mother Theresa, a half cup of Maya Angelou, several tablespoons of Oprah Winfrey, a teaspoon of Joan of Arc, and several dashes of Gilda Radner, you have the beginning makings of this incredible concoction that speaks to the many wonders of Ms. Rena Kirtland.  She’s serious, she’s a riot. She’s bright and unassuming.  She’s experienced and anticipates problems before they emerge.  In a nutshell, she is gifted and has been a true angel sent to us to get us through each day with our living with multiple sclerosis.  We look forward to many years of her being part of our everyday lives.”

Fast forward to one and a half years later, and here we are in 2018.

In March of last year, Rena was once again honored as CAREGiver of the Month.  As time marches on and as Kathy’s MS has advanced, Rena’s impact has become even more evident.  Gary’s heartfelt words reflect this:

“My wife Kathy has suffered from multiple sclerosis for over 43 years.  Rena has been her caregiver for almost the past four of those years.

My wife cannot transfer, stand or walk; Rena enables her to move about using a patient lift.

My wife cannot hold a knife, fork or spoon; Rena is her knife, fork and spoon.

My wife cannot move her legs or change position; Rena is always there to adjust and reposition her pillows.

My wife has difficulty speaking; Rena is her interpreter.

My wife has fantasies of having her hair done, her nails trimmed and painted; Rena is her chauffer and personal scheduler to ensure that she gets to the salons so she can look pretty and nice.

Despite the setbacks thrown at her from every direction, my wife has resolve; Rena Kirtland is the reason for Kathy’s joy in waking up each morning, and thanks to Rena, Kathy is able to experience life and all that’s in it.”

Even perfect strangers have taken notice!  We received a mailed letter from a Mrs. Lovelady, describing what she witnessed in Rena’s loving care of Kathy:

“What can I possibly say to you or your organization to explain how emotional I felt last Tuesday when I had lunch at the Spaghetti Factory.  I was seated next to this delightful lady who was the caregiver to Kathy, a beautiful lady with MS.  I’m speaking of RENA KIRTLAND!  Never in my lifetime have I witnessed a more caring, loving and professional caregiver, ever, than Rena.  I observed as Rena talked to Kathy, fed her lovingly, as Kathy reacted by smiling and I could feel the safe and secure feeling Kathy had for Rena.  I really cannot explain how deeply this experience has affected me emotionally.  Please let Rena know how much I appreciate and love her and how I know the good Lord will reward her.  This experience certainly speaks well for your organization!”

What beautiful, warm-hearted and honest testimonials!

We take pride in the level of professionalism Rena displays and we are grateful for the personal touches she offers, which are equally important.  But it’s the DIGNITY in the care given by Rena that stands out to us the most:   Rena treats Kathy as “one of the girls, out-and-about sharing adventures and enjoying life.”

In the nearly 10 years with Home Instead Senior Care, not only does Rena reflect Sherry’s and my Core Values - by endeavoring to honor God in everything that she does; to treat others with dignity and respect; to be the best trained most professional CAREGiver providing the highest quality of service in the industry, and doing what is ethical and right for our company and for our Clients; possessing that “can do,” do whatever it takes to get the job done attitude – but one can clearly see, when caring for her Client, Rena Kirtland is Living Home Instead by Building Trust, Taking the Lead and Sharing her Heart – and oh, what a heart she has!

Quality Care is what Rena provides.  Quality of Life is what Rena strives for, for her Client.  Peace of Mind is what her Client’s loved ones receive with Rena in their lives.

As we age, “It takes a Village” still.  Rena understands this; Rena lives this. We are truly blessed to have CAREGiver Rena Kirtland on our TEAM!

Congratulations, Rena Kirtland!

         - Paul & Sherry Dzuiban (#146 Franchise Owners)

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