Congratulations to Mary P. for being named our CAREGiver of the Year for 2019! In total, Mary has provided 16,700+ service hours to senior clients in her caregiving experience.
Following a career in the financial-investments industry, Mary made a change toward something more meaningful and lasting. Knowing that she had a special place in her heart for aging adults, Mary took on a new role as dental assistant in a nursing facility. Her interactions with the residents sparked her desire to help seniors!
She commented that, because she had taken care of her mother, father and stepmother, she always had a caregiver’s heart but didn’t fully realize it until her career change. “My clients can tell right away that I love them because it is genuine.”
For Mary, caregiving is not about the paycheck but rather the reward: how it makes her feel to know that she has helped someone. She added, “It brings me to tears sometimes.”
Today, Mary takes her role as a CAREGiver very seriously, and she knows the importance of being there and being on time for her clients (even in the winter snowstorms!). Furthermore, she never misses trainings or meetings, helped along by the fact that she enjoys learning new things.
of Mary’s clients said to her in a loving way, “You just don’t give up!” It is because of this tenacity that Mary has been able to get this particular client to bathe, following months without a shower. Suffering from chronic depression, this client would typically spend her days on the couch, wishing for God to take her. But Mary finds opportunities in challenging situations, so she committed herself to spending quality time with and getting to know her client. Her commitment and patience paid off because she has helped her client find a little joy in the late stages of life.
In addition to bathing, the client now also goes to her appointments and engages in activities; in fact, Mary has been able to get her interested in word search and crossword puzzles, as well as People magazines. She also helps her client with games on an iPad. Thanks to her never-give-up mindset, Mary was able to convince her client to have her eyes checked so that she could still complete puzzles and play games; as a matter of fact, the client ended up having much-needed cataract surgery.
Another of Mary’s clients was an artist who loved God, but she could not see well. Mary did whatever it took to make sure her client could still enjoy her passions, despite her failing eyesight. Mary’s response was printing off Bible passages, followed by enlarging them and sharing them with her client. Mary would even take her to a local recreation center and a local church, where art classes are taught; these gestures made the client so happy and grateful. As a special touch, Mary even helped to frame her client’s original artwork. Mary said, “Whatever my client likes to do, I’m going to make sure she is able to do it.”
Because of Mary’s leadership abilities, she has created feelings of trust and safety among her clients and their families. One of her clients was recently in a rehab center following surgery, and Mary sat in the discharge planning meeting with the staff, client and family (per the family’s request) to offer insights on how best to get her client back home, which is where the client wanted to be. This particular family continually looks to Mary for guidance in the care of their mother.
Despite being so heavily involved in her clients’ care, Mary delicately balances “ownership” of her clients’ care and the sensitive family-client dynamic. Conscious of not crossing boundaries, Mary carries herself with professionalism, which helps her see and respect clients and family relationships.
Congratulations, Mary, and thank you for everything you do to bring Love (v) into your clients’ lives. We’re blessed to have you on our team.