The story of Oyun "Suzy" Kinney's unforgettable move to the United States nearly 17 years ago has been followed by heartwarming sagas involving the seniors she has assisted on behalf of Home Instead Senior Care® of Elk Grove Village, an award-winning franchise owned by Kelly Hutchison.
Suzy's immigration from her native Mongolia to America was truly an eventful chapter in her life. The first leg of Suzy's trip ended at the Beijing, China, airport, where she scurried to find her flight to the United States. But that was Sept. 11, 2001, in America, the infamous day of the commercial airline terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. When Suzy tried to board her plane, she was turned away because air travel to the United States had been halted.
"I did not speak Chinese and very little English, and I was troubled and confused why I could not fly out. Then I saw on airport televisions what had happened in Manhattan at the Trade Towers and at the Pentagon, and I finally understood. I was stuck in China for about a week or two before I could continue to travel to the United States," Suzy recalled.
Suzy began her American life in Salt Lake City, where she took college language classes and worked at a skilled care community. "I really liked working in the nursing home," pointed out Suzy, who has a strong and clear command of English. After a year, Suzy moved to the Chicago area, where some of her cousins and other relatives live. "I love it here. Chicago is so multi-cultural, and there were familiar faces," said Suzy, who later married and started a family.
Nine years ago, one of Suzy's neighbors talked about her work as a CAREGiver for Home Instead Senior Care of Elk Grove Village. Suzy said she thought, "Why not try? One advantage is that Home Instead had flexible scheduling." She added: "I started working a few hours a week, sometimes weekends. My hours kept increasing; now I am nearly full time with regular clients."
Assisting Home Instead Senior Care clients has made Suzy feel good. In fact, helping people is part of Suzy's family DNA. "Growing up in my native country, families helped each other. Helping people came naturally to me and my family," Suzy explained.
Suzy likes to point out that most clients feel like family because of the Home Instead Senior Care office staffers' skill in matching clients and CAREGivers. "I have had amazing and unforgettable clients. The Home Instead office staff is very wonderful, very good people. They know how to put clients and CAREGivers together. You don't want two completely different personalities together," Suzy said.
"That being said, I have had all kinds of clients with different expectations and experiences. Some have had dementia or other mental challenges. One is blind. Another one needs to be encouraged because he believes some days that no one loves him. Some have been nearly 100 and have been very sharp. I have seen lots of clients move to a care community or pass away. Death is part of life, but it is a sad part of life."
All in all, Suzy said, she really likes what she does and does the best she can. "I can't really think of anything else I would want to do," Suzy said.
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