of the Month Deborah Kling stands in awe of her clients, learning about their
strength, perseverance and faith as they traveled life’s paths that weren’t
clients’ accounts of a different era are the best part of the job. I get the
chance to hear about their journeys, the Great Depression and World War II. By
comparison, our generation has it good. Jobs are plentiful, especially when you
look back to the late 1920s and the 1930s. I admire my clients,” said Deborah,
who started with owner Kelly Hutchison’s award-winning Home Instead Senior Care®
franchise in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, on April 5, 2017.
especially admires the long marriages, some of them 60 years or more. “I see
couples who really love each other. They are beautiful, and I have cried when I
see the devotion. One thing I love is when they poke fun at each other in a
humorous, entertaining way. They do it without animosity,” said Deborah, who
was honored as CAREGiver of the Month for June while primarily working
taken care of more than 30 seniors, and each one is very special to me. For the
most part, seniors want to be around other people, even if they are quietly
sitting on the couch. There is loneliness, and that can be true with just about
anyone, young or old,” added Deborah, who is a full-time nanny for a
been Deborah’s passion to work with seniors and children. The Chicago-area
native, who lived in Arizona for a time, was a volunteer whose fascinating
projects included helping special-needs teachers, teaching special-education
classes and working in hospitals and senior centers.
taught 3- to 5-year-old special-needs children and some kindergarten classes. There
is such a shortage of people who want to work in special-needs education. The
school district put me through training, and I did that work for eight years,”
Deborah explained. “Among other things, I also led field trips to senior
pointed out that since she was a young child, she has loved being a caregiver.
“I was never a family caregiver with my grandparents, but our family always was
helping people. Professional senior care is a new avenue, although I had
volunteered at senior centers,” she said.
be honest, during the first two months with Home Instead, I thought it might be
too emotionally taxing to lose a client. Children grow up, and you often lose
that caregiving job when they start school, but this is obviously different. I
trained myself to try to keep a balance with a healthy distance in emotions.
You have to approach the job in the right way. One of my personal philosophies
is, ‘If it doesn’t challenge you, it
doesn’t change you.’ ”
assisted a 104-year-old client for five months before she died. “She could have
passed for someone who was 75 or 80 – she was still using a walker. I did her
hair and made her look pretty. Small things made her happy – we’d go outside
and watch the rabbits in the yard. I was very grateful for the chance to be
with her. Toward the end, I’d hold her hand and talk. It was interesting to see
how she handled life. She was cute, like a lot of seniors who approach
everything with humor,” Deborah noted. “On our final Saturday, I let a family
member know toward the scheduled end of my shift that I didn’t think she was
going to make it through the end of the day and I stayed until she passed.”
franchise selected Deborah for hospice training, which is part of its ongoing
training curriculum. “You can’t let yourself be dominated by sorrow. There are
still family members to console. Many seniors are not afraid of dying. I’ve
heard, ‘I am ready. I am not scared.’ I believe depression is a bigger
challenge than a fear of death,” Deborah said.
key to any caregiving, Deborah said, is patience. “If you don’t have it, senior
care won’t work. It is not for everyone because there are quirks to understand.
Sometimes even the family members don’t understand their senior loved ones’
behaviors. One sweet lady spent an hour showing me her house, and she kept
doing that each shift. It made her happy, and she was smiling and sweet. That’s
all I can ask for. Once I’m there with a client, they ask for me all the time.
It makes me happy to be wanted. It feels great to click with them,” Deborah
prompted me to get into this line of work as a second part-time job was reading
Facebook posts about a high school friend, Elyse Wagner, and the CAREGiver of
the Month award she received. It was so heartwarming. I told Elyse I was
interested in becoming a CNA like her, and she told me to apply with Home
Instead Senior Care,” Deborah said.
is now the franchise’s human resources recruiter. I absolutely love my job. I
am blessed to be able to work with Home Instead. I always had wanted to be a
nurse, and this isn’t that far off. Looking to the future, I want this to be
part of my life. The office is wonderful, super nice. I’d also like to turn
this job into other opportunities. Hopefully down the road, I would be able to
teach and train others.”
All Home Instead Senior Care
CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries
about employment, please call (847) 690-9825 or apply online to start your CAREGiver career. For further information visit our about Home Instead Senior Care website.
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Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.