Home Instead of Central Oregon 2016 CAREGiver of the Year!


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​​Home Instead is always looking for great people to join our team.

Are you looking for a job where you can make the world a better place one shift at a time?

Read on if you would like to learn more about one of the Home Instead Angels out in the world making it better! 

These angels we call CAREgivers seem to have a greater purpose while inhabiting this earthly life. They touch lives and they quite literally change the world, one kind act at a time. 

Should you find yourself in the presence of one of these angels, you will discover their magic. It’s a magic that reminds us of what our hearts want to feel. It’s a magic with spiritual like properties that grab our attention reminding us to be joyful and laugh. It’s a magic that is thankful and kind. It’s a magic that unselfishly loves others. It is patient and forgiving.  It is passionate. It has a name.  Martha! Martha is Home Instead Senior Care of Central Oregon’s CAREGiver of the year for 2016! 

When tasked with describing Martha’s 13 years of service caring for well over 100 clients, I decided a lunch meeting was in order. Explaining to Martha that I was in pursuit of stories to share with new CAREGivers, she quickly agreed to the meeting. What I walked away with was far greater than anything I would have imagined. I was soon to be left speechless and in awe of the one person that we believe should receive the most special Home Instead recognition of all. 
Running a few minutes behind schedule, Martha quickly seated herself in the booth across from me. She adjusted her hair apologizing for being a bit disheveled but explaining she came from swimming with her client. 

Once we placed our orders, I asked Martha to describe for me some of her fondest memories. She immediately jumped into a story about a client who loved to dance. Unfortunately, Martha could not dance but she loved her client well enough to dance with her joyfully as others looked on. She spoke fondly of their dancing adventures and was saddened when her client’s condition deteriorated. She found herself struggling to convince her to shower and recalls bribing her with chocolate or pretty scarves. When that was unsuccessful, she would remind her dear client that she needed to look nice so that people would watch her dance. Feeling sad as I listened on, Martha looked me directly in the eye and stated, “as long as I’m living, and they are alive, I can make a difference”.

As we enjoyed our lunch, Martha gazed out the window recalling a time she was leaving a facility. Preparing to back out of her parking space she noticed someone standing directly behind her car. Startled, she got out of her car and realized it was a resident standing there, sad and crying. The lady explained how she disliked where she lived, but wanted Martha to know that she made it better for her. Because this was not one of her clients, Martha had no idea she had impacted this lady’s life. But as she was driving home, Martha took comfort in knowing she had made a difference.

With tears in our eyes, Martha launched into her next memory about her sweet MaryAnn. You see, Martha and MaryAnn had a mission….”Teach the world to laugh one person at a time”. Once again with her angelic laugh, Martha stated “At times we didn’t even know what we were laughing about!” Eventually, MaryAnn’s Alzheimer’s advanced and suddenly everything changed. MaryAnn would get all of her silverware out in preparation for the guests that would never come. Martha always went along with the notion and would fuss over what plates they should use. Satisfied that all was well, MaryAnn would go to bed. Martha knew she would put everything away only to start over again tomorrow. It became apparent that MaryAnn needed 24 hour care. Martha was not keen on 24 hour shifts, but agreed to the long shifts stating “we came that far, I couldn’t bail on her now”. Eventually, MaryAnn was moved to a foster home. One evening Martha recognized that her sweet friend was slipping away. Staying by her side, she sang over and over the song her friend loved so much, Amazing Grace. MaryAnn passed that night. As I held a hand over my mouth with tears in my eyes, Martha reminded me “we must always think about what we are doing…as long as we are living, and they are alive, we can make a difference”.

As we ate our lunch, Martha lightened the mood and started giggling. “I remember a fellow that felt a woman’s place was in the kitchen.  He was quite grumpy. Well, we had a problem, because I don’t cook very well”. As she laughed out loud she told me of a time when she served him a meal stating “Please let me know if you don’t know what it is and I will tell you”. She recalls seeing a hint of a smile. She later heard from family how dearly he cared for her.
As Martha thoughtfully enjoyed her lunch she then excitedly blurted out “Barbara was so much fun!” With wide eyes, I knew I was in for another special story. “She had Alzheimer’s and liked to eat a lot! We would have desert for lunch! She used to be a fashion model you know. I would walk behind her and mimic her runway walk.  She taught me how to model. And she had such beautiful hands. Oh how we would laugh. I miss her so much”.

I asked Martha what inspired her to keep going in spite of the heartache. She said “I cry for them, but through the heartbreaks, there is someone out there waiting for me. I might be exactly what someone needs, if for only one shift. And, it might just be that one shift that makes all the difference in their life. I never make it about me. I just remember that as long as I am living, and they are alive, I can make a difference”.

Martha warmly hugged me and as she departed I sat in my car inspired by her many unselfish acts. Martha unknowingly took me to an ever deeper space of clarity around what Home Instead Senior Care stands for.  Martha confirmed for me that she is indeed an angel. She stands for everything that Home Instead stands for. You see, to her this is personal and…. To us, it’s personal. 

Martha impacted my life and I will always recall her words “As long as I am living, and they are alive, I can make a difference”.

If this story inspires you and you would like a job like Martha has please contact our office at: 541-330-6400. For more CAREGiver celebrations follow us on facebook at: www.facebook.com/homeinsteadbend. 

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