It was 2 a.m. The amazing aroma of freshly baked pecan pie was wafting through the house. The sweet smell awoke the Home Instead Senior Care® client's husband, who shuffled into the kitchen and wearily asked his wife and CAREGiver of the Month Angelica Foreman: "What in the world are you all doing?" Angelica's client sheepishly confessed: "I had pecan pie on my mind." The husband sighed, turned to Angelica with a half-smile and said: "You didn't have to do this."
But Angelica's client didn't have to twist an arm to get Angelica to do the baking. Said Angelica: "I wanted to do it, but I had never made pecan pie. She told me how to make the pie, where everything was. She had bought the pecans at a store and had them in the refrigerator. The next night I took home some pecan pie. My mom's favorite pie was pecan."
Sadly, Angelica knew that time with her client quickly running out. The hospice client, who was in her 60s and was battling cancer, loved Angelica's presence during those night shifts that lasted nearly a year. "It hurt to lose her. She looked forward to seeing me each night because on some nights she was really down. She talked to me and asked about my grandkids. My life was part of her," Angelica recalled.
After her client died, her husband visited with the staff at Home Instead Senior Care franchise that serves Northern Shenandoah Valley from its office in Winchester, Virginia. As a result, Angelica was presented with the franchise's Hand and Heart Award for her extraordinary care and compassion. Angelica had been through a similar situation as a family caregiver.
"With the medical prognosis, we knew client Betty was going to die. It happened with my mom, too," said Angelica, who took care of her mother for 18 years before she passed away Oct. 6, 2014, at age 74. "I had my mother full time except for when I went on vacation. When that happened, I had a friend stay with her as a private-duty caregiver. Later, that friend joined Home Instead Senior Care and told me about her experience as a CAREGiver."
On Nov. 25, 2015, Angelica joined Home Instead Senior Care. "I enjoy my job. I like my clients and have kept the same clients. I feel I've been fortunate because my clients have been good ones," Angelica explained. "When I'm taking care of them, my mom is in the back of my mind."
Angelica said the Home Instead Senior Care training was good, and she noted the personal-care class leads to state accreditation. "Nurse Carol does a really good job and keeps an eye out for potential clients who would be a good match for me, and she's been right. She did the home evaluation with my late client and said, 'You'll love her, Angelica,' and I did."
Angelica, who takes fill-in shifts when she can, has been assisting an 89-year-old widower for more than a year and loves working her four night shifts each week with the 24/7 client who lives in his own home. "There will be a time of celebration in December," Angelica said, "because that's when he will turn 90."
"He is a very nice guy. Lately, he has been sleeping more during the day. We usually watch Westerns, among them are the John Wayne classics. Occasionally, he asks, 'What do we have to eat?' He likes an ice cream bar or a slice of pumpkin pie before he goes to bed," Angelica said. "He's another example of a good client. These situations make the job fulfilling, as if you are staying with a friend."
All Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call (540) 722-8750 or apply online. For further information about our home care services, please visit Home Instead Senior Care .
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.