Linda Compton, a longtime CNA and medication technician, was a caregiving professional when three challenging family caregiving situations came tumbling down on her nearly simultaneously and ultimately resulted in the passing of her mother, husband and oldest brother.
With others assisting her, Linda took care of all three and kept working.
Giving a "for-instance" on how a day would transpire, Linda recalled: "I would get up at 6 a.m. and prepare my husband for the day with my neighbors' help. Then I would go help my mother before going to work. When I was done with work, I would go home and help my husband and then help my mother later in the evening until about midnight or 1 a.m. I got enough sleep and would get everything done. God let me get a little bit of sleep, and it was enough."
Linda's husband died four years ago. "He had multiple challenges, including renal failure and heart trouble," Linda explained. "Mom died five years ago, and my oldest brother died three years ago."
At the time, Linda worked for an agency that sent workers to nursing homes and other facilities. When her husband got sick, Linda had to give up the job because of the traveling that was involved. "My husband's death has left me as a widow for the past four years. But God was wonderful to us, because my husband is not suffering and in fact is in a much better place," Linda said. "God got me through all of it. You need to keep your faith, and God can get you through anything."
Linda had experienced family tragedy long before those recent deaths. More than 35 years ago, she took care of her oldest sister, who died of complications related to diabetes. Her father also died at age 52, when five of his seven children were still at home. "Mom cleaned homes and babysat. We kids never suffered because we grew up with a lot of love. We had a roof over our heads, food on the table and love in our hearts," said Linda, who chose to pursue a profession that would help others.
Many years later – after working in hospitals and facilities, and in homes – Linda found Home Instead Senior Care® of the Northern Shenandoah Valley in Winchester. In the spring of 2015, while working for another company, Linda saw a TV commercial for Home Instead Senior Care. She was intrigued, so she applied. "I had never heard of them before, and I am glad I found them. I love working for Home Instead Senior Care," said Linda, who was honored as CAREGiver of the Month at owner Aaron Blight's award-winning franchise.
She has had memorable days as a CAREGiver. Linda has assisted a blind client for almost two years. "He said I am an encouraging person because I make him laugh, but he makes me laugh.
He's a good guy, a real sweetheart. His wife kiddingly tells me I 'baby' him. If he were my dad, I would baby him. I treat them like family," Linda said.
"He tells me I cannot get sick because he doesn't want to do without me. I took a week's vacation, and he said he didn't know if he'd still be around if I was gone that long."
The 80-something client, who served as a Marine for 35 years, is a gentleman who tells Linda that she "does everything right." Linda said: "He has bad days, but I cheer him up. His mobility is good, and he takes walks with assistance. He gets around the house OK, but he said he'd give anything if he could see. I think so much of him and his courage. I told him, 'If I could trade my eyes for yours, I would.' "
Linda, who has two other regular clients, relies on her spiritual faith. "My belief system is a big part of why I am taking care of people. I keep it within myself, but if a client wants to talk about spiritual matters, I will provide them the comfort of doing that. One client tells me she can't take her assets with her, and she is surely right about that. That is why I feel enriched and fulfilled with what I am doing."
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.
Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.