CAREGiver of the Month Melissa Bosacco appreciates every morsel of the wisdom and valuable life experiences from her clients while working for the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise that serves the Northern Shenandoah Valley, including Winchester and 25 other communities. Melissa’s nearly eight years as a CAREGiver began in October 2008, a year before her youngest child entered college. “I am blessed to be married 43 years to my wonderful husband and father of our five children. I’m thankful to have been a stay-at-home mom and home educator for 19 years for our children. Currently we have nine amazing grandchildren and three great-grandchildren,” Melissa said. “My mother was a Home Instead CAREGiver and encouraged me to give it a try. With Home Instead Senior Care, I could have flexibility in my hours. I love people, and I have never met a stranger. So the job was a good fit for me. It’s been a memorable journey. These years have been enriched by each person for whom I’ve been able to support and care. Their lives have meaning and value, and I’m grateful for days spent with them.” Making time for relationships was modeled for Melissa by one client who has a huge family. “This family carries on the tradition of having dinner together every other Sunday. They make time for each other. All of their children know their great-uncles and great-aunts as well as their third and fourth cousins. They’re making memories. They have taught me to make more of an effort to bring my own family members together as much as possible. You never know when you might want those missed memories.” Melissa has never forgotten three words from one client and strongly promotes them to try to help others: “Protect your kidneys.” “This client was a one-room schoolhouse teacher who loved gardening, canning and cooking. She taught me to love and protect my kidneys. She was a diabetic on dialysis and became a beloved friend. Because of her, I began going to World Kidney Day on the second Thursday of March each year at the Winchester Medical Center, which provides a great resource of knowledge and evaluation of your kidney function,” expressed Melissa, who pointed out next year’s event is March 9. “My current client and I have attended three years. My mother’s kidneys failed, and she eventually also became a dialysis patient before passing in 2014.” The greatest testimonies for Melissa have been witnessing the love between husbands and wives of patience and endurance at the close of their lives. “Their loving children uphold them to the end. That’s worth embracing, staying together and surrounding each other with love.” The award-winning CAREGiver savors her time with her 95-year-old client who loves baseball and makes a practice of intentional daily living. “I have assisted him for 5½ years, and he has become very dear to me. This client does not consider his age or his situation with a wheelchair as reasons to miss an opportunity to visit friends or places of interest. He plans to live every day to the fullest, and I hope to make it easier for him to do that. It's always an adventure with him, and he’s not afraid to clean up and go out,” Melissa stated. “As far as sports go, he’s watched the greatest baseball players of all time and given me a love for baseball. I never really liked baseball, even with three sons. My client and I go to the Washington Nationals games. I wear baseball clothes and check the scores daily. My children think, ‘Who are you and what have you done with my mother?’ ” Melissa’s admiration and appreciation for military veterans has increased. “My client served 20 years as a U.S. Marine. As a World War II veteran, he explained the taking of Iwo Jima and he was 100 yards away when they raised the U.S. flag. He affectionately refers to me as ‘The General,’ when I am encouraging broccoli or therapy exercises. He calls me ‘Chief of Staff’ when I am working on his scheduling and bookkeeping. For his education, he and his sister started in the dark walking 3.6 miles over the mountains in West Virginia to catch a school bus for the remaining 25 miles. He takes me back to historical and simpler times with his stories. While working with clients, their family members and others who assist seniors, Melissa imparted that she gained new insights on a difficult subject: death. “A wise hospice nurse told me to picture a new baby and his or her entrance into the world – expected and longed for – and to see the passing of life into eternity in the same way. There is a celebration on the other side that we cannot see. That lesson resonated when my beloved mother passed into eternity. Working for Home Instead Senior Care prepared me for the greatest loss I’ve ever had.” Summing up her experiences, Melissa proclaimed: “The things that I like most about this job are the people who have impacted my life, the lessons I’ve learned and the joy of helping seniors live life fully to the end. With every client I’ve had, I can see it has been part of a bigger plan. How else can you explain my compatibility and personality fitting in with so many different seniors over the years? I was matched with care by a Master Planner (God) to help someone in need, remain teachable, and make unforgettable friends.”
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.