When CAREGiver of the Month Sharon Colvin looks at her
client, she sees her late mother. And when Sharon works with her client on
behalf of Home Instead Senior Care® of
Winchester, Virginia, Sharon feels as if she is assisting her mother, who
passed away five years ago.
“I have gotten very attached to my client. Her
personality is a lot like my mother’s, and she looks somewhat like Mom. There
is a resemblance,” said Sharon, who has helped the client for two years on
behalf of owner Aaron Blight’s Home Instead Senior Care franchise that serves the Northern
Shenandoah Valley, including 25 other communities in addition to Winchester.
The client, like Sharon’s late mother, has a bubbly outlook,
loves to be around people, talk and go out despite being confined to a
wheelchair. “Her communication is a little tough as a result of her medical
problems,” Sharon said, “but I know what she wants. She cannot tell a lot of
stories, but she loves to stay active. She also loves puzzles like my mother
Sharon and other CAREGivers are helping the 78-year-old
client’s husband keep his wife at home, but he is not a client. “He’s fine, and
he is doing the best he can,” Sharon said, “but he needs help and always will.
I give her baths two afternoons during the week, and I am with her each day of
the week. On Sundays, I am there just from 6 p.m. to 8 to help get her to bed.”
Sharon loves working for Home Instead Senior Care because helping
seniors is in her DNA as a former family caregiver, nursing home professional
and group-home worker before joining Home Instead Senior Care on March 12,
She helped a grandfather remain at home for five years after
her high school graduation, before he died at age 84. “I’ve always loved
spending time with the elderly because they are fascinating people,” Sharon
said. “I have tried my best to keep all of my relatives at home as long as
possible. With Mom, I took care of her when I could. I stayed with her when she
was hospitalized, and she was still at home with Dad when she passed. Dad is
still doing fine and living on his own about 30 miles from my home.”
For anyone, Sharon pointed out, home is where
the heart is. It is where people flourish best.
“With Home Instead Senior Care, I found a place
where I like to work and make a difference in peoples’ lives,” Sharon said
while also referencing her extensive experience in skilled care facilities.
“People have to be in the places where they can be taken care of the best –
sometimes it is in the home and sometimes it is in a facility.
“I do not blame the facilities at all, but they
can be depressing places. It is not the fault of the facility or the people who
are working there because sometimes it is the best option. When you work in
those places, you have to move quickly from person to person to help them, and
there are quite a few of them. It is hard to sit down and talk with them, and
that is what they crave.”
A difficult aspect of senior care is the death
of a client. Sharon’s faith and resolve to maintain support for her other
clients are the cornerstones that help Sharon through the losses. Five months
ago, she experienced the passing of a client who was a military veteran. “He
was a very special person. I helped him for only six or seven months but had
gotten attached, and it hurt to see him go,” Sharon said. “We knew a medical
procedure for him would be risky, but there was no other choice for him.
“Before his surgery, he confided in me, saying,
‘I may not make it through the surgery,’ so we prayed together. I reassured him
by saying, ‘If I don’t see you right after the surgery, we will see each other
again someday. If it is your time, that’s OK.’ He made it through the surgery
with flying colors but passed away a couple of days later. He was like so many
other seniors like my grandfather – he rallied for a couple of days before he
Sharon added: “I took a day off after he died
because I was upset, but I came back strong as I always do. As a CAREGiver, you
have to keep going for other people because they need you.”
Sharon said she’d recommend Home Instead Senior
Care to anyone who has the heart for helping people. “Aaron Blight is an
excellent boss. The office is helpful and friendly, and they will solve
problems. They also are understanding and flexible, and they try to get you
matched with compatible clients,” Sharon said. “They also have compassion for
their CAREGivers. I was in the hospital for a couple of days before Christmas,
and Aaron came to see me. It is a wonderful place to work.”
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.
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