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CAREGiver of the Month - Sharon

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Sharon Honors Her Mom’s Memory by Helping Clients

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 did.”

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, 2008.

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 died.”

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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