Corinne DiSchiavi will never forget CAREGiver Charlotte of Home Instead Senior Care® in Winchester, Virginia.
CAREGiver Charlotte provided compassionate care for Corinne's grandmother when Corinne was working full time as well as trying to take care of her senior loved one. The grandmother, who spent four years with Corinne, had Alzheimer's disease. Corinne recalled: "One day, Grandma called because she was not sure where she was. Your heart just breaks when you hear something like that."
Corinne and her grandmother were close and did many things together. "I had such a love for her — she was sweet and feisty, and she depended on me. I couldn't go anywhere without thinking of meeting her needs first. We had a routine. For example, we'd go to the Waffle House every morning. I asked Home Instead Senior Care to help from noon to 4 p.m. I was impressed with CAREGiver Charlotte," Corinne explained.
"As the days passed, Grandma's dementia was getting worse. A family member believed it was important for me to be in college. So, the decision was made: It was time for Grandma to go to the nursing home. She lasted nine months in a nursing home, where I never wanted her to go. Grandma passed away in 2008 at age 88. Meanwhile, CAREGiver Charlotte, who had done so much, passed away just last year. She had an impact."
CAREGiver Charlotte and Home Instead Senior Care made such an impression that Corinne ended up working for two Home Instead franchises. Corinne was honored as a CAREGiver of the Month once during her five years with Home Instead of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. After leaving Pennsylvania, Corinne spent six months as a Christian missionary in Romania. When she moved back to her native Winchester, Corinne joined the award-winning Home Instead franchise three years ago and was selected as CAREGiver of the Month in July 2019.
Corinne said: "I have a love for the elderly. Every senior needs someone with whom he or she can connect. During my free time, I have visited in nursing homes. I treat seniors like my grandmother. I learned about senior care from my family caregiving experience with my grandmother through hands-on care. With Grandma, there was a progression of care. I wouldn't say it was the easiest thing to do, but it was a journey I loved and continue to love."
Corinne talked about the challenges she first saw as a family caregiver:
Repetition: "I'd hear the same question over and over. You listen as if you're taking it in for the first time."
Personal care: "As dementia progresses, there is a greater need for assistance with such things as bathing, dressing and toileting."
Behavioral changes: "There can be a loss of his or her social filter with comments. Some comments are funny; others are not."
Corinne said: "I love working for Home Instead Senior Care. I've assisted Holocaust survivors and people with many other different backgrounds. There is such wisdom. I have an amazing Parkinson's client among my clients, and I have assisted many Parkinson's clients as a CAREGiver ."
She added, "The first year, I was assigned to a double amputee who was a military veteran. I did not vocalize this, but I'll admit I was scared. I always want to be prepared to help a client, but I'd never dealt with that challenge. The client was inspiring. He was loving and had a gentle heart. He apologized for his situation, but that was totally wrong and unnecessary. I responded in compassion. I told him, 'Look what you've done for us, for our country.' He taught me how to do things as far as his care was concerned. My world had been stretched a bit, and for the better."
Corinne pointed out: "I have learned a lot from my clients. I've done missions work and helped with special-needs people, hands-on challenges. I've always had a heart for the elderly."
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.