CAREGiver of the Month Audrey Kendrick savors her role as being part of an effort to keep a 98-year-old widower in the home where he and his wife raised their six children. Audrey is an integral part of a seven-member team from Home Instead Senior Care® of Birmingham that provides 24/7 care for the client who lives alone. Audrey and other CAREGivers work smoothly with the client’s six children, two of whom live in Michigan. “There is bonding, not only with the client, but with his awesome daughters as well,” Audrey said. “I have gotten to know them, and our team works really well with them. They are very attentive.”Audrey has a front-row seat to a rags-to-riches Horatio Alger story. The client, a highly successful engineer and self-employed inventor who developed several patents, grew up in an economically disadvantaged situation in Pennsylvania where a major flood wiped out his hometown. It was there where the client learned the value of a dollar. “His daughters laugh because he turns off all lights except for the room he’s in. That’s an old habit from being poor and trying to save on the electricity bill. I understand. His daughters tell us just to turn the lights back on whenever or wherever we want,” Audrey said. While helping her client remain as independent as possible and keeping him safe in his home, Audrey has been amazed by her client. “We’re there every step of the way with him,” Audrey said, “but he can still mow his lawn and is able to get around without a walker. He has had some falls, but he is careful and bounces back – he’s so resilient. He also has a tiny dog, and we help share the responsibility of taking care of the dog.”Audrey also is in awe of her client’s humility, faith and humor. “He talks about growing up and how his family came to depend on his church to get by. He says, ‘God is good,’ and attends Mass on Saturdays or Sundays. Although he rose through the ranks in the work world, went out on his own and was highly successful, he is matter-of-fact about it all and does not brag.”The client, Audrey said, is appreciative even if he is uncertain who’s helping him. “I started with Home Instead Senior Care in April 2015, and he was one of my first clients,” Audrey said. “He knows we CAREGiver are supposed to be with him, but he doesn’t know names. I reminded him one day about taking his medications, and he said, ‘I am really happy you are my helper.’ We remind him to shower and stand by to assist and try to get him to exercise regularly. Light housekeeping, meal preparation and other personal care also are important. This is a perfect example of how Home Instead Senior Care works for seniors and their families.”Audrey was tipped off by a friend to her job with the company owned by Bert and Stephanie Copple. “I was looking for a part-time job, and a very good friend had been working for Home Instead Senior Care for four to five years. We both had worked for the phone company for 30 years before we retired. After I retired, I missed working with people because I loved to do that,” Audrey said. Audrey’s previous experience was a family caregiver more than 20 years ago, when she helped her sister take care of their mother who was battling breast cancer. “Mom lived with my sister,” Audrey said, “and I helped with her care for her final two years. It is fresh in my mind. Life was busy for me, but when you have someone you love, you just want to do it.”Recalling her Home Instead orientation and training, Audrey said: “It helped, absolutely. I appreciated the fact the staff made sure I was ready for the job. The training is complete and allows you to trust yourself. You have to improvise with each client and find a good routine. Their temperaments are all different. I’ve been blessed with good clients.” Audrey added: “I really enjoy my job. The staff is always Johnny on the spot with help. They always say, ‘Whatever you need, we’re up for it.’ The office is always there, and morale is good. One thing I love is that I got to meet our owner, Bert Copple, and I have had contact with him. What surprised me one day is that Bert asked me about my client. Our franchise has a lot of clients and a lot of CAREGivers, and yet here he is zeroing in on me and how my client is doing. How could that be? How can he remember all of this? I sense that he has a huge heart.”
Home Instead CAREGivers, who are screened, trained, bonded and insured,
provide a variety of in-home services to help keep seniors independent.
For inquiries about employment with Home Instead Senior Care, please
call (248) 203-2273 or email Anne Monaghan. For further information about the company, visit our Home Instead Senior Care website or to learn more about the company’s services link to our home care digital brochure.
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.