CAREGiver of the Month Celeste Cayton

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Voilà! Celeste’s Encouragement Hits a High Note

Award-winning CAREGiver Celeste Cayton’s client put down her stringed instruments years ago when her emotional and physical struggles were too overwhelming. The former music instructor, who has multiple sclerosis, battled an infection last year that sent her to the hospital and then ultimately into Celeste’s caring, compassionate arms when she returned home.

The CAREGiver of the Month from the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise in Birmingham joined the client’s husband as one of her biggest cheerleaders, rallying the client every step of the way while helping her with activities of daily living. Celeste’s encouragement, in fact, hit a high note and resonated in a special way after Celeste spotted a violin and viola in the home.

“I got her to pick up the violin again,” Celeste said. “Before I came to be with her, she had not played it for years. I think when her father passed away, she stopped playing. After she started playing again, she got excited and rebounded even further, and that made me feel good.”

Celeste’s hard work and the client’s reinvigoration for music have made a difference. Since Celeste joined the client in July 2013, her condition has vastly improved.

“When I arrived, she had problems eating and gaining weight. She is doing 100 percent better,” Celeste said. “In fact, I am not sure she needs me now for physical things. I think her situation just shows how extremely important the companionship component of care is for everyone no matter how young or old he or she is. She is like a best friend – I am part of her life now.

“I think that with her just knowing that I am there helps her and her husband. I eat with her and help her count calories. I am always encouraging her and telling her that she is doing well. She has me picking out outfits for her when I get there in the mornings.”

The client also started to give Celeste occasional lessons. “I am interested in violin and piano,” Celeste said. “I like to hear her play, and I enjoy it, as does her husband. I just think the renewed interest in playing is part of the tremendous progress she has made. I am so glad to see it.”

The musically gifted client is one of three regular clients for Celeste, who also helps a 90-year-old woman and an 89-year-old man. Both have varying degrees of dementia.

“I get along with them and love working with them,” said Celeste, who has completed the Home Instead Senior Care network’s Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education® Training Program. “I’ve seen a little frustration and maybe anger over not being able to do what they were once able to do. I am not surprised by it, and that’s why I am there, to help. So often you have to use your common sense and compassion to do what is right.”

For her male client, who has 24/7 care, Celeste gently pushes exercise as much as possible, along with helping with medication reminders, meals and hydration. “I encourage him to use his walker as much as possible, and I stay by his side all the time for safety and reassurance.”

Celeste is the eyes and ears for her 90-year-old female client. “I read to her, often from a magazine, and we discussed what I’ve read. I drive her to a walking track at a nearby church gym, where she loves to use her walker and remain active. She can get frustrated, but I am able to calm her.”

Celeste, whose character strongly resembles that of the New Testament figure Barnabas (“The Encourager”), aims to use her Home Instead experience and caregiving instincts as the basis for building a nursing career. She found Home Instead in June 2013 when a friend told her about the franchise. “She worked as a CAREGiver, and I went to an open house and got hired,” she said. “My goal is to become an RN and perhaps further my standing in nursing beyond that. I am working on prerequisite classes and aim to attend the University of Michigan.”

Celeste said there’s nothing that she doesn’t like about Home Instead. “I love the office because the people are friendly, and the staff has a big heart. I feel I am part of a team. They answer all my questions. Home Instead has flexibility with hours so that I can take night classes at college.”

Summing it up, Celeste said: “To put a smile on someone’s face is such a good feeling. I like to help people and take care of people. At the end of the day, I feel good about what I’ve done.”

Home Instead CAREGivers, who are screened, trained, bonded and insured, provide a variety of non-medical services to help keep seniors independent. For inquiries about employment with Home Instead Senior Care, please call (248) 203-2273 or email Anne Monaghan at anne.monaghan@homeinstead. For further information about the company, visit or to learn more about the company's services link to a digital brochure at


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