CAREGiver of the Month - Sheila

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CAREGiver of the Month - Sheila

Client Brought History Alive for Sheila

CAREGiver of the Month Sheila Kiner had never experienced history lessons like the ones she absorbed from a client who immigrated to the United States from Germany as a teenager after the start of World War II. Those narratives came in verbal and written forms, because the client had authored an autobiography.

“I learned a lot about World War II. His parents came with him, and he was 16 at the time. He was happy to get to the United States, and has always been appreciative of being here. One of our other CAREGivers could speak German, and they conversed that way sometimes,” said Sheila, who spent six weeks with the client while working on behalf of the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise of Birmingham.

“He has lived an exciting life, and he is an interesting person. He earned an accounting degree from Wayne State University and eventually became a CEO who traveled around the world. He appreciated the fact that I read his book and took a big interest in him.”

The client recently made a move to an assisted living apartment, where he was joined by his wife. She had been undergoing rehabilitation at a skilled nursing facility and had hoped to return to their home of 32 years, but the husband’s declining health forced them to scuttle those plans. “They really wanted to be reunited at home,” Sheila explained, “but it wasn’t to be. They had a lot of history together in that house, having raised their family there. This outcome is one of the rough parts of caregiving. His sadness came out, and you could see the emotion.”

Recalling her final day with the client, Sheila said, “He is such a nice guy. He kissed my hand when we said our goodbyes. I am glad I was there with him. You never want to lose a client, but this is probably the best for them because he’s back together with his wife. I am going to check on them and say hi. They are in my heart.”

Summing up her time with all of her clients, Sheila said: “I have learned a lot from them. There is a lot of wisdom, as well as a lot of honesty. I learn about their struggles as well as their good times. I try to get to know the clients as well as I can, figuring out their likes and dislikes, so I can make them feel comfortable. Some of them like music, but sometimes music from their era has the opposite effect. You just have to know what makes them happy and sad.”

Sheila found owners Bert and Stephanie Copple’s award-winning franchise in a newspaper advertisement and joined Home Instead Senior Care in the fall of 2013. Sheila had just finished a two-year stint as a private-duty caregiver before she joined the company.

“I like the company, and I like our boss. Bert stands behind his CAREGivers, and it’s easy to see his CAREGivers come first. Things are going well, and time goes fast when you’re working for a great company,” Sheila said. “All of the staff is very supportive. They really try to help educate you and keep you abreast of current trends in senior care. They let you elevate to a higher level.”

Recalling the orientation and training was awesome, Sheila said, “It helped even though I had the previous experience of working with seniors. There are some things you need to know how to do with clients who have certain unusual needs. Any training is good, and ongoing training is offered. There are good people in our support groups.”

Sheila is part of a franchise that has been ranked as the leading or second-place midsize workplace in Michigan for three straight years – 2014 to 2016 – by the Detroit Free Press. The company has been honored as a “Top Workplace” every year since 2009.

In addition to Birmingham, the company also serves clients and their families in Berkley, Beverly Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Clawson, Dearborn, Detroit, Ferndale, Franklin, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Lathrup Village, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, Pontiac, Royal Oak, Southfield, Sylvan Lake, Troy, Warren and West Bloomfield.

​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.

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