Why was the light on in the client's bedroom at 11:45 p.m., almost two hours after CAREGiver of the Month Rose Gassam had helped the client get into bed? When the client's daughter investigated, she found her mother writing in her journal.
The daughter told Rose: "My mother couldn't sleep because you were on her mind. Among the words she had written was, 'Rose was heaven-sent to me.' " Rose became teary-eyed and recounted that their routine had been the same. To cap the night, Rose had read several pages out of her client's Bible devotional book. "She loves that and says it makes her sleep better," said Rose, who has worked for Home Instead Senior Care® of Birmingham since December 2013.
The fulfilling occasion is why Rose loves the one-on-one in-home care of seniors. Years ago, Rose made her late mother's prediction come true by becoming a CNA. But after working for four years at a facility, Rose changed course. "This is what God intended for me to do," Rose said. "I am rewarded by working with clients and their families, and building relationships. We CAREGivers are changing peoples' lives in ways you can't at a facility. Just working for Home Instead and owner Bert Copple has been a blessing unto itself. He and the office care and take time to get to know us. They never make you feel like you're just a number."
Rose's first efforts at caregiving came out of necessity and were a baptism of fire. As a teenager, she helped take care of her ailing mother, who eventually died at age 41 in 2000. "She told me that I'd make a great professional caregiver and tried to point me that way before she died," Rose recalled. "It turns out that she was right."
Rose remembers when she assisted her first Home Instead Senior Care client. Unlike work in a facility, where she had to rush from resident to resident, Rose enjoyed a more relaxed atmosphere that is far more conducive to bonding and companionship. "I got her to the bathroom to handle personal-care issues, and she turned to me and asked, 'Can we take a minute to do my hair?' I gladly said, 'Yes, of course, anything you'd like,' and I grabbed a curling iron. At a facility, that moment would never have happened because you had to move on so quickly."
Recalling the moment with pride, Rose said: "She gave me the biggest smile. It made me feel so good. That's why I do what I do."
Home Instead Senior Care's flexibility with hours means a lot to Rose. "I have a son who suffers seizures, and he needs attention when they occur," Rose said. "After I had started, I needed to take off a week when my son was involved in a medical sleep study. At the end of the week, the doctors said, 'We need another week for this.' I was freaking out before I called the office because I wasn't sure what the reaction would be. Their reaction was this: 'We will be praying for you. You need to go take care of your son and come back when you are ready.'
"Home Instead never makes you pick between your family and your job. Kids always come first, and Home Instead understands that. My husband and I have four, and we appreciate that. I miss only when necessary," Rose added.
"Home Instead has been very understanding, more so than other employers would be. In fact, my husband pointed out when I began devoting more time to Home Instead, 'This is a blessing. Your whole outlook has changed.' I feel beyond good about this job."
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 at anne.monaghan@homeinstead. For further information about the company, visit http://www.homeinstead.com/283/Pages/HomeInsteadSeniorCare.aspx, or to learn more about the company's services link to a digital brochure at http://www.hisc283.digbro.com/.
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.