The tears began to drip slowly from the client’s face.
Engaging the emotion of the moment, award-winning CAREGiver Debbie Beal compassionately encouraged her 47-year-old client who has suffered from a chronic condition since her teen years. The client also recently had two difficult medical setbacks and underwent a surgery two months ago that improved her mobility and set her on a better course physically. The hard part is expecting to see progress each day.
“You will be fine. You will be able to do more things as we go along,” Debbie told her client.
The CAREGiver of the Month for Home Instead Senior Care® of Birmingham, Michigan, loves to try to help her clients return to where they had been functioning before being robbed of their health. Debbie allows her client to be as independent as possible while motivating her to move toward a recovery that includes three physical therapy sessions a week. But the bottom line is that Debbie keeps her client safe and provides assistance four days a week for someone with whom she has bonded the past seven months. “I feel I know her well,” Debbie added.
“She is sweet and funny, and we get along really well. She is in a wheelchair, and she can use a walker, but it is difficult. The surgery has helped a great deal. She is doing well, in my opinion,” Debbie said. “She is open to my motivation for her to do more that might help her situation. She really wants to get back into a better shape, and her condition is a lot better than when I started. She thanks me all the time.”
There is plenty of time for fun and laughter. “My client and I watch movies together, and we laugh about what’s going in them. I try to keep her laughing. She likes dramas and action movies – like the Batman movies – and I have always liked the same ones she likes,” Debbie said.
“What is neat is that she has a very loving husband and a great 19-year-old son who is in college but visits often. Her husband does a great job with her care – he spends the weekends with her and much of the Mondays. I am the only CAREGiver, and when he comes home from work, he takes care of her in the evenings. He chats and asks me about certain things with her care. She is in great hands, and Home Instead Senior Care loves being a part of her continual improvement that is slow but sure.”
Over the years, Debbie has had other success stories but also her share of tough challenges that include hospice care. She has been with Home Instead Senior Care for eight years of a senior-care career that has spanned off and on more than 20 years. Debbie’s senior care started when she became a family caregiver for her mother. “I left my house in 1986 and moved in with my mom before she passed away that year,” Debbie explained.
“I like helping people, and I love seniors. As far as their care goes, I have seen it all, heard it all and done it all,” Debbie said. “I have worked in all different kinds of facilities, independent housing, assisted living and nursing homes. I like Home Instead’s one-on-one care better than anything else I have seen. “I get attached to people, they become like family and it is hard when they die. With some of my former clients’ family members, I am still friends and remain in contact. This is like paying it forward. I know my day is coming. Someday I will need someone to take care of me, and I want someone who has a lot of compassion, patience and skill.”
The most difficult situations, of course, involve the passing of a client. “I have been with so many hospice clients that I just know what to expect most of the time,” Debbie said. “The real key about hospice that people don’t often talk about much is the family. Yes, of course, you want to keep the client comfortable and comforted, but the family is also suffering in a different way. I just work very hard at keeping strong for them.”
Nothing, including sorrow, could chase Debbie away from a job she loves. … and a group of people with whom she works.
“Everybody is wonderful. Bert Copple, our franchise owner, is more than just a boss. He is so nice that I don’t know how I can express it enough,” Debbie said. “This is a very professional company. This is the only senior-care company that I have worked for that cares as much about its CAREGivers as it does its clients. This is also the only senior-care company with whom I’ve worked that throws parties for its employees. You really do have to have healthy and happy CAREGivers if you are going to be able to properly serve the clients.”
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/.
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