Family Caregiving Changed Alec’s Life

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​​Alec Bauer answered the call to caregiving long before she was honored as CAREGiver of the Month for Home Instead Senior Care® of Birmingham. She assisted with the care of three grandparents, helping her mother with two of them and her father with the other one.  In order to do so, Alec left college.​

“It was a world-changing experience for me. It was sad some of the time – the situations were heart-wrenching – but it was fulfilling to help them,” Alec said. “Two grandparents had Alzheimer’s, including the grandmother who received the primary care from my dad. For a time, senior care was just about all that Mom and I did – we had our hands full with one who had Alzheimer’s and the other grandparent, too. I also was helping Dad. All three grandparents passed away within about 11 months’ time.”  

In October 2014, Alec joined Home Instead. Thirteen months later, she was honored as a CAREGiver of the Month. “I care for clients as if they were my grandparents. This has been a very meaningful job to me,” Alec said, “and not only to me, but to others who have been through the same experiences.”

To Alec, the feeling of appreciation from clients is unmatched. A 91-year-old female client welcomes her at the door and thanks Alec during every shift. “She is the light of my life. She is so friendly,” Alec said, “but the clients really are all warm and loving.”

One client doesn’t recall Alec’s name but remembers her face and often doesn’t want her to leave. “She tells me that she loves me,” Alec said. “She is so sweet and is not frustrated with her predicament.”

More than just the clients, Alec knows she is a welcome presence to family members. “I have been on both sides of it,” Alec said. “It is exhausting, mentally and physically, and I am happy to be there for the families.”

Alec loves being a CAREGiver, and she praised Home Instead Senior Care’s flexibility that allows her to hold the job while returning to school and also taking on another job. 

“Home Instead is very understanding about my situation with respect to the hours I can work,” Alec said. “Among my two jobs, this is the fulfilling one. My CAREGiver job is the one that gives me a mental lift. 

“This will be a job that is hard to give up when the time comes, but I anticipate that will happen someday. I thought I wanted to be an elementary teacher, but times have changed for teachers and I have changed my course and am working on college courses to become a dental hygienist.” 

CAREGiver training is extensive and ranges from the basics to such courses as Home Instead Senior Care network’s Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education® Training Program.

“I already had experience taking care of the grandparents, but I felt the training was good and I learned some things,” Alec said. “It felt good to know that Home Instead Senior Care’s expectations are high and that a certain level of professionalism is expected. We do things to a ‘T.’ Home Instead has a protocol for CAREGivers that includes continuing education, and I appreciate it because it keeps me up to date. I have taken advantage of the ongoing training when the timing is good.” 

In addition to the training, franchise support for CAREGivers is a plus, Alec said. “Everybody with whom I work in the office does a really good job. I am always able to get an answer if I have a question. They are good about handling sick days because they are a very understanding company and give you the time off if you need it. This is a good, meaningful job with support.”

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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