Award-winning CAREGiver Luvenia, also known as “V,” is a great cook as far as her husband and wife clients are concerned. Tasting Luvenia’s sour cream mashed potatoes and turkey meatloaf for the first time elicited an excited response that even “V” couldn’t anticipate. When the 86-year-old wife spoke with her daughter later that evening, she said: “ ‘V’ prepared a really good meal for Dad and me.” That is standard operating procedure for the CAREGiver of the Month. Clients and their families have come to expect the unexpectedly great, whether it’s healthy menu planning or faith-generated compassionate care. “V,” a CAREGiver with Home Instead Senior Care® of Birmingham since Sept. 28, 2007, has brightened blue feelings and kept a close eye on critical medication reminders. During her years of senior care, “V” has experienced a lot, from being a companion to assisting in the most difficult of situations. “I treat my clients like I would want my mom and dad to be treated,” said “V,” who has worked off and on in senior care since 1993 and lives in Madison Heights. “When I meet the clients for the first time, my intention is to get to know them, learn their needs and assist them in the best ways possible. When I gain a client’s confidence and trust, everything falls into place because the client knows I am there for them. Most of the time, it goes well for me and the client because I am a compassionate and patient CAREGiver who connects with my clients. “My current client couple has been married 65 years, and they complete each other. The clients have a good sense of humor and keep me laughing. The husband catches me off guard sometimes with the humorous things he comes up with. I enjoy working with them.”Working with totally compatible clients, of course, is not always possible for any CAREGiver. In fact, “V” drew a challenging assignment immediately after joining Home Instead Senior Care nearly eight years ago. “It was difficult at first – I won’t lie to you,” said “V,” who applied for her CAREGiver job after seeing Home Instead in a newspaper advertisement. “My first client had just come out of the hospital following a surgical procedure and needed help at home. She had several issues with which I had to help her handle. There was a period of adjustment, and we had to come to an understanding before everything started to go better. I always remained patient and compassionate, and showed the love of God. Then she was the sweetest thing, although not to everyone else,” “V” added. “You have to understand that with the kind of jobs I had had before I joined Home Instead, I was dealing with all kinds of personalities. I stayed calm and handled it, and my client fairly quickly became attached to me – it was something that surprised the other CAREGivers who had tried to help her. She was my client until January 2008, a little more than three months, before she was able to live on her own at home.”Clients become just like family members, and “V” admits an attachment to them. It is difficult to see clients go, just as it was when her mother passed away 12 years ago and a sister died four years ago at age 51. “Mom had Alzheimer’s disease,” “V” said. “My sister had a number of health issues and eventually developed early-onset dementia, probably because of the medication she had to take. “I took care of both, and my sister actually helped take care of Mom before she died. My sister assisted Mom during day hours, and I took care of Mom in the evenings, after my work shift ended. Mom would not let just anyone help her, so the care mostly fell to us. She suffered a broken ankle in 1996 or 1997 and never quite healed, so she required a lot of help. It was difficult sometimes but also fulfilling. I believe in this kind of care. I would never put a relative in a nursing home if we could help it.”If a potential senior-care worker has patience and compassion, “V” said she would recommend Home Instead Senior Care. It takes a special person to work with people in need, such as the elderly. This job is not for everybody,” “V” cautioned. “But this is what I like to do because I am a compassionate person who likes one-on-one care that is the best for a senior. I have worked in a nursing home and did not like it. I also have worked for other agencies and as a private-duty caregiver. Home Instead is a good way to go, both for CAREGivers and clients. Bert Copple is a good owner and boss, and the staff is really good, too.”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 http://www.homeinstead.com/283/, or to learn more about the company’s services link to a digital brochure at http://www.hisc283.digbro.com/.
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