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November 2018 CAREGiver of the Month - Mone

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CAREGiver Mone Witnesses Long-Running Love StoryNovember 2018 CAREGiver of the Month - Mone

Two-time CAREGiver of the Month Mone Matthews has watched in wonderment and admiration as a husband and wife continue to love and esteem each other after 70 years of marriage and despite recent medical challenges.

“The thing that sticks out to me is they are a very affectionate couple. They genuinely love each other. I hear them address each other as ‘Darling’ and ‘Honey,’ so they are truly attached. She cooks for her bed-bound husband and feeds him pureed food,” Mone explained, describing a devotion that began shortly after the Kentucky natives met in Detroit during the 1940s at a square dance. Each client comes from a family of 12 siblings; the wife is the last one on her side after the death of a sibling a month ago.

One recent day, the wife sat down and had lunch with Mone, which was unusual because she usually sticks closely to her husband. “She made herself a grilled cheese sandwich and talked. She wanted to tell me about her life. It was a window into her earliest days in the Cumberland Plateau part of Kentucky, which was a very happy childhood. She doesn’t usually talk for a long time. I never forgot that,” Mone said.

Mone has encountered a wide range of experiences during her 11 years with Home Instead Senior Care®  of Birmingham, an award-winning franchise, owned by Bert and Stephanie Copple. Mone has found fulfillment in each situation because she loves to help people. On the challenging end of things, Mone has worked with clients who were terminally ill or whose health had declined greatly after a dementia diagnosis.

“My first dementia client was a former teacher who had a cat named Goldie. I was very fond of her, and we told stories and laughed. I took her to St. Clair Shores for a college reunion, when she was in the early stages of dementia. Signs of dementia behavior would come and go at first. It was alarming at times – I think some people in the early stages of dementia know something is wrong. Then we spent a year apart because of changes in my schedule. When I saw her again, she could not remember me, and she was wheelchair-bound. It’s tough to watch what dementia does to people,” Mone said.

Mone joined Home Instead Senior Care in 2007 and was honored as CAREGiver of the Month about a year later. She had been working in the medical field since 1999 and had earned a medical assistant’s license. With that certification, Mone worked at several hospitals on behalf of a company that sent her on assignments as its “Girl Friday.” Mone explained: “When I became a mom, I became a CAREGiver. I wanted to always remain active and involved with my kids. Being a CAREGiver gave me more control of my time. Home Instead’s flexibility with hours is good. I had another job, and Home Instead helped me by working around my schedule.”

Home Instead Senior Care has been a family affair for Mone, her mother and a sister. “My sister Kimmarie was a full-time CAREGiver for three or four years. She came aboard after I did. Mom, who is 68, was a part-time CAREGiver for two years before she retired for good, and she’s doing OK,” Mone said. “My sister and I sometimes helped the same clients, and I really enjoyed the fact that she also worked for Home Instead.”

Explaining that helping people has always been part of the fabric of her family’s collective soul, Mone said: “Caregiving is second nature to me. I am very comfortable. We all help each other as family members. We rotated as family caregivers for my grandmother, who passed away at age 103. My dad is 69, and he beat prostate cancer.”

Home Instead Senior Care clients have become like family members and have bonded with Mone. One client, who died during Christmastime in 2017, grew close to Mone during their five years together. Mone also remembered a courageous college professor with whom she and her sister had helped for more than a year before she passed away.

“My sister and I took on the majority of the hours with her. The client had had invasive brain surgery and was trying to heal as much as possible despite the fact that she was terminally ill. She was a lovely, highly intelligent, well-educated woman who wanted to help others long after her death by donating her brain for cancer research,” Mone said. “You sometimes think about what you do, and this is among those situations where you think: ‘It was an honor to serve her.’ ”

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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