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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.