CAREGiver of the Month - Angela

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​​​​​Faith is so much a part of award-winning CAREGiver Angela’s life that it’s no surprise she was in church when she first became acquainted with the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise in Metairie that serves New Orleans and Jefferson Parish.

“I was offering a St. Jude Novena prayer at my church when a friend came by,” Angela said. “She was looking for a job and mentioned Home Instead. I told her that because my role had changed at my regular day job, I missed the patient interaction. After listening to her, I prayed about possibly working in the evenings for Home Instead, where you have one-on-one contact with your clients. That was a Tuesday or Wednesday. By Saturday, I had applied online and quickly had the job with a company that has positive and productive people.”

That was just the start of a God-honoring relationship with Home Instead that recently led to Angela being honored as CAREGiver of the Month. As broadcasting legend Paul Harvey used to say, here’s the rest of the story:

Question: What is your regular job?
Angela: “I work full time for a medical care company. For seven years, I had close contact with patients as a secretary and receptionist. But I moved into a more secluded admissions and scheduling job with the company.”

Question: How long have you been with Home Instead?
Angela: “I’ve been with them since July 2013.”

Question: When are you a CAREGiver?
Angela: “I work from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays with a gentleman who is in his 80s. I am part of his 24/7 CAREGiver team. On some weekends, I am available to do fill-in work if it doesn’t conflict with my regular longtime volunteering duties.”

Question: You keep busy by doing other things. What are they?
Angela: “I am a lay Eucharistic minister with Corpus Christi-Epiphany Catholic Church and Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. With that responsibility, I take the sacrament of Holy Communion to those who are ill or unable to attend Mass. I also help with First Eucharist and First Reconciliation classes. To sum up, I believe I am called to help people. On a recent Saturday, I attended two funerals that were quite a ways apart, but I felt compelled to go, not only to pay my respects but to also comfort the bereaved.”

Question: I’ve heard you do even more than that.
Angela: “Wow – I think you found out too much! I help my alma mater, St. Katharine Drexel Prep, the former Xavier University Preparatory School on Magazine Street. I coordinated the Jazzing for Drexel Dream fund-raiser last fall and have chaired several class reunions.”

Question: Why are you a CAREGiver?
Angela: “It’s not about a job that brings in money. It’s living to make a difference. The thing I like best about working as a CAREGiver is that I can help the clients in any number of ways. For example, I can help change eating habits if they need to make their lives healthier. It is a blessing and pleasure to be with a client. I see them as being like my parents. While I seek to make a difference, I find that clients make a difference in my life.”

Question: So being a CAREGiver has unexpected additional benefits?
Angela: “God has put these people in my life to be a blessing for me. Being with a client puts value on each day and night I’m with them. I am blessed by the gifts that they’ve accumulated in a lifetime of experiences. They can bless me with their wisdom. I receive an education when they’ve talked about their lives. I am a stronger person because of them. I help them, but they help me day by day by enriching my life with their thoughts and experiences.”

Question: As a devout Christian who wants the best for everyone, what do you say to your clients about your faith?
Angela: “You know what they say about politics and religion, so I tread lightly on those subjects. My regular client volunteered to me that he believed there was a God, but he just didn’t feel anything. I told him I felt I have been blessed every day by God. One day I was reading my prayers while I thought he was napping. He surprised me, and he asked what I was doing. I told him. My client replied, ‘Would you say one prayer for me.’ He knows I go to church early every morning, and he has asked, ‘Did you pray for me today at church?’ My client remind me in his own way that there is a God, and we all need Him.”

Question: Your regular client has a good-natured nickname for you. What is it?
Angela: “It is ‘Five to 10,’ because those are the hours I’m with him. It’s unusual, but I love it.”

Question: What’s the story behind ‘Five to 10?’ ”
Angela: “I had helped him during those hours, then he went to the hospital during December, and I shifted to other clients. When he was ready to leave a rehabilitation facility for home, I went to see him. He is extremely sharp, but he couldn’t immediately think of my name because he had had so many CAREGivers during his 24/7 coverage. But his face lit up when he saw me, and all that came out was ‘There’s my ‘Five to 10!’ If I could get you back, I’ll be good.’ ”

Question: Tell me a little about your client.
Angela: “He’s amazing. He still keeps a strong eye on the stock market, and he reads the newspaper closely and is always pulling something interesting out of it to discuss. He also collects coins and stamps. He is so interesting that I really learn a lot from him. He blesses me.”

Question: Any final thoughts about being a CAREGiver?
Angela: “It’s an awesome experience. I am blessed.”

Blessings run both ways for Angela, and it’s easy to see she has an impact wherever she goes. “In less than a year with Home Instead,” CAREGiver Development Specialist Fay Kelting said, “she has really stood out. She digs in and always finds a way to make things happen. She is very prompt, reliable, loving, and she does everything very efficiently. The staff and her clients just love working with her. She always has a beautiful smile on her face.” ​


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