CAREGiver of the Month - Diane

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Award-winning CAREGiverSM Diane had a front-row seat for an intimate view of a love story that culminated exactly as most couples idealistically proclaim in their wedding vows, “in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish until death do us part.”

The husband and wife were Diane’s clients at the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish. And the wife still is one of Diane’s clients; her husband died in July. Together, they made quite an impression on their CAREGiver.

“The husband was 83 and had been an attorney for nearly 50 years,” said Diane, who recently was honored as the franchise’s CAREGiver of the Month. “He was affected by Parkinson’s and some dementia. I also cared for his wife after she had back surgery.

“The love between these two people was truly great. They were real soul mates. It meant everything in the world to her to be able to keep him at home,” Diane added.

“During the time I cared for him, he was able to say only ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ or one-word answers. After he passed away, his wife remained a client. Knowing them and their family has been wonderful, and they treat me like family.”

The story illuminates one of the intangible benefits of working as a CAREGiver.

“I am so happy I came to work for Home Instead. I love working as a CAREGiver,” said Diane, a Kenner resident who has worked as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) since 1982.

Diane also sees a spiritual component to what she does for seniors and their families.

“I think my faith in God has a role in how I do my job. I think the Bible teaches us to look at everything from a spiritual point of view,” she said. “It’s important in caregiving to respect the clients for who they are and give them peace of mind and comfort in their lives. That’s worth everything.”

Diane has worked for owner Lisa Rabito’s Home Instead franchise since April 2012 after serving for 10 years in hospitals, 19 years in nursing homes and one year in an assisted living community. Diane still works three or four shifts a month at a nursing home on the weekends.

“I had to have surgery on both of my feet for Morton’s neuroma at the end of 2011. After recovering from that, I was looking for a change, but I still wanted to work in senior care,” Diane explained. “I have a sister-in-law who worked for Home Instead as a CAREGiver in another town, and she really enjoyed her job. I also saw a Home Instead CAREGiver at the assisted living facility where I worked.

“So I went online and applied. I was encouraged to see that they do hire retired nurses sometimes. It’s a big change from the hectic schedule of the nursing-home work. I love the flexibility they give us on our schedule, and we can choose which area of town we want.”

The franchise’s CAREGiver development specialist, Fay, praised Diane, saying: “Clients have told us that she is a remarkable CAREGiver. She is very attentive, has a sweet personality and is a super caring person.

“She really is in her element in her clients’ homes, where she takes the lead. She is very flexible when it comes to scheduling because she is open to taking last-minute shifts. Finally, I would say Diane is supportive to all of her clients, quiet but very much knows her job and does it well,” Fay added.

Diane is averaging about 20 hours a week with three regular clients and fill-in shifts. “I hope to remain working for Home Instead for many years to come, and I would recommend the company to anyone,” she concluded.​


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