CAREGiver of the Month - Lynn


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 CAREGiver of the Month - Lynn

Award-winning CAREGiver Lynn intently kept up on the LSU Tigers, the New Orleans Saints and politics – although not necessarily in that order – for a 91-year-old client who had Alzheimer’s disease and loved to talk about such things. Some of their talks went much personal and deeper, too, which was evidence of a strong bond between them.

“We sure had some laughs and fun together in these discussions that kept his thinking sharper,” said Lynn, who spent 15 months with the client. “A rapport developed where we talked about subjects that were important to him in those remaining months, what remained on his bucket list, what would be important to him about his funeral.”

During the client’s last bedridden days, he became dependent on supplemental oxygen, his family, hospice workers and CAREGivers. Eventually, the client’s parched lips could pass only air sounds. “On one of those final days,” Lynn recalled, “I shared that the politician he despised the most was in town that day and that I could get him to the politician’s rally if he wanted to go. He murmured the sounds of ‘I’m busy today’ as a slight smile cracked on his cheeks.”

The exchange was like a warm ray of sunshine cutting through the darkness. It was apparent that Lynn’s family-like relationship with his client had grown stronger each day, and so it is with him and each of his clients. The CAREGiver of the Month for the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise in Metairie that serves New Orleans and Jefferson Parish is the epitome of compassion and provides “quirky humor” if the situation calls for it.

“Lynn is very good with clients, and they just love him,” said Fay Kelting, the franchise’s CAREGiver development specialist.

Fay said she has heard stories about Lynn and his clients, and isn’t surprised by much that has gone on during Lynn’s three years and three months with owner Lisa Rabito’s franchise. Above all, the former U.S. Marine, who spent part of his duty in Vietnam, is a man of faith. He and his wife of 44 years are active in their church, where his wife serves on church council and he is the chairman of the pastoral search committee. He unexpectedly drew on that faith during a stunning first day with a Parkinson’s client.

“As the client opened the front door to take his dog for a walk, the dog lunged and pulled the leash from the client’s hand. In a tragic scene, the client witnessed his dog being hit by a car and killed in an accident,” Lynn recounted. “As the client, his wife and I sat in the consultation room at the veterinary clinic, they looked up at me and poignantly asked what they should do. There is a chapter in the Professional Caregiver Handbook about dealing with a death in the family. But being a new CAREGiver, I had not gotten that far in my reading.

“God gave me the insight to enter into prayer as we wrapped arms around each others’ shoulders. The prayer just came off my lips to thank God for placing this dog in their lives, for all of the good times they had and that now God was calling their dog to His home, for reasons we don’t know. But, I prayed, the focus needed to be on the blessings for having had this dog.”

Lynn, it seems, knows the appropriate words for nearly every situation with the client. He’s had a wide array of experiences. Lynn had a 32-year career with the F.W. Dodge Division of McGraw-Hill Inc., and a short stint in a property development business. He sits on the Krewe of Zeus board of directors and also serves on other committees. Lynn works full time with Stericycle as a Sharps specialist, in which he exchanges filled needle boxes in two hospitals.

“My mom was always a nurturing, caregiver type of person and some of that rubbed off on me,” Lynn explained. “It just seemed to be instinctive in my blood and nature to help others along the way. Being a CAREGiver takes me away from whatever I am bothered or troubled with, as my client becomes my focus. It is always a challenge to get my mind to think ahead of theirs. I feel so blessed when I see a heartwarming smile break out on the client’s face.”

Lynn recalls a day at the Home Instead office that was a shocker – actually it frightened him at the start.

“I got a call to come into the office, so I did. As I waited, I kind of wondered why all of the staff members came out of their offices, gathering around,” he said. “A thought suddenly ran through the back of my mind: ‘So is this how they dismiss an employee?’

“Then they really surprised me with the CAREGiver of the Month award. I feel I am just doing my job to the best of my ability. This sure did create a special blessing for me. I was humbled to receive the honor, and I want to emphasize that Lisa and her staff are really great folks.” ​

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