CAREGiver of the Month - Tracy

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​Nestled between the Zephyrs baseball stadium and Victory Fellowship Church just south of Airline Drive in Metairie is the New Orleans Saints headquarters and practice facility.

Tracy, an award-winning CAREGiver for the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise in Metairie that serves New Orleans and Jefferson Parish, is well-acquainted with the sprawling complex that includes two emerald-green football fields. That’s where she takes her football-loving client on occasion during their numerous outings across the Big Easy. Her 79-year-old client loves to attend practice even though macular degeneration has limited her eyesight. One day, the client wanted to try to catch a glimpse of star quarterback Drew Brees.

“Unfortunately,” Tracy said, “Brees didn’t come out for practice that day because he was inside the complex rehabilitating an injury. What was impressive, though, was that several players came over to my client after practice and offered to sign autographs.”

How many signatures did Tracy’s client get?

“None,” Tracy said with a hearty laugh that was quickly echoed by her client. “She politely declined their autographs, but graciously thanked them for coming over to see her. Drew Brees really was the target of her affection that day.”

It was another day with her client, another outing and another raucous round of laughter. How could life get any better for Tracy? “My client and I get along so well that she tells me every day that the Lord sent me into her life,” Tracy said. “I am not her CAREGiver, I am her family. That’s how we feel.”

Tracy and her client have been together for a year, and she has been with owner Lisa Rabito’s franchise since 2010. When asked what she likes best about being a CAREGiver, there was a pregnant pause. “I can’t explain it. It’s everything,” she said, searching for just the right words. “Senior caregiving is my life. You must have a passion for it, and you have to be willing to go above and beyond the call of duty for your client. I enjoy doing it. That’s what God put in my heart.”

Tracy’s client interjected: “I feel blessed. I thank God for every day that He gives me Tracy. He hugs me, and He shows His love for me by giving me such a CAREGiver who cares for me and keeps me laughing.” Tracy said there is a spiritual aspect to her close relationship with her client, explaining that they pray together each day and “give thanks and praise to God.”

Companionship ranks No. 1 for CAREGiver and client, but Tracy also takes her client to doctors’ appointments and for groceries while hitting restaurants for just about anything that ranges the client would like to eat. Tracy also keeps a ship-shape home for her client and her client’s husband.

Tracy has been with her client through good and bad times. Tracy spent seven days at her client’s side in a hospital last summer after she suffered a minor stroke that initially stole much of her mobility. “I also was there for the two weeks when she was in a nursing home for rehabilitation,” Tracy said. “I would get her husband and bring him with me to visit her. She has been doing well now, and by God’s grace, she is walking. I was with her every step of the way, encouraging her as she used the walker to regain what she had lost.”

CAREGiver Development Specialist Fay Kelting said Tracy is the perfect example of a CAREGiver of the Month. “Tracy is an exceptionally happy person, and clients love her because she loves to take them out for many different types of activities if they are able to do it,” Fay said. “She is always thinking of something new to do with them.

“Her primary client has lost much of her vision, but you can see the zest for life on her client’s face because Tracy doesn’t let that stop her taking her client out for fun activities. When we did Tracy’s award presentation in the office, she brought her client and they were on their way to a Saints practice. This is just one example of Tracy’s exemplary gift of caregiving.”

Tracy sees a long future with Home Instead Senior Care. “I love my job. I think I’ll retire with them,” she said. She no quicker finished with her declaration when her client piped up: “You aren’t going anywhere but with me.”   ​


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