Humorous stories, poignant requests, expressions of faith and longings for companionship – CAREGiver of the Month Deborah has experienced all those of things while assisting seniors on behalf of Home Instead Senior Care® of Metairie.
Deborah loves a client's stories about her humble beginnings in Soso, Mississippi, of all places. That's right, as in the expression "I'm just so-so." On a trip to Atlanta, a curious Deborah found the village. "My client said the cluster of homes in that area got its name from a longtime mailman's standard response to residents when they asked how he was," Deborah said with a giggle. "She has lots of stories, many good memories. She and her family are very considerate people. They always ask how I am doing."
A hospice client, 92, asked to feel Deborah's warm hands on the day before her death. "I said, 'Of course,' so that is what we did, held hands all day while she was in bed because she was too weak to get up. She was a very sweet lady, and we were together for three years. We had bonded, and we were the best of friends," Deborah said. "Before her condition worsened, she loved to tell jokes, and you could never tell she was in pain.
"As a CAREGiver, you have to be prepared for a client's death, but it was very hard. We were invited to the funeral, and the family acknowledged us CAREGivers in the obituary. It was a touching experience, and was nice because it confirmed they felt we were like family. My heart especially breaks for her son because his whole life revolved around his mother."
Another client asked Deborah to read Scripture. "Once when I walked in the door, she said, 'Before we do anything, could you read from the Bible?' I asked what she'd like, and she said, 'What is your favorite passage?' I turned to John 14:1-7, which starts, 'Let not your heart be troubled. … ' It seemed appropriate. One message I would like to impart to clients when they ask about faith is that God cares about them and all of us. We should feel comfort from that."
One subject is off limits. "If I can, I steer away from conversations about politics," she said. But Deborah's life is an open book about service and compassion. After her husband died, Deborah started working for Home Instead Senior Care in February 2001 on weekends and in the summers with the Baton Rouge franchise while she was also a teacher. Deborah retired from teaching in 2008 after 32 years in education, but continued with Home Instead even after moving to the New Orleans area to help her daughter and grandchild.
Deborah has been an excellent employee since joining owner Lisa Rabito's award-winning Metairie franchise Sept. 17, 2013. CAREGiver Development Specialist Fay Kelting said: "Deborah was in one of my first training classes. From the very beginning, I could see she had something very special and peaceful about her. Deborah is a very kind and loving-spirited woman who is hard-working and reliable. She is loved by all of her clients."
Describing her transition from teaching to senior care, Deborah said: "I always loved being around seniors. I used to visit with my grandmother a lot and listen to her stories. To hear her excitement while telling the stories was quite an experience. We enjoyed each other's company," Deborah said. "Seniors have so much to share, so much wisdom and experiences. You could never learn any of this information through books. I relate a lot of these stories to others. They are so pleasant to be around."
Deborah concluded, "The thing I like about Home Instead Senior Care – with both franchises with whom I have worked – is they care about the CAREGivers as much as they do about their clients. I feel good about working for Home Instead I and hope to continue as long as I can."
All Home Instead CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call 504-455-4911 or apply online. For further information about Home Instead Senior Care, visit our website.
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