Carlolice Answers the Call to Duty

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CAREGiver of the Month Carlolice answered an urgent call as an overnight fill-in on a Friday evening, and the episode generated a heartwarming story that reflected the strong, faithful character of the Home Instead Senior Care® employee.

“Carlolice recently helped on a noteworthy Friday night by leaving one job and going straight to a client who needed someone at the last minute,” CAREGiver Development Specialist Fay Kelting said. “That is Carlolice. She is there at the drop of a hat and takes shifts on short notice.”

Carlolice was working at her regular three-hour night janitorial job that usually ends at 8 p.m., and the client needed her as soon as possible. “Let me talk to my supervisor and see what I can do,” texted Carlolice, who got the OK to leave a little earlier. “I’ll try my best.”

But there were unexpected problems: Carlolice, a New Orleans resident, had never been to the client’s home in an unfamiliar Metairie area, it was night and her cellular phone would not pull up the MapQuest application to get the directions to the address that was entered. Just as Carlolice began to worry she might have to call for another fill-in, she found the house.

“I am used to arriving early at a client’s house, so I was flustered. After I finally found it, I was fumbling with the house’s lock box because it was so dark,” Carlolice said. “Then I noticed a shadowy figure in the doorway. I did a double-take, and it was the client standing behind her walker. She said, ‘I’ve been waiting for you – please come in.’ I was relieved because she wasn’t mad or anxious.

“I explained to the client that I was not able to see the numbers on the lock box to get the key out. She said, ‘That is why there is a flashlight on the porch.’ I looked down, and there was the flashlight. I had been lost, and God came into the situation, helping me find the house, helping me to help the client and giving me the strength to pull an unexpected overnight shift with a very nice lady who I ended up helping in other visits.

“I didn’t leave the client’s house until 6 a.m. the next morning,” Carlolice said, “but I was OK because there was a calmness that came over me. I know it was God telling me it was OK and that His strength would be sufficient for me that night and the next morning.”

And it was. It’s not hard to detect Carlolice’s faith and her commitment to help others. Office staff members see it all the time in Carlolice’s work with the Home Instead Senior Care franchise in Metairie that serves New Orleans and Jefferson Parish.

“In less than a year since she has been with us, Carlolice certainly has been a CAREGiver who has continuously stood out,” Fay said. “Our folks in staffing can tell you exactly what makes her exceptional: She hardly ever says no to an offer for a shift and is willing to try many different clients.  Her clients have remarked how wonderful, gracious and professional she is.”

Carlolice, who earned a master’s degree in social work at Southern University at New Orleans in 1997, joined Home Instead on June 10, 2014.

As a home manager in a social work job, she had worked with Alzheimer’s clients for about a year and a half. “In some ways,” she said, “that was like a CAREGiver job. I had a familiarity with working with those who have dementia. As far as other senior-care experience goes, I provided care for my mother during her illness about 3½ years ago, but I also arranged for services to help me care for her when I was not available.”

With Home Instead, Carlolice works as a fill-in for less than 20 hours a week because of her two other jobs, although she does receive a lot of the same clients’ call-backs as a fill-in. She takes overnight shifts when she can. “To some extent,” she said, “I can adjust hours for my counseling job and with Home Instead so both will work out. My early-evening job has fixed hours.

“My counseling job involves a mental health rehabilitation agency, and I provide counseling services to both children and adults who are diagnosed with a mental disability. I make home visits and school visits, and I meet them in the community to provide counseling services. There is a lot of case work involved. I am working with a lot of people who are bipolar, have depression and have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),” she explained.

“When compared to the counseling challenges, I really like the calmness of my job as a CAREGiver with seniors. It feels fulfilling and is a nice break from the pace of my other jobs. I love the fact that when I talk to my clients, I can find out more history about New Orleans and this area. You get the inside scoop on things, and I like that. Generally, even with dementia, there is a spark where the long-term memories are and you can have a lot of conversation. The companionship aspect for both CAREGiver and client is good.”

Carlolice said her senior-care philosophy is simple: “Whatever I have done in my own situations to help my family – a grandparent, my mother, my son, just whoever it is – that is how I will treat my clients. We are all children of Jesus Christ, and everyone deserves the same treatment of dignity and compassion. I do give God thanks for the ability to do this work, and prayer and my faith remain as two of the steady pillars in my life. I love all clients, the friendly, the not-so-friendly and the feisty – especially the feisty – they all have a place in my heart,” Carlolice said.

All Home Instead Senior Care 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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