CAREGiver of the Month Carolyn always has a song in her heart, and she uses those tunes to help her client while working for Home Instead Senior Care® of Metairie.
It is fitting for Carolyn and her client that one of their favorite songs is "Blessed Assurance," because that is what Carolyn embodies for the client, who has dementia. "She used to play the piano, so I brought my hymn book from home and we do singing and music exercises," Carolyn said. "Sometimes I intentionally mess up a stanza, and she helps me get in tune. It is a good way to help get her mind working, and she enjoys it.
"Our other favorite songs are classics such as "How Great Thou Art" and "Silent Night." My client's son also sometimes sings with us when he drops by to visit at the facility where my client lives. She remembers most of the words – it is great to see the effect that music has on her."
Carolyn's discovery of soothing songs has science behind it. According to experts, music can spark good outcomes even in the late stages of dementia. Music can shift mood, manage stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function and coordinate
motor movements. This happens, experts say, because rhythmic and other well-rehearsed responses require little to no cognitive or mental processing. They are influenced by a part of the brain that responds directly to auditory rhythmic cues.
The facility workers are drawn to the client's door after Carolyn arrives because they love to hear the singing and watch Carolyn's engaging, magnetic personality at work. "It makes me feel good to know she feels good, and I am pleased to have also won over the workers," Carolyn said.
CAREGiver Development Specialist Fay Kelting isn't surprised. "Carolyn is willing to go anywhere and work with any situation," Fay said. "She is extremely reliable. Carolyn always makes sure her clients are comfortable and all is well before she leaves her client. She works well under pressure and in a crisis, and she has a calming effect on her clients. Carolyn is a wonderful God-filled lady."
Home Instead Senior Care, Carolyn pointed out, has great flexibility with hours and strives hard to make great matches with clients and CAREGivers. Carolyn and her client have a strong faith-based bond. "We have a morning prayer when I come in before we sing," said Carolyn, whose favorite Bible passage is the 23rd Psalm. "It is important to me to live a Christian life and have a God-given patience for all seniors."
Carolyn felt a blessing in April 2013 when she applied at owner Lisa Rabito's franchise office. "I was working part time with a major retail chain store, and my manager was a part-time CAREGiver and recommended I apply at Home Instead," Carolyn said. "I am happy that I did because I feel good about it. I feel the future is good. Lisa is so nice, and it is an excellent office where they view everybody the same and treat us all well and are very welcoming."
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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