Award-winning CAREGiver Stanley doesn’t panic. Clients and their families, folks who depend on him and the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise that serves New Orleans and Jefferson Parish, love Stanley’s reassuring demeanor and are comforted by his uncommon wisdom. Most of them don’t know what Stanley’s been through. At 35, he already has seen more than most people experience in an entire lifetime.Stanley’s deep and abiding Christian faith was tested by Hurricane Katrina and did not waver one iota. Stanley and nine friends spent a frightening night Aug. 29-30, 2005, on the roof of a two-story house not far from the Six Flags theme park as the wind howled and flood waters raged around them. On the morning of Aug. 30, hours after Stanley and his friends watched two alligators and an undetermined number of snakes swim around the house, a Coast Guard helicopter plucked them off the roof. “Oh,” Stanley said matter-of-factly, “I think anyone who was in the city back then has a Hurricane Katrina story. It was a once-in-a-lifetime event that changed lives. We thought there was a 50-50 chance that we’d be rescued by helicopter, and that’s what happened. They got us to the airport, and we got out of town.”Before the costliest U.S. hurricane blew in, Stanley had been working for a care company that helps children, the elderly and disabled. “I was operating a lift van for several multiple sclerosis clients,” he said. Of course, he became one of the hundreds of thousands who were displaced. Friends took him in for the first two months in Dallas and for another two months in Lawton, Oklahoma, before he returned to New Orleans in early 2006 to begin rebuilding his life.With his house gutted and finally repaired – he did much of the work himself – Stanley sought to get back into the business of helping others. On April 17, 2009, he joined owner Lisa Rabito’s Home Instead Senior Care franchise in Metairie. “I had never heard of Home Instead before I found them in the newspaper classifieds,” Stanley said. “We were a good match.”CAREGiver Development Specialist Fay Kelting agreed and pointed out that Stanley’s CAREGiver of the Month honor in December was his second one. “Stanley is such an outstanding person,” Fay said, “and it is easy to see that his reliability, personality and likability just make him stand out. He is such a soft-spoken person and has a huge heart. Stanley dearly loves his clients, and we know we can count on him.” Asked what he likes about being a CAREGiver, Stanley said being helpful and making a difference with his clients day in and day out. He quickly added: “My faith is a big part of this. I am a Christian. It is the right thing to do. I believe 100 percent that you should help your fellow man. It is my second nature. Sometimes because of work and family obligations, I cannot make it to church on Sunday, but God knows my heart.” Stanley also cited several Bible Scriptures for the basis of his beliefs:
Stanley added, “Caregiving feels like a ministry, but it is also a job that helps pay the bills for me, my wife and our three children. The big upside to being a Home Instead CAREGiver is that I get to help people while I am working. Keeping a senior at home is important.” Helping his grandparents, Stanley said, gave him a great feel for senior caregiving. “My grandparents made quite an impression on me – they were married for more than 50 years and loved each other very much. They basically raised me. I lived with them, and whatever they needed, I got,” Stanley said. “I was so close to them their deaths took a toll on me – they died two months apart in 2005 and 2006. My grandmother died as the result of a brain tumor, and my grandfather died of a heart attack – actually I would say a broken heart.“I love helping older people, and I had a lot of practice in how to deal with the needs of an older person. Working for Home Instead is almost like taking care of my grandparents. In fact, that’s how I view my clients and my attitude toward helping them.”Stanley and a team of CAREGivers were able to keep a long-time client in his home until the client’s death last September. Stanley had full-time hours with the 93-year-old man for nearly three years. “It was a shock when he passed,” Stanley said. “I wasn’t with him when he died, and the news from the office stunned me. I had gotten to know him well and had learned how to redirect and calm him on the occasions when he became confused. “Now I have three new clients and am getting acquainted with them and building relationships. Since I plan on staying with Home Instead, it will be interesting to see how everything develops with these new clients. It is always fulfilling.”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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