Instant Bond: Client Knew Dirgni Would Be Like Family
CAREGiver Dirgni entered the new clients' house for the first time and was warmly welcomed and totally accepted. Dirgni admittedly was stunned when the wife said, "You know, Dirgni, when you walked in the door, I felt as if you would be like family to my husband and myself."
Dirgni, recalling that day, said, "I had never met her or her husband before, and for her to say that, it meant a lot to me. You just don't hear those words after the first meeting. Usually, you spend time trying to win a client's trust. It really, really made me feel special, so good."
Sadly, the husband client passed away, but Dirgni continues to help his widow. "Anything the clients ask of me, I do it for them. They all are special," Dirgni said. "In my opinion, there are two sets of people in society who are most vulnerable to getting a raw deal: children and the elderly. Few people advocate for them. I love kids, and I love the elderly even more. You have to have patience for senior care, and I do. I give 100 percent effort because they deserve it."
Like the client who immediately felt a bond with Dirgni, she quickly felt at home with owner Lisa Rabito's award-winning Home Instead Senior Care® franchise that serves the Orleans and Jefferson Parishes from its Metairie office. "I truly love to be with Home Instead. I try to get people to apply as CAREGiver," Dirgni said.
CAREGiver Development Coordinator Fay Kelting said: "Dirgni's clients and our entire staff think the world of Dirgni. She sincerely has the heart for this business. She has a great story about how she made the decision to come to work for us. For Dirgni, I think there is a similarity to the old adage, 'When one door closes, another one opens.' "
Dirgni's work arrangement with her two employers seems unusual, if not unique. She joined Home Instead on Nov. 6, 2017, while continuing to work as an assistant manager for one of the nation's largest pharmacy store chains. Every other week, she works for a different employer, Home Instead and an area drug store.
"I've been with the drug-store company for 19 years, but I plan to retire in August," Dirgni said. "Retail requires more of its employees than it formerly did. The company has changed ownership several times and does not have the family-type of atmosphere it had when I started."
Dirgni added: "I gravitated toward home-health care on a part-time basis long ago because it felt like a better fit. I took CNA classes, held a license 15 years ago and served as a private-duty caregiver off and on before joining Home Instead. I stopped for a while, then I began looking for part-time work again. A friend's daughter had worked for Home Instead and suggested it."
Years ago – before joining Home Instead – Dirgni helped a 98-year-old woman who had no family. Even when Dirgni was off-duty, she'd check to see if her client was OK and had eaten. Like most seniors, the client needed someone with whom to talk. "Seniors have such great knowledge that is amazing. I've heard stories about the Great Depression, how they survived. Their families survived on little or nothing, and they made it," Dirgni said.
Home Instead clients, Dirgni said, are awesome people who appreciate their CAREGivers. She said, "They deserve my respect and best efforts. I take a sacred, faith-based view of caregiving: 'Someone' is always watching, so I give it my best. 'The Man Upstairs' sees all and is keeping track. Yes, I have a strong faith or heart or whatever you'd call it. I don't do this for recognition – I do it because I think it's the right thing for me to do."
When Dirgni retires from her other job, she plans to spend her working hours with Home Instead Senior Care. She said: "I can't wait. I've declined some clients because of having to split time now, but that likely will end when I retire from my other job. Things happen for a reason. I love doing this."
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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