As Elizabeth Helps Longtime Client, She Also Witnesses a Family's Love
Each day when two-time CAREGiver of the Month Elizabeth leaves about 2 p.m., her client's 94-year-old husband takes his place at her bedside. He brings cards and "other sweet things" to his wife, who struggles with dementia to the extent that she can no longer feed herself.
The scenes of love and devotion are like something the Hallmark Channel might air.
Elizabeth has seen it go on since June 2013, when she first began assisting the 89-year-old client on behalf of owner Lisa Rabito's award-winning Home Instead Senior Care® franchise in Metairie, which serves the Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.
"Her husband is self-sufficient. He still drives himself to work after I arrive at 6:15 each morning. Emotionally, her husband rolls with the punches, and he is interactive with her the minute I leave. He still does all those things that a loving husband does for his wife," said Elizabeth, who was first honored as CAREGiver of the Month in November 2013. "He sits by her bed until their daughter gets there and starts to prepare supper. When I am there, he does not intrude on my time with her. The entire family – including nine children – treat me like family."
Sadly, as is the insidious nature of dementia, the client's condition has worsened since Elizabeth joined them. "I have to get her up to feed her. There's no more using the walker, and she sleeps a lot, but she is sweet. She is in good spirits and always smiles. I love taking care of her. We don't hardly ever have bad days. We take our time and have our little routine," said Elizabeth, who joined Home Instead Senior Care in 2012.
"This is the sweetest little family. They are very strong people. Since I am with her from Monday through Friday, the daughters help take care of her in the evenings, on Saturday nights and on Sundays. They have a Saturday CAREGiver for the morning and early afternoon. There are lots of hands to help her," Elizabeth said.
CAREGiver Development Specialist Fay Kelting said: "Elizabeth is one of our quiet heroes. She has assisted her regular client every day for almost four years in special ways. The CAREGiver-client match is wonderful. Elizabeth has a beautiful personality to go along with her beautiful smile. We just cannot say enough about her."
Asked what she'll do when the sorrowful time comes, Elizabeth said, "It will be sad, but I am going to keep going as a CAREGiver. I'd like to help another client and his or her family. There is no burnout for me with caregiving. This is what I want to do, and I feel good about it. Years ago when I talked to Home Instead about employment, something they said really rang true and touched my heart. They told me, 'Just take care of your clients as if they were your grandparents.' My grandmothers passed away when I was young. I feel as if I am getting that chance to take care of them now as a Home Instead CAREGiver."
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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