Jerri Helps Her Client Reach Back in Time

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“Movie stars in the 1940s for $1,000, Alex!”

Award-winning CAREGiver Jerri’s 88-year-old client has dementia that continues to slowly impact her mental function, but she still might be unbeatable in a game of “Jeopardy!,” particularly when the questions focus on the past.

“TV’s ‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’ are ways I try to keep my client’s mind active and are good ways to plug into the companionship aspect of care with her,” said Jerri, who recently was honored as CAREGiver of the Month with the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish for the second time in less than two years. “She is the client who was teaching me Italian words two years ago, and she can still do that, but not as much as she did. She can tell me about her life in 1949, but not what she did yesterday. That is the mystery of dementia.”

The client amazes Jerri in other ways: Her mobility is excellent – she doesn’t use a cane or walker – and her dancing feats continue to achieve legendary status. Her footwork helped her win the senior prom queen’s honor last spring at her assisted living facility. “She truly is something else,” Jerri said.

Her clients and their families think the same thing about Jerri, who was displaced in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina and moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where she was honored as CAREGiver of the Year in 2006 for a Home Instead Senior Care franchise. Jerri, a former deputy sheriff, returned to the New Orleans area and joined owner Lisa Rabito’s franchise July 2, 2008.

CAREGiver Development Specialist Fay Kelting said: “Jerri’s personality shines through. She is the true definition of a caring and giving heart because Jerri is always in a positive mood. For example, Jerri walked to a different building out of necessity to launder a client’s clothing for a time and also advocated for the client at her facility. Jerri also mentors other CAREGivers, is part of our CAREGiver Leadership Team and helps our new CAREGivers any way she can.”

“As another example of her big heart,” Fay said, “Jerri makes it a point on Mondays to make red beans and rice, a traditional New Orleans meal, for her client. She really goes out of her way.”

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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