It will never be taxing for Desiree Carter to remember April 15.
It was her wedding day. To top it off, her employer surprised her.
Desi was honored as CAREGiver of the Month for the Home Instead Senior
Care® franchise of Livonia and Westland. “What a stunner it
was, especially on such a big day,” Desi recalled. “The Home Instead
staff got me into the office under the pretense that I had to get a new
picture for my ID badge.”
Desi recounted that day, it became apparent that she’s a wonderfully
organized person who makes the most of every day, including the time
with her Home Instead clients:
Desi’s husband and his late mother might have helped lay the
foundation for Desi’s job with Home Instead before she even knew the
company existed. Desi and her fiancé took care of Andy’s mother during
the final year of her life before she passed away in December 2012.
“Andy’s mother suffered a heart attack and came home on a
ventilator. We wanted to take care of her because we thought it was a
lot better than moving her to a nursing home,” Desi said. “We took
classes to be certified on running the ventilator. After we brought her
home, she lived for about another year. That was the only major
senior-care experience I had had until joining Home Instead in July
Desi worked in special education for a school system in Milford,
Michigan, before she moved to Westland. Her background with those who
have special needs has been a plus in working for Home Instead, which
she found on an internet search. “I have worked with folks who have
needed help, and this is just a different age level. I determine what
level we can discuss things and help clients accordingly,” Desi said.
“I thought I would enjoy it, and I do.
“Home Instead cares about its clients. It trains its CAREGivers
really well – some competitors offer no training. All of the Home
Instead staff is friendly, and I like everybody.”
Desi has six regular clients, works fill-in shifts and usually works
about 40 hours a week. “I love coming into my clients’ homes. I have a
closeness with all my clients and enjoy them.”
Sometimes, Desi said, there are challenges. When she met one client
for the first time, the 90-something woman told Desi: “I don’t need
your help.” Desi realized it was not personal, but rather an
“The original care plan had me cleaning her house, but she didn’t
want me to do that because it made her anxious,” said Desi, who has
completed the Home Instead Senior Care network’s Alzheimer’s Disease or
Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education®
“We shifted more into companionship and less into light housekeeping
for a while because I needed to be more like a friend. I take her out
to eat and on errands.”
Desi got a feel for the client’s early stage of dementia and, on her
own initiative, began playing card games with her. “I have tried to
help her memory by playing War, solitaire and other card games where
she has to go back and forth and remember the numbers,” Desi said.
“When she gets tired of playing cards, she’ll watch TV, and that’s when
I can get some cleaning in for her.”
Economy of effort, a full measure of effectiveness and a lot of
compassion – that is Desi’s profile. Throw in a surprise party now and
then, and it makes for a fun and fulfilling gig.
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Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.