CAREGiver of the Month - Jacquelyn

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Jacquelyn Encouraged Client to Fulfill Wish

CAREGiver of the Month Jacquelyn doesn’t call herself a “miracle worker,” but least one client’s family believes she is.

Soon after she joined Home Instead Senior Care® Livonia on March 29, Jacquelyn was assigned to assist an 83-year-old hospice client who had stage 4 liver cancer and was given two weeks to live. Not only did the client live for four more months with Jacquelyn’s assistance, but her quality of life markedly improved as she set her focus on attending her first grandson’s wedding in Ohio last August. Having accomplished that, Jacquelyn’s client passed away peacefully three weeks later, finishing a life well-lived with a flourish. 

The client’s family members were stunned and grateful for their senior loved one’s turnaround, and they praised Jacquelyn’s reassuring and encouraging companionship. Jacquelyn discussed the experience and others since becoming a CAREGiver just 20 days after she retired as a 22-year corrections specialist.

Question: Tell us about your client, who responded wonderfully to your positive outlook.
Jacquelyn: “She had not only dealt with cancer, but she had lost her husband less than a year before I arrived. On my first shift, she was lying in bed and was nonresponsive. But I somehow sensed she wasn’t ready to give up. I pointed out she had a lot to live for and encouraged her. I cooked healthy meals for her. I washed her feet and put oil on them, and just in general stayed on top of things. I also helped her practice her faith, and just overall read to her. One day, she got up and started walking. In some ways, it seemed she had regained her health. I got to know her and enjoyed being with her. I learned a lot about her and her family. It felt good to see her thrive and receive positive feedback from her family, including cards.”

Question: Tell us about the wedding.
Jacquelyn: “There was a lot of anticipation, and it was a big trip. Her children drove her, and Home Instead Senior Care played a role. I did not go, but the family received CAREGiver assistance from an Ohio office. Since she did not have dementia, she remembered the family members she had not seen for a long while. She shared a lot, and it sounded like a success. My client had a certain kind of pride where she wanted badly to maintain her capability to socialize and be a part of everything. She talked a lot about it after she returned.” 

Question: What happened after she returned?
Jacquelyn: “When she came back, she seemed tired, which was understandable. Two weeks after the wedding, her condition deteriorated rapidly, and she died three weeks after the wedding. I assisted her until her last week, when she entered a hospice facility. I continued to visit and encourage her. I was holding her hand about two hours before she died but was not with her when she passed away. It is sad, but death is something we CAREGivers must deal with. My client’s suffering was over.”

Question: You’ve had another client who has rebounded. Tell us about her. 
Jacquelyn: “She’s 82. I began assisting her in July. She was depressed because of a leg injury. She was crippled by fear, was convinced she would never recover and believed she’d continue to go downhill. ‘If I fall, will I be able to get up?’ she wondered. Now she tells me, ‘I feel great! I feel like I am brand new.’ She said her doctor has given her a clean bill of health, and she’s thinking she might be ready to live on her own again. I am encouraged by her progress.”

Question: You’ve had such an impact as a CAREGiver. How did you decide on senior care?
Jacquelyn: “As a corrections specialist, I was involved with the population and had a lot of care responsibilities. I had not previously worked for an agency, but I was caring for my friend’s mother and a few others in private duty during my off-hours from corrections. I assisted my friend’s mother for five years before she died last April at 92. I would pick her up, and she’d spend the evening with me. I knew there was a need for people to take care of the elderly.” 

Question: Tell us about Home Instead Senior Care.
Jacquelyn: “The office staff does a phenomenal job. They are on the ball with the scheduling, and they deal with it around the clock. I tip my hat to them because it is a big juggling effort. I’m in a good place; I told a manager, ‘You can have me for at least 5½ additional years, and maybe a little more, if you want me that long.’ That is my goal. After I retired from corrections, I did not feel like staying home with nothing to do.” 

Question: Could you sum up your experiences and how they’ve impacted you?
Jacquelyn: “I’m happy to be working for Home Instead Senior Care, but regardless of whether I was working for them or not, I would give it my all to help someone because it is in me to do nothing less. I don’t see it as a job. I grew up on the Caribbean island nation of St. Kitts, where you looked out for each other no matter how young or how old they were.”

Home Instead CAREGivers, who are screened, trained, bonded and insured, provide a variety of non-medical services to help keep seniors independent. For inquiries about employment with Home Instead Senior Care, please call (734) 525-5300 or email LeeAnn Loveland. Home Instead Senior Care also accepts online applications to become a in home caregiver.

For further information about the company, visit Home Instead Senior Care Livonia MI, or to learn more about the company's senior home care services by viewing our digital brochure.


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