Two-time CAREGiver of the Month Judy's word has always been good as gold. Judy and her 24/7 caregiving team made a promise to their 88-year-old widowed client: "We told her we would be with her until the day she passes, but we also qualified that statement and softened it by saying, 'You'll be here until you are 100.' With a half-chuckle, the client said, 'I hope not.' "
Even after the client "joins her husband in heaven," Judy plans to stay with Home Instead Senior Care® Livonia. "One CAREGiver on our team of four plans to retire when the client dies because she is 70. She had decreased her hours, but then increased them again so the four of us could fill out the client's schedule and keep the same team," said Judy, who has been with owner Glenna Yaroch's award-winning franchise since September 2006 and was first honored as CAREGiver of the Month in October 2013.
Judy added: "I still love being a CAREGiver. I am 66, and I want to keep going. This is my calling. Our team members are all faith-filled, and we believe we'll receive a heavenly reward."
Her client has a sharp mind, and Judy said: "She could go on for a good while because of that. Her body is declining physically, but she is getting good medical care. We are doing our best with her. She is a sweetheart, a very wonderful woman. She appreciates us and is so grateful. She just doesn't feel good, so her needs come first. We talk and talk, and I try to cheer her up."
Judy's oatmeal is the client's No. 1 choice for breakfast. "She eats a good breakfast because she wants only me to make her oatmeal in my 'special way.' " Asked about her oatmeal recipe, Judy said, "I use milk instead of water with brown sugar instant oatmeal. I made it that way for most of my kids when I ran a daycare for 24 years. I also put raspberries or other fruit on her oatmeal. She also loves candy and donuts, and we take turns bringing sweets, which cheer her up."
For 2½ years, Judy has assisted the client, who lost her husband of 40 years just four years ago and has no children. "We CAREGivers have been her family," Judy said, "but with other clients, family members have played prominent roles, and I will never forget them."
Citing the great relationships she has developed with clients' families, Judy said: "I feel I have to stay in touch with them, even after I no longer have their senior loved ones. They make me feel like family. With some family members, I exchange birthday and Christmas cards. With one family, I took care of three members. I felt like I was a daughter. I am still close to my late client's youngest daughter. The family said: 'We all feel you are our sister.' The late client said, 'You are like having a third daughter.' "
Home Instead Senior Care staff members agree that Judy has gone above and beyond the call of duty. She often trades shifts with CAREGiver team members so that their client can see the same familiar faces. In one stretch, she worked 12 straight days that included 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. shifts. On Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Judy and her husband take care of a granddaughter who will turn 3 on July 9. They also have two grandsons who are in school.
"I am tired sometimes, but it is well worth it. My client is afraid of getting new CAREGivers because if she bonds with them and they leave, she will be sad. The four of us are determined to stick it out for her because we feel a special closeness. And as I said. this is my calling," Judy noted.
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.
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.
Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.