CAREGiver of the Month - LeKita

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​‘Miracles’ Are a Pattern With LeKita

The coincidences are too great. No matter how you evaluate her clients’ amazing strides, award-winning CAREGiver LeKita Frierson seems to have a hand in them. Is she perhaps a miracle worker?

Last fall, LeKita was called to assist a new client who appeared to be destined for hospice. LeKita was told her client had dementia and was wheelchair-bound permanently because of a fall. 

“When I went to a memory facility to assist the client last October, her brother said, ‘It shouldn’t be long now for my sister (expecting her to pass away),’ ” said LeKita, a CAREGiver of the Month for Home Instead Senior Care® of Livonia and Westland. 

But LeKita had other thoughts. “The client and I seemed to have an instant connection, and I could see she had a strong will to get out of that wheelchair. I was very careful, but I worked with her so that she could stand with my help and maybe take a step or two,” LeKita said.

Facility nurses couldn’t believe what they were seeing, so they gave LeKita a gait belt before calling Home Instead Senior Care franchise owner Glenna Yaroch to report the astounding news. One nurse told Glenna, “LeKita is excellent, and everyone here loves her. We love that she is with our resident, and we know what she is capable of doing.”

Said LeKita: “My client and I just kept going, kept progressing slowly and safely, always safely. When her brother visited in January, his mouth dropped. He was so impressed she was walking that he had me taking cell phone pictures of the two standing together. He also took a cell phone video of her singing.”

While aiming for improvement, LeKita also knows her client’s limits. “I use my judgment. Sometimes she wants to walk maybe too much, and I make her rest so she can get her strength back. Sometimes she is too tired to walk, so I put her in the wheelchair. But I believe she is going strong,” LeKita said.

LeKita’s client was a career music teacher whose memory still includes the sweet sounds that have permeated her entire life. One way LeKita evokes her client's happier times is to ask her to play the piano or sing – then LeKita sings along, although not too well sometimes.

“I will purposely sing off-key so she can stop me and correct me because it is ingrained in her memory. Her ear for music is so good that I put it to work. Music, researchers say, is one of the memories that holds on longest with someone who has dementia. We sing ‘You’re the Flower of My Heart, Sweet Adeline.’ She was a member of her local group, the Sweet Adelines. She also has a music box and hums with the sounds.

LeKita also has been a part of another amazing story. An 84-year-old dementia client returned home last May after five months of being out of her home because of an illness and recovery. 

“I helped bring her home from the hospital. She has come back a long ways from rehabilitation, and our service time with her has dwindled because of her improvement,” LeKita said. “I am excited because I can get her to shower, eat breakfast, brush her teeth and direct her to take her meds. The tooth brushing aspect is especially exciting because she had all but given that up. Of course, you have to know your clients and what they are capable of doing. Some days I give her a sponge bath because she is too weak.”

LeKita has plenty of compassion and senior care expertise. The Michigan native worked for Home Instead Senior Care of Metairie, Louisiana, from October 2012 to June 2013 before moving back to the Detroit area and joining Glenna’s Livonia franchise March 25, 2014. “It has been awesome to work for both franchises,” LeKita said.

Livonia franchise staff member Cindy Butler said her crew is pleased to have LeKita. “Every time she calls out for her shift with a very difficult client, LeKita is always happy. You can almost hear her smile over the phone,” Cindy said. “There have been a couple of times she had to stay over because a CAREGiver was running late, and she always handles that situation well.  LeKita is on time and will pick up extra shifts when she can.” 

LeKita’s family caregiving challenges provided a strong background that propelled her toward Home Instead Senior Care. Her mother died in 2011 at age 51 as a result of heart failure and kidney failure, and LeKita also assisted her grandmother take care of a great-grandmother, who had Alzheimer’s disease and died in 2011. 

“I would help my grandmother with my great-grandmother every day from the time I was a pre-teen until we finally had to put her in a nursing home,” LeKita said. “Those times, with my mom included, gave me the experience I needed to help seniors. I was not afraid of their infirmities. Senior care comes naturally to me, but if I don’t know something about senior care, I will go research it online or ask someone at Home Instead Senior Care. The staff is awesome, and I love them. If I have a problem, I can talk to them about it. They are a good sounding board. They will say straight out, ‘The answer is X, Y and Z.’ ”

More often than not, though, LeKita just knows what to do, easy as A, B and C. Cindy summed it up by saying, “She is a gem!”​

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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