CAREGiver of the Month - Mary Kate

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Happy Times or Sad, Mary-Kate Feels Fulfilled​

For award-winning CAREGiver Mary-Kate Young, no day on the job is ever the same. The even-keeled 23-year-old’s inner emotions at times have traveled from the highest peaks to the lowest valleys, but her feeling of fulfillment has been a constant.  

Mary-Kate remembers the day when an 89-year-old client asked her to help him with Facebook, the 11-year-old social networking service that has more than 1.3 billion users. Mary-Kate, a frequent Facebook user, proudly said:  “Now, at age 89, my client is on Facebook because we sat down and worked on it. There can’t be too many 89-year-olds on Facebook. His mind is sharp, and it was a pleasure to help him try something new.”
Mary-Kate also has experienced the emotions surrounding the death of two clients while working for Home Instead Senior Care® of Livonia and Westland. While there is sadness in losing them, Mary-Kate said, she is glad they are no longer suffering. 

“I know they are in a better place, but the death of a client is hard. I’ve been in tears, but I have pulled myself together,” Mary-Kate said. “The thing that keeps coming back to me is that I made the final days of their life better. 

“Home Instead Senior Care takes into consideration whether you are ready for some challenges. They asked me about working with a hospice client, and I said yes because I had been there before. I was with my grandfather when he died in December 2009, when I was 18. It was a difficult experience I will never forget, seeing him take his final breath. The Lord prepared me for being in such a situation again. By having gone through it, I can comfort the client and family.”

So where did Mary-Kate learn so much compassion, wisdom, commitment and skill to be able to help someone else? “Mom,” Mary-Kate succinctly said. “She is a nurse in a Rochester Hills facility, and she has been doing this for quite a while. She is a model for caring and touching peoples’ lives. She doesn’t do it for money, and nor do I. Mom keeps moving ahead – she is an LPN who is taking classes to become an RN. I am proud of her.” 

Her mom also involved Mary-Kate in the hands-on experience of senior care when they took care of family. “I helped my aunt and uncle for two years by staying with them overnight, aiding them with showers and preparing meals,” Mary-Kate recalled. “I helped out another 88-year-old aunt for two months because she didn’t like to drive in snow. I also checked on her and provided companionship.” 

Those experiences led up to Mary-Kate’s start with Home Instead Senior Care on St. Patrick’s Day in 2014. “My cousin was working as a CAREGiver, and Home Instead really liked her,” recalled Mary-Kate, who had been working for a regional grocery store chain. “Katie and I actually work with the same client while she was still with the franchise. Her career path has changed to nursing, and she went back to school at the University of Michigan.

“Since I had been involved with family caregiving, I had a feel for what I needed to do, but the Home Instead training is good. If there is a task that you’re not comfortable doing, they will work with you on it. There is lots of hands-on instruction.”

A staff member said Mary-Kate has intangibles that can’t be taught: “Mary-Kate is always willing to rearrange her schedule to pick up extra shifts to help out our clients. She brings her enthusiastic spirit wherever she goes, and always wants to make people smile.”

Mary-Kate, who works half-days on Thursdays at a clothing store, works five other days with three regular clients. “Generally speaking, Saturdays are my only days off,” she said. “I love being a CAREGiver. I like making a difference in someone’s life. Like I mentioned earlier, I don’t do this for money – I do it for my heart and their hearts.”

Mary-Kate said she’s inspired by the Home Instead staff. “The staff is awesome,” she said. “This is the best company I’ve worked for. They are always asking, ‘Do you need anything?’ 

“I remember on a Halloween night that my relief was 2½ hours late because someone must have gotten sick at the last second. When the replacement CAREGiver came, she brought me food, which was a very nice surprise and so awesome. Everyone cares for everyone else. They make sure we are OK and ask how we are doing. 

“Really, I can check off all the boxes: I like my job. Everything is going well. I like the people I work with. I am always thinking about my clients and wondering how they’re doing when I am not with them.” 

And the rewards don’t stop there. “One afternoon, a hospice client was very clear-minded and knew who I was. ‘I am ready to die,’ he told me. Then he held my hand. He wanted to thank me for everything I had done for him. It touched my heart so much and continues to do so. It was so sweet.” 

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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