CAREGiver of the Month Mira

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Mira Finds a Home With Home Instead 

Mira Dukes can't remember receiving so much love and support from an employer.

"There is nothing like this job," said Mira, an award-winning CAREGiver for the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise of Livonia and Westland. "The office staff takes you under their arm as if you were their daughter. Whatever it is, if you need help, they are there for you. I keep hearing, 'Is there something we can do for you?'

"They have employee Christmas parties, send birthday cards to everybody and do other nice things. "If you need anything for your job, they jump in. They are on it. They own it."

Mira and Home Instead Senior Care have been a great fit. Recruitment and Retention Coordinator LeeAnn Loveland said she and the staff quickly recognized a potentially outstanding CAREGiver when they hired Mira on Oct. 19, 2013. "She is fantastic, a very sweet young lady," LeeAnn said. "She is a very compassionate and caring young person, and I like to say she's got an old soul. People notice that right away when they talk to her. Mira is very compassionate, but she is no pushover."

Not that Mira needs any extra motivation to do her job, but encouragement from LeeAnn, franchise owner Glenna Yaroch and the rest of her staff means a lot to the 28-year-old CAREGiver from Detroit. Mira also stays busy with a beautiful 2-year-old daughter and helps her grandmother - things that the franchise takes into account while scheduling her workload.

"Home Instead Senior Care appreciates me. It feels good to work for someone who recognizes my work." Mira said. "If I could take care of my family when the situations came up over the years, I can certainly take care of other people. I know others can do the same thing for these folks because they take senior care to heart. I can honestly say I would recommend people, potential clients or CAREGivers, to Home Instead."

Mira feels she has two families, her own and the clients and staff at Home Instead Senior Care. Her family caregiving began with her grandfather and mother, and it continues with her 73-year-old grandmother.

"When I was 15," Mira recalled, "I took care of my blind grandfather before he passed away. I help my grandmother every day after work with anything she needs. She has had other health problems, but she has struggled lately with a respiratory infection.

"I also had helped my mother who had back surgery in 2006; her back still hurts some. But she has bounced back well enough to compile a 31-year career as a special education teacher."

Mira said she wanted to give a special shout-out to her grandmother and mother, who are both evangelists and pastors. Mira credits them as strong influences for her Christian faith, which is reflected in her love and compassion for others.

That faith has helped Mira connect with her regular client, an 86-year-old devout Catholic who lives down the street. "When she watches the Catholic cable network, I watch with her because the rosary, prayers and songs mean so much to her," Mira said. "I am not Catholic, but I believe in Ephesians 4:5, which says, 'There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism.' To me, we are both Christians, the same. That's a comfort to her, and I know God values a person's service to others.

"We're good together, and I like caring for her. She told me at the end of one day, 'Thank you for the person you are.' She likes my meals, and I make accommodations for her on Wednesdays and Fridays, when she does not eat meat because of her faith."

The client's primary challenges are dementia and mobility (she uses a walker). "She is forgetful, so I write notes and leave them around the house for her, which helps her," Mira said. "I assist her with other things, doing her wash, fixing breakfast and lunch, and providing medication reminders.

"She has a small garden, and I help her with it. She has vegetables, lettuce, tomatoes and beans, to name most of them. Everything is growing well now. There are times when I have to keep her indoors because it is raining; she's so eager to work on that garden."

Her client's garden, Mira pointed out, is symbolic of what a CAREGiver does - he or she cultivates relationships and sustains them. "This is it, this is what I like to do," Mira said.


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