CAREGiver of the Month - Nancy

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CAREGiver of the Month - Nancy

Putting an Emotional Wrap on Care Was Tough on CAREGiver Nancy


Finding a massive supply of Bubble Wrap® was no big deal for Nancy Alex, an award-winning CAREGiver for Home Instead Senior Care® Livonia. 

Introducing the plastic packaging material that contains small air cushions to her 83-year-old client for the first time was fun. Nancy didn’t say so, but there were probably a few of those distinctive “pops” when she demonstrated the protective aspects of Bubble Wrap® to her client.

Packing hundreds of knickknacks for three straight weeks – two days a week, three hours at a time – was fine with Nancy. It included some precious history lessons for the CAREGiver of the Month, who listened as the client reminisced while preparing to leave her apartment and move closer to family members in another part of Michigan.

But a Friday of tears and one long hug was almost too much for both of them. “My client did not want me to leave,” Nancy said. “It was not easy – we shed tears for a couple of hours. She was one of my first Home Instead clients, from June 2014 to this May. When it came time to leave, there was a great big hug – in fact, her daughter had to gently pull us apart.”

Nancy tries to stay in contact with her former client by calling her once a month. “We talk,” Nancy said, “but she doesn’t remember me as well as when I was helping her.” That’s OK with Nancy – she understands. She remembers when her client would misplace things, often losing her glasses in her apartment. All that mattered was that Nancy was there to help.

It was the kind of scenario Nancy had envisioned when she applied for the job at owner Glenna Yaroch’s award-winning franchise in the spring of 2014. Nancy had been checking out job possibilities on her computer and came across Home Instead. “I was goofing around on the internet,” Nancy said, “and I ended up applying with Home Instead in the morning. To my surprise, they called that afternoon and it took off from there. I started work in May 2014.”

With 8- and 9-year-old children in school, Nancy said: “I wanted to do something to keep me from sitting around at home and getting bored. I had specific hours in mind for working so I could drop them off and pick them up from school, and spend quality time with them. Home Instead worked with me on that, and it is great to have that flexibility with an employer.”

Home Instead was getting a tried-and-tested family caregiver who had taken care of her cancer-stricken father, 56, for nine months in 1992 before his death in October of that year. Nancy also helped her brothers with the care of their mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease, until Nancy and her family moved from Mississippi to Michigan in 2013. 

Asked about her Home Instead job, which includes four regular clients, Nancy said: “I enjoy it. For one thing, the routine is not the same day in and day out. Every client is different, and you never know what they need or don’t need on any given day.”

Nancy said she’ll never stop learning more about her job. “I just recently was assigned to assist a client who has Parkinson’s disease and dementia,” she said. “I am going to learn everything I can about Parkinson’s so I can help him as well as I can. I had never heard of Parkinson’s until the news of actor Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s diagnosis came out in 1992. My client’s situation is such that communications will be something we’ll work hard on. He lives with his daughter and son-in-law, and we have other CAREGivers with him, too.”

Nancy knows she is not on an island when it comes to care. She believes her ongoing training is good, including the Home Instead Senior Care® network’s Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education® Training Program. “And the office is very helpful,” she noted. “I can get answers really quickly when I need to call. All in all, I like the job and what I’m doing for people. It is rewarding.”

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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