CAREGiver of the Month - Tracey

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Tracey Goes Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Tracey’s compassionate heart stretches to help the youngest and the oldest of society. During weekday morning and afternoon hours, Tracey has a full-time daycare job. On some weekday nights and during weekends, she is a CAREGiver for Home Instead Senior Care® Livonia.

Between the jobs, Tracey is working a lot of hours, but she wouldn’t want it any other way. “I love giving back to seniors; I love giving love and affection to people who need assistance. I want to make sure life goes better for someone during the time I am with them,” said Tracey, who joined owner Glenna Yaroch’s franchise in July 2016 after finding Home Instead Senior Care on a jobs website. In December 2016, Tracey was honored as CAREGiver of the Month.

Said Director of HR and Client Services Deborah Gostomske, CHRS: “Tracey has gone above and beyond in filling emergency shifts and accepting challenging cases. She was tickled to hear about her honor, which was very deserving, and we were tickled for her, too.”

This is Tracey’s first professional senior-care job, but she has family caregiving experience. Tracey helped take care of her grandmother, who died 12 years ago at age 82 after battling cancer. “We kept grandma in her home for the final couple of months of her life,” Tracey said.

For Tracey’s first assignment, she spent nearly two months before the female client passed away.
“It got so emotional for me when she died. I get so attached to my clients,” Tracey said.

Tracey’s current client is 89 and struggling with late-stage dementia while residing in a care community, where she receives 24/7 Home Instead assistance. Tracey has been with her since September. The client recognizes Tracey as a familiar face when she arrives for a shift, but she does not remember Tracey’s name. That is not uncommon for dementia clients.

At a certain time of the day, the client becomes more agitated than usual for a couple of hours, usually from 3 p.m. to 5. Some dementia researchers have referred to that specific time-tied behavior as Sundowner’s syndrome. At that point in the day, the client often acts out and says, “I’ve got to go, I’ve got to go.”

Tracey said: “When I first came to assist her, it took me a little bit of time to figure out how to calm and redirect her. The CNAs tell me: ‘Tracey, you are good with her and have figured her out.’ Some nights, she is up all evening and sometimes wants to walk the hallway. The CNAs bring meals to her now because of her unpredictable behavior in the dining room. I try to get her to relax. It is tough, but I’ve got control of the situation. It is not her fault or something she can control – it is the dementia that takes over.”

Despite the challenges, Tracey loves being with her client. “Life can be so hard for her. I understand, and when her worst hours come, I especially try to calm her because she has lots of energy. I constantly tell her, ‘It’s OK’ and redirect her. We go through the towels in her room or we sit and color. I suggested to her daughter that we bring in coloring books. We also go through postcards that have beautiful pictures, which her daughter brings.”

Tracey becomes emotional when she talks about her memorable moments with the client.

•    The client knows Tracey’s voice.
•    When Tracey comes in the door, the client gives her hugs and kisses.
•    The client smiles at Tracey and feels safe with her.
•    The client says, “I like you,” and Tracey loves to hear that.
•    The client’s daughter says: “I love the way you treat my mom, Tracey,” and the daughter becomes emotional.

Tracey added: “I get emotional, too. I believe my client has a beautiful heart. I told Home Instead Senior Care that I want to keep her.”

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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