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August 2019 CAREGiver of the Month - Cynthia G.


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Cynthia Takes Care of Clients as if They Were FamilyAugust 2019 CAREGiver of the Month - Cynthia G.

Cynthia Gray encountered the fulfillment and heartbreak of family caregiving many years before she joined Home Instead Senior Care® of Iredell and Alexander Counties in Statesville last March. After Cynthia described the extensive personal care involved with helping her father, Cynthia was asked if she was a CNA.

Cynthia replied: “I am not a CNA, only a daughter who loved her dad.”

Twenty-one years after her father’s death, Cynthia has shifted the same compassionate, caring feelings she’d had for her dad and other precious family members to her Home Instead Senior Care clients. She lives the Home Instead Senior Care® principles of “Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart.” 

Cynthia said: “I’ve always wanted to help the elderly. I was working in a retail job, and I’d seen CAREGivers come into our store. I’d ask about Home Instead, and they said, ‘It’s a good place.’ I put off applying because I’d been working two jobs. Then, when I was in my church’s Sunday school class one Lord’s Day, the ministry theme was ‘step out of your comfort zone and try new things.’ That spoke to me. I didn’t put it off any longer and applied at Home Instead.”

Cynthia’s family caregiving experiences encompassed more than assisting her dad. “Two years before Dad died, my daughter died from asthma in 1996. My husband died six years ago. Sadly, I’ve attended too many funerals,” Cynthia explained. “It was my dad who had a lot of health problems that stretched for a long period. Both Mom and I were working, and we took turns with Dad so someone always was with him. I took him to dialysis in the mornings because I worked the third shift at my job at the time.”

Cynthia’s family caregiving duties have not ended. She added: “My wonderful aunt is blind from diabetes. I take her to medical appointments and to the grocery store. My 73-year-old mother lives with me, and she is fairly independent and mobile despite being on oxygen and suffering from arthritis. She lets me know she’s proud of me for working as a CAREGiver. She’s my backbone whenever I lose a client or have a bad day.”

At Home Instead Senior Care, Cynthia said she loves “working with great people who are nice and try to work with you on scheduling.” Cynthia stays busy by assisting seven regular clients and generally has every other weekend off. She also sets aside Tuesdays as a family caregiving day and sets medical appointments for her mother on that day.

Cynthia has experienced memorable days with each client.

“My first client, a really great guy in his early 60s, lived in an area that didn’t seem welcoming. As I was driving there, I said, ‘Lord be with me.’ The angst was removed when the client warmly greeted me as I entered his home. He was on hospice, and I had him for two weeks before he died of cancer. He gave me the biggest hugs on a special Monday when I got there. When I left that Monday, he told me he could go at any time. He died the next day. He always made me feel welcome, and that stays with me as a special memory. We got close, and he let me know he appreciated me. His family, like all other clients’ families, treated me like family. I have felt so welcome to all families,” Cynthia recalled.

Cynthia has lost four clients who have passed away.

She said, “God has been keeping my heart tender. I don’t want death to feel like a routine thing. It’s natural to want to protect your own emotions. Every one of the deaths was a blow because I get attached to the clients quickly. Then you get that phone call. You have to recall that you did your job, made a new friend and tried to help them as much as you could.”

She added: “It is times like that when I turn to my faith. Anything I read in the Bible, it could hit my heart like, ‘Yes, I needed that.’ John 1:1 is special to me because it establishes the foundation for my faith. Jesus Christ is called the ‘Word’ in John 1:1 because he was the Son of God sent to Earth to reveal his Father’s mind to us all.”

All Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about CAREGiver employment, please apply online call (704) 924-9909. For further information visit Home Instead Senior Care .

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