CAREGiver of the Month - Deborah

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CAREGiver Deborah Stays One Step Ahead

Deborah Heaggans laughs heartily when she thinks about her constantly changing daily breakfast routine for a client. Deborah, an honored CAREGiver with Home Instead Senior Care® of Iredell and Alexander Counties, learned to be quick – and that had nothing to do with the client.

“The client was a very sweet guy,” Deborah said, “and so were his son’s two dogs, but they got into the habit of waiting around the client and getting under the kitchen table to beg for morsels. More often than not, those dogs would succeed.

“First, I thought I had taken care of the situation by herding them into another room and closing the door until we were done with breakfast. They were smart dogs, and they caught on and started to elude me. I thought I solved the problem by taking a couple of dog biscuits into the other room and closing the door after they went after them. But even that didn’t work after a while when one would charge into the room, grab the biscuit and charge out before I could get the door closed. I found that I just had to be quicker.”

The client eventually moved in with his daughter and then passed away. “I miss the client because he was so sweet, and I often wonder how the dogs are doing,” Deborah said. “I remember one other time when I took my client to a doctor’s appointment. One of the dogs got out of a room, somehow got on the kitchen counter, grabbed my submarine sandwich and ate it before we returned. He was all stretched out and sleeping on his back when we returned.”

Deborah, who joined the award-winning Statesville franchise owned by Tracey and Creighton Gibson on Aug. 7, 2013, loves her job. Human Resources Manager Lori McKay noted that Deborah’s affection for her job and outstanding service to her clients and their families prompted the franchise to honor her as CAREGiver of the Month.

“I love making people happy,” Deborah said. “I enjoy being around seniors. I have two brothers and two sisters, and we are family caregivers for my mother, who is 80. She lives on the street behind where I live, and I check on her every day. I take her places such as to doctors’ appointments. She loves the fact that I work for Home Instead and wonders how my clients are doing. She believes it is good for me to help others and is glad that I am.”

In addition to her four regular clients, Deborah does fill-in shifts when she can. “I can’t seem to turn down the office when they call if I am available. When Creighton calls, I come,” said Deborah, who works every day of the week, including weekend overnight shifts.

Deborah’s soft, compassionate heart has been beating overtime for one client who recently lost her husband. “I had both of them for clients. His funeral was Oct. 30, and she will be grieving for a good while, which is to be expected,” Deborah said. “I began assisting them about a year ago, and it hit me hard, too. I was with him in the hospital and knew it was coming, but you are still very saddened by the whole situation. I comfort her just as much as I can.”

During the past two years, three of Deborah’s other clients also have passed away. “I grieve with the families,” Deborah said, “but I feel I have to bite my lip and continue to help others – in this case, especially – it is the widow. You cannot pause in your care because others need you and are counting on you. You are told not to get attached because of the sorrow, but that is not possible. They are all like family to me.”

While Deborah loves her job and her time with her clients, she also loves spending time with her daughter Shakeeta, her son Joshua and two grandchildren, Nakylah Michelle and Syncere Demetrious. “I couldn’t have asked for a better family,” said Deborah, who was alerted to the Home Instead Senior Care opening and assisted in the online application by Shakeeta. “This turned out to be a very good situation.”

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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