CAREGiver of the Month Debbie Cypret is convinced that joining Home Instead Senior Care® of Lubbock – even on a part-time basis – has been part of God's plan for her life.
"I could not have guessed it when I became a CAREGiver on June 24, 2009. At the time, my mother, who lives in Liberal, Kansas, was healthy. One of my neighbors here in Lubbock, who has been a Home Instead Senior Care client for 7½ years, was doing OK and living on her own," Debbie said. "Those two situations have changed drastically, which goes to show we can't always see God's plans. It is amazing, how He reveals something to us later."
Not long after Debbie became a CAREGiver, Debbie's neighbor experienced a health decline and needed assistance to remain in her home. "My longtime client and I feel as if God had set this into motion. God knew she'd need help. Working for Home Instead is fulfilling, and I enjoy helping people," said Debbie, a Lubbock Independent School District employee who did not previously have senior-care experience when she found Home Instead through a friend who was a teacher and CAREGiver. In early August, Debbie began her 12th year with the school district, a full-time weekday job, and she works on the weekends as a CAREGiver.
Four years ago, Debbie realized her mother was exhibiting obvious dementia behavior. Debbie said God provided her with a way – through Home Instead's training – to assist her mother and other family members as a long-distance family caregiver. One of the key educational components was the Home Instead Senior Care network's Alzheimer's Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education® Training Program.
"The training helped because it is thorough. There is also other ongoing training every month. It is a good thing the Lord led me in this direction," said Debbie, who lived much of her life in Liberal, a 4½-hour drive north of Lubbock, until she and her husband moved to Texas in 1980.
In addition to her parents, Debbie's brother also lives in Liberal. A sister lives in the Kansas City area, and Debbie tries to help as much as she can. "Dad is trying to take care of Mom in their home and is trying to decide how to proceed. It's too bad there's not a Home Instead franchise in Liberal; in fact, there's nothing like Home Instead there. Dad doesn't want to put Mom in a nursing home," Debbie explained. "I think it's getting more difficult for them.
"Mom peers into the closet mirrors and sometimes sees someone who she doesn't know. As a result, she thinks other people are in the house. Dad wants to think she'll bounce back, but she will never go back to being the person she was. I told him, 'Dad, that's not her. That is the disease. Dementia affects people differently, but it is not that person anymore.' It is hard for any family to believe how their senior loved one declines. I once heard someone say those with dementia are trapped in their own bodies and become panicked because they sometimes do not know what is going on. Even if they do, they are frustrated. It's something I understand."
One of Debbie's former clients showed symptoms of another kind of debilitating brain condition, Lewy body dementia, which led her to hallucinate sometimes. However, the hallucinations might have been caused by a different medical condition that could be remedied by antibiotics.
"One day," Debbie said. "my former client said she 'saw' a little boy in a red shirt. To her, the boy seemed very real. I had started supper, and my former client went out the front door to 'follow him.' I scrambled to find her, but she had not gone far. The Lord helped by giving me the right thing to say. I told her I saw the boy's mother pick him up, so he was gone. The husband said his wife had reported seeing the boy all day."
Referring to her experience with dementia behaviors, Debbie said: "Because of the Lord's plan, I have learned a lot through Home Instead. If I have a friend who is experiencing problems with loved ones' dementia, I'll be glad to talk to them about their situation."
Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Juanita Camacho: "Debbie is a patient person who is extremely kind and has a gentle demeanor. Debbie has proved beyond a doubt to have a CAREGiver's heart. Debbie adjusted her caregiving skills to meet our client's needs, and she works diligently to provide the best possible care. Debbie treats everyone with dignity and respect, and she always has a smile for everyone. Debbie is just 'good people,' and we are honored and blessed to have her on our team of professional CAREGivers."
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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