Memories of CAREGiver of the Month Angel Hagood's late great-grandmother have never faded. In fact, they become more vivid when Angel helps Home Instead Senior Care® clients remain in their homes.
Angel recalled: "My great-grandmother lived on her own and had a lot of heart problems. I tried to take care of her while I was in high school. Our family eventually placed her in a nursing home. We visited her often, and we'd bring a snack basket with all kinds of goodies."
Angel had promised her great-grandmother she could come live with her after she turned 18. A month after Angel reached 18 and before she could arrange for her great-grandmother to leave the nursing home, she passed away at age 83 in the nursing home.
"As fate would have it," Angel said, "now I am position to help seniors remain in their homes. Nursing homes are not terrible places, but there are lots of residents and usually not a lot of employees. It was hard to see my great-grandmother go through that. It broke my heart."
When Angel joined Home Instead Senior Care of Lubbock in December 2018, she took on a second job. For the past three years, Angel has worked at a group home. "Working at the group home is along the same lines of care that I provide on behalf of Home Instead, but a little different, depending on the resident and her age," she explained.
"In terms of job priorities, scheduling can change with the group home and Home Instead Senior Care, depending on the circumstances and urgency. I try to make both work," said Angel, who was honored as the September CAREGiver of the Month by the award-winning franchise owned by Tracy and Terry Baugh.
Angel has three regular clients with Home Instead Senior Care. Asked about working two jobs, Angel said: "Fatigue? Honestly, no. It doesn't feel like work. At both jobs, the residents and clients are more like family than anything else. I've been with my Home Instead clients for at least several months. It is like helping family members."
Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Juanita Camacho pointed out that Angel works with some of Home Instead Senior Care's higher-need clients and is very patient. Juanita explained: "Angel works through a situation in a calm and well-thought-out manner. Angel truly cares about others, and she continues to go above and beyond the call of duty to assist our clients."
Juanita added: "Angel encourages and supports our clients in achieving the highest possible quality of life. Angel does not hesitate to take on extra assignments. We all appreciate her hard work and dedication to our clients and to our franchise's high expectations."
A day that Angel won't forget is her Easter shift with a client who had never wanted to leave her home but did an abrupt about-face that Sunday.
"Her request to get out of the home surprised me. I took her for ice cream where she got out of the car and used her walker to go into the store. Then we drove over to an Easter egg hunt and watched from a parking lot. We also drove to a church to see the exterior Easter decorations. It was quite a day, but also quiet and calm," Angel said.
Two days later, the client's family took her to the hospital, where she passed away unexpectedly. "She was not a hospice client. She looked good on Easter, and I did not detect anything wrong. In fact, she had more energy than usual. Her health wasn't perfect, but her death was a complete shock. "I wondered later if she somehow knew she was dying," Angel said.
The client had been assisted by Home Instead for many years, and she requested Angel to return. One day, the client wanted to look through her family pictures with Angel and told her about her late husband. "When she found a picture of her husband's tombstone, she read aloud his birthday and the date of his death. Then she said her birthday and said 2019 for the year of her death. I told her she had more living to do, that she was not done yet," Angel recalled.
A client's death is hard, Angel said, because the clients are like family. "When a passing occurs, I just try to hold it together. You have to remember the family is grieving," Angel said. "One consolation is that I like knowing I was part of their joy at the end of their journey."
All Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about CAREGiver employment, please apply online call (806) 281-4663. For further information visit Home Instead Senior Care , or to learn more about the company's services and how to become a CAREGiver click on our digital brochure. Please follow us on Facebook page.