CAREGiver of the Month - Lois

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There is one point of disagreement between award-winning CAREGiver Lois S. and the staff at Home Instead Senior Care® of Lancaster County.

“Contrary to what the staff said,” Lois explained with a lightness to her voice, “I have said ‘no’ a time or two.”

CAREGiver Development Specialist Susan Shiner revealed the staff consensus when she said, “Lois never once has said ‘no.’ ” By “no,” the franchise staff is pointing out that the CAREGiver of the Month goes out of her way to accommodate any request, such as filling in at the last moment and excelling in other roles such as emissary and ambassador. Susan added: “Lois is willing to help in any way possible. She steps up over and over again. She has a big heart. Lois never says, ‘I can’t,’ but instead says, ‘I’ll try.’ As an ambassador, she is on call Saturdays and Sundays a couple of weekends a month. Lois steps in if a CAREGiver can’t make a shift and we can’t find a replacement. As a result, she has graciously worked some unintended long hours. As an emissary, she introduces CAREGivers to clients when they first get together. She also checks for safety issues in the clients’ homes. Our dear Lois is one of our most humble CAREGivers and among the hardest working – that is for sure. Lois is awesome.”

Lois did confess to loving her job and giving her very best to her clients. 

“Working with older people is my passion. I like seeing the expressions on their faces that tells me they are happy,” said Lois, who has six regular clients and fills in for numerous others. “It melts my heart when I arrive for a shift, and their faces light up. I never walk in the door with a frown; I come in with a smile and offer a hug. I don’t think of them as clients. I think of them as a friend and family. This is a blessing to me, God’s blessing.”

Lois references her spirituality often when explaining the “whys” and “hows” of her work and says she tuned into God’s plan for her even in her darkest days. Lois took care of her husband for the final 1½ years of his life, suffering the ultimate loss on Feb. 4, 2010, when he was 68 years old. “He was so sick,” Lois explained. “He really suffered.”

Then her mother died in 2013 at age 94. “I tended to my mom for six years while she was in a care home. She lost track of time because of her dementia and she thought we were not visiting her. She couldn’t remember the visits and was upset much of the time,” Lois recalled.  After the deaths, Lois felt guided to Home Instead and joined the franchise Oct. 2, 2013. Her nephew suggested to his mother – Lois’ sister – that she should consider applying there. Instead, Ruthi Schultz, and knew about the company. When my sister told me about it, I said, ‘I need to pray about this.’ I did, and here I am.” 

“I am not doing this by myself because I just can’t do it without God’s blessing. God has given me my health so that I can do this. If I didn’t have faith, I am not sure where I would be. Every day I thank God for my health, ask for strength and seek his protection. If in doubt, I go to God and pray about my situation.”

Lois’ client responsibilities include meal preparation, medication reminders, light housekeeping, companionship, and transportation and errands. By expertly doing so, Lois not only assists her clients but helps their families eliminate worry, reduce stress and re-establish personal freedom.

Long ago, Lois certainly set out on a path to help people. She worked five years as a nurse’s aide at two seniors’ facilities before moving to the heart unit at Lancaster General Hospital where she worked as a heart monitor analyst. Working as a CAREGiver, she said, has helped her learn more patience while also providing her with a great sense of fulfillment.

“When I was thinking of becoming a CAREGiver, both of my two daughters told me, ‘Go for it!’ Now my daughters are telling me, ‘Slow down!’ ” Lois said with a laugh.  
“Maybe I can cut back in a year or two and spend more time with my family, including my two daughters who live outside Lancaster. I have two granddaughters and a grandson, and I also have five brothers and three sisters.”

And her extended family – her clients – also miss her when she’s not with them. “One time I was just a little late for one client, and she stayed up and waited for me. That gave me an indication of how important a CAREGiver’s presence can truly be,” Lois said. “I bond with the clients. I look at it this way: I go over and beyond what I have to do to help them and make them happy. It is something I love to do.”

Home Instead CAREGivers, who are screened, trained, bonded and insured, provide a variety of non-medical services to help seniors maintain their independence.  For inquiries about employment with Home Instead Senior Care in Lancaster County or to learn more about the valuable services provided, please call (717) 207-0755 or visit Home Instead online at:​


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