CAREGiver of the Month - Mary


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CAREGiver of the Month Mary Sweikert’s assignment is simple. She wants to carry on her late husband Melvin’s legacy of generating smiles and laughs from others, and making people feel better about themselves.

“Humor and levity were a big part of who he was, and people were drawn to him,” said Mary, who was a family caregiver for her husband, who had Alzheimer’s disease, for six years before he went to a nursing home for his final two years and died Christmas Day 2010.Mary Sweikert.jpg

“It became increasingly difficult to care for my husband, who was my best friend and soulmate for 37½ years, because of his deteriorating condition and also because my legs were arthritic. I eventually had a total knee replacement on the right one in January 2012 that gave me a new lease on life. I also feel working for Home Instead Senior Care of Lancaster has given me a new lease on life.”

Mary joined Home Instead Senior Care two months after hearing about the award-winning franchise in August 2010 from her pastor at First Assembly of God Church in Lancaster. It’s not surprising Mary was tipped off at her longtime church, where she met her husband and was married. “Everything in our lives centered on our church. Now I include Home Instead Senior Care as a significant part of my life, and I even have a ministry feeling about it. I feel so strongly about my job I have referred at least four people from church to Home Instead Senior Care.”

Why?

“I like the Home Instead Senior Care emphasis on the spiritual aspect. Two months into the job, I heard about the staff coming together in the office to pray for CAREGivers, clients and their families. I receive spiritual encouragement from Home Instead Senior Care, which is like a second church family,” Mary said. “Home Instead Senior Care is understanding and so supportive, and the owners are the best. I have prayed with clients if they feel panicked and if they would like prayer. Most have told me they feel calmer afterward.”

It’s no surprise Mary’s clients grow attached to her. As her 94th birthday was approaching, a client asked Mary last January: “Will you keep working?’ I am going to have to stick around longer if you do.” Mary replied, “I am still here, and I don’t plan to leave you.” Mary had assisted the client for about a year and a half before she recently moved to a nursing home. “I have visited her in my free time. The office has encouraged the visits even though she is no longer a client. We are both widows and both love the Lord.”

Mary feels humbled and honored to be selected as CAREGiver of the Month. “Several favorite Bible verses come to mind when I think of trying to excel at my job:  Psalm 37:4 says, ‘Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.’ If I feel the need for an attitude adjustment, I go to Psalm 51:10, which says, ‘Create in me a pure heart and renew a right spirit in me.’ “

Clients, their families and Home Instead Senior Care staff members all agree: Mary has a huge, compassionate heart. It showed when she was asked the final job interview question at Home Instead Senior Care: “Why do you want to be a CAREGiver?”

Mary’s reply: “I still need to be needed.”

CAREGivers, who are screened, trained, bonded and insured, provide a variety of services to help seniors maintain their independence. For employment inquiries 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:  www.homeinstead.com/589. At Home Instead Senior Care, it is relationship before task while providing superior quality service that enhances lives.

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