Welcome to Home Instead Senior Care® of Ocala's CAREGiver Spotlight. Each month, one of our amazing CAREGivers will be randomly selected to share their story with their peers — YOU. We know you will enjoy reading and learning more about Adrian.
As Adrian focused on her elderly mother's care more than five years ago, she said: "It turned my world upside down. I offered my everything to her day-to-day care."
Adrian's mother had dementia, and she learned a lot about the disease firsthand. "I took care of her until I couldn't help her anymore. Then she needed the kind of help only a care community could provide. We didn't have much family – me, my brother and my aunt – and we did what we could. We went to the nursing home and visited her almost every day," Adrian recalled.
Sadly, Adrian's mother passed away in October 2016. After her mother's death, Adrian shifted her career path and went online to look for in-home senior care companies. She found Home Instead Senior Care® of Ocala, an award-winning franchise that serves Marion County, including Ocala, Silver Springs, Belleview and Summerfield. "Senior care dropped into my lap. Before Home Instead, I was in the educational field and did massage therapy," Adrian explained.
"Home Instead is a loving unit, and I enjoy working for them because they go over and beyond for clients and CAREGivers. They offer classes and provide information at your fingertips. They answer my questions. Jim and Mary Samuelson, our franchise owners, and Dana Powell Isaacs, our general manager, are always there with open arms. It is a warm, loving company."
While Adrian learned a lot caring for her mother, she said: "I've also learned a lot from my clients. I learn and love to get a rewarding feeling. Companionship, empathy, care for people who need it in a home setting, that's big. If there is no family around, we are their family."
Adrian admitted, "My job can be humbling, but I love it. Patience is a true virtue. I know that from working with my mother – it hits home with a family member. It can be heart-wrenching. Our roles are reversed at the end. Overall, I don't consider being a CAREGiver as a job. It's as if I am helping my mother or father."
Adrian works overnight shifts with an 84-year-old woman who has been a Home Instead Senior Care client for at least four years. Adrian started with the client on a one-day basis, and her name was called again after two more days. Then Adrian became one of the client's regular CAREGivers. Two of Adrian's shifts run a half-hour longer because she helps another CAREGiver with showering for the 24-7 client. As far as the showering goes, Adrian said: "The client is comfortable with me, so I am happy to help a fellow CAREGiver."
As part of a CAREGiver team, Adrian said: "We communicate well. It is a part of our job. We talk before we clock out." Adrian and the other CAREGivers keep close tabs on the client's changes, including her mobility and dementia. Adrian added: "For the most part, she has good nights and she's not up and down a lot. There are very few incidents of agitation."
Pointing out that dementia "attacks everyone a little differently," Adrian said she introduces herself often to the client. "Then," Adrian said, "she recognizes my voice. Since she has vision difficulties, she comes really close to see me." Once the client says Adrian's name, she smiles and tries very hard to hold onto it. "She appreciates who you are and the fact that Home Instead helps her. She knows Jim and Mary Samuelson and smiles when they visit," Adrian said.
With the way Adrian's schedule falls, she will be with the client on Thanksgiving morning, as well as other key days. "We acknowledge her birthdays. We decorate for them and for holidays. She knows something special is going on when we bring in the balloons and cards. We read the cards to her for her birthday, Easter, Christmas and other holidays. She smiles and likes to listen to the comments," Adrian said.
Once in a while, things get fuzzy and the client wonders, "Why are these people here?" Adrian explains: 'We take care of you.' " In a touching moment when Adrian's words made total sense to the client, Adrian told her: "You are never alone." Adrian saw the relief on the client's face and sensed the reassurance that she felt. "She knows she's safe. We're basically her family."
All Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call (352) 269-3371 or apply online. For further information about Home Instead Senior Care, visit our website. Our Home Instead Senior Care office at 606 Southwest 3rd Avenue in Ocala (34471) serves Marion County, including Ocala, Silver Springs, Belleview and Summerfield.