Brynda Markiewicz was honored as the CAREGiver of the Month in May 2014. But she hasn't stopped learning even more about caregiving or soaking in different experiences that have impacted her life. If it is possible, she might care even more deeply about what she does than when she started with Home Instead Senior Care® of Anchorage early last year.
Brynda faced new challenges during the past 10 months, Front Office Manager Rose Marie Holliday pointed out. "Brynda once again has been a superstar. She has raised the bar with her smile and cheerful giving heart in the most difficult of situations," said Rose Marie while announcing that Brynda had been honored for the second time in 10 months when she was selected as CAREGiver of the Month for March 2015. "Brynda's dedication to Home Instead delivers a great message that she always puts her clients first. Her honesty and tenderheartedness warm our hearts as well as those of her clients and their families."
Among Brynda's new challenges was hospice care. For a time, she was diverted from a delightful longtime client to help a hospice client who died in March. "Brynda cared for the hospice client from August 2014 until this March, and she delivered excellent care. The family loved having Brynda in their mother's home," Rose Marie said.
In addition to the client and her family, Rose Marie explained that "Brynda is always willing to help at a moment's notice to cover shifts, and this does not go unnoticed. Brynda sticks to a routine with her clients and will report everything that is important to their families and our office. Choosing a CAREGiver of the Month is not done quickly or taken lightly. All of the office staff felt Brynda deserved to be nominated once again for CAREGiver of the Month."
Brynda called her hospice client "amazing and an inspiration."
"I am learning a lot more. I have learned that we CAREGivers absolutely must be there for the families who are losing loved ones because they need the emotional support. Hospice can be more intense emotionally than many other caregiving situations," Brynda said. "The pendulum swing with a hospice client can be very drastic. They can be doing very well one day and unresponsive two days later."
Brynda was with the hospice client for eight months before she died at age 78 of cancer, and the family that included five adult children was highly appreciative of Brynda's care and support. "I felt I ended up also taking care of the family. With the client, I provided care that I hadn't done before. It was challenging, but my 'mother mode' kicked in, and I went to work," she said.
"Toward the end, I was with her eight hours a day. She said she was done with treatments during her final month to six weeks and wanted to try to live on without them for as long as she could. She wanted to remain at home and not in a facility. She was an inspiration to me."
The client was quite a character. "She was an amazing woman. One of the things that I'll always remember about her was that she was a big Dallas Cowboys football fan like I am. She and her family were so down-to-earth that it was incredible. There were no pretenses. I learned a lot from them. They were a lot of fun to be around," Brynda said.
So what happened to Brynda's laugh-a-minute regular client from a year ago, the one who reminded Brynda of comedienne Joan Rivers?
"I was pulled off my regular client to go to the hospice client, but I have been reunited with her," Brynda said with a chuckle. "She was happy to see me again – she is 91 and is ornery as ever. I hear she was calling the office periodically and asking, 'Where's Brynda? What have you done with her?' Her friends at her facility also missed me. We picked up where we left off."
Summing up her experiences during the past 10 months – many of which included sorrow and the feeling of deep loss – Brynda said, "I have never felt more alive when I compare it to the other jobs I've had. It has become clearer to me that I was meant to do this. Some friends have encouraged me to become a CNA and work in a hospital or facility. To that, I say, 'Why?' I disagree because I would not be working one-on-one with someone. Multiple patients or residents would mean fewer meaningful relationships, and that's what life is about."
Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers, who are screened, trained, bonded and insured, provide a variety of in-home services to help keep seniors independent. For inquiries about employment with Home Instead Senior Care, please call 907-277-4663 or email recruiting and retention coordinator Katharine Wien at email@example.com. For further information about the company, visit http://www.homeinstead.com/637 or to learn more about the company's services link to a digital brochure at http://www.hisc637.digbro.com.
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