CAREGiver Moana’s Mother Pitches in Spiritual Support and Inspirational Advice


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They may not know it, but CAREGiver of the Month Moana Peete's clients always have a little extra support coming their way. Moana's mother prays for each client, asking God to grant them good health and happiness as Moana serves them on behalf of Home Instead Senior Care® of Anchorage.

Those prayers come despite her trying circumstances. Moana's mother has been afflicted by diabetes, which has resulted in the amputation of both legs in 2006 and diminished kidney function as the years progressed. The CAREGiver's mother also has had another impact on the clients – Moana learned her senior-care skills by helping her three sisters take care of their mother. "She lives with my oldest sister, but I help out with every chance I get."

Moana picked up an attribute from her mother that helps with caregiving. "It is courage," Moana said. "Mom is staying strong for all of us. Mom is courageous and is everything to us. She also sets an example of independence and encouraged me on my career choice and job search. Mom was super excited when she heard I joined Home Instead Senior Care. She asks about my work all the time."

Moana started with Home Instead Senior Care on June 4, 2014, after discovering the franchise at a job fair. "I wanted to find something that aligned with my goal of pursuing in the nursing field. I am seeking a Personal Care Assistant license," said Moana, who worked for Easter Seals for three years before joining Home Instead Senior Care.

With Easter Seals, Moana went into homes to take care of the disabled and mentally challenged, including people impacted by autism and Down syndrome. "In my Easter Seals job, my style of care involved trying to find creative things for the clients to do. I would take them out and into the community and work on their individual goals. Many times things moved at a hectic pace. I developed a lot of patience at that job. I feel it prepared me for just about anything," Moana said. "With senior care, the seniors are more calm and relaxed. Some will sit with you and laugh about the good things in life."

Moana's philosophy of life is simple: "If anybody needs help, I want to help. I want to make their lives better, and make a difference. Sometimes with clients, if you are showing warmth, holding a hand, it makes a big difference. It makes me happy to think I can have a positive impact on someone. I love what I am doing. I love to see my clients smile, laugh and tell stories about life, and family."

In the situations she has faced, Moana said:

  • "With some clients who struggle to communicate because of various reasons, such as dementia and Parkinson's disease, I listen very closely and really keep track of conversations. One client mumbles a little, but you can pick up on a keen sense of humor that surfaces if you make the effort to tune in. When he notices you've caught what he's saying, he starts to laugh and giggle."
  • "During an overnight shift, a client woke up at midnight and thought it was breakfast time. I had to do a lot of persuading, providing comfort and constantly telling him what time it was. He shows signs of Lewy body dementia because he sometimes thinks someone else is in the room with him in the evening. I reassure him that it's just him and me, and that everything is going to be all right."
  • "One client is going through a lot of physical therapy because she's recovering from a broken hip. She wants to regain enough mobility to get off her walker. I encourage her a lot and tell her to keep up the good work."

Front Office Manager Rose Marie Holliday praised Moana, saying: "We all agree at the office that Moana deserves to be the CAREGiver of the Month. Moana is a super amazing hard worker who picks up shifts at the last moment and will work a double shift with no complaint. Her clients' families adore her because she has such a big heart.

"Moana is a cheerful young lady who lights up the room with her presence. People who know Moana all agree she is very sweet, punctual, caring, good with people, friendly, respectful, upbeat, outgoing and attentive. A past employer said she was one of their very best employees. Moana loves caring for our clients and has a tender heart."

Moana appreciates the support she receives from everyone in the Home Instead Senior Care office, including her interaction with longtime owner Stacee Frost Kleinsmith. "The office staff is easy to work with. They try to help me in the best way possible," Moana said. "Stacee is very nice, very kind and very understanding. She sits with me, takes time out of her day and listens. She has emphasized to not be afraid to approach her with problems. She has given me good pointers and advice, and I take it in and use it."

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 Christa McStay at christa.mcstay@homeinstead.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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