CAREGiver of the Month - Khadijah

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CAREGiver Shows Compassion Through Word and Deed

There’s no doubt that Khadijah Nabaa is an eloquent award-winning CAREGiver for Home Instead Senior Care® of Anchorage. And she understands more than the spoken word.

Khadijah communicates well with an 85-year-old female client who has difficulty talking after suffering several strokes. “We do well,” Khadijah said. “I can tell by looking at her expressions and reading her body language what she wants. It didn’t take long to get to know her routines. When I talk, she nods to acknowledge when we’re about to do something.”

And nothing says “good morning” better than the savory smell of pancakes and eggs over easy with rice. “That’s one of the breakfasts she likes best,” said Khadijah, whose meal-preparation skills are an art form in themselves.

Khadijah started as a fill-in with the client nearly a year ago and quickly became her regular CAREGiver. “Her husband is her primary caregiver, but I am there to give him a break. My presence allows him to get out of the house for groceries and to work in his boat,” Khadijah said. “He appreciates everything I do for his wife, and it definitely feels great to be able to help him by helping his wife. I can tell when he is exhausted and needs a little more time to sleep.”

Helping is a way of life for Khadijah, who worked in child care as a teenager. She started with Home Instead in November 2012 after a friend mentioned the non-medical senior-care franchise. “I researched Home Instead thoroughly and became convinced that I should apply to work with them,” she recalled.

Before joining Home Instead, her only senior-care experience came out of necessity when she helped her mother take care of her grandfather. “He passed away two years ago. I realized then how important it was to help the primary caregiver – my mom – and I rotated with her on the weekends for about two years to give her a break,” Khadijah said. “I helped on other occasions.”

Khadijah is in her second year at the University of Anchorage, taking prerequisite courses with the hope of becoming a nurse. She’s already a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), earning her license in October after being accredited earlier in a medical Technical Competency Area. “The nursing degree will give me the opportunity to help other people even more,” Khadijah said. “I don’t have any specific area of nursing in mind right now because I can’t predict how things will turn out. I just see myself out there helping people.”

Khadijah said she’s learning new things all the time, and Home Instead is helping her while providing flexible hours to accommodate her classes as she also raises a 6-year-old son. “I am extremely happy with Home Instead. I feel comfortable with this company,” Khadijah said. “There are a lot of things that I didn’t know when I walked in the door, but they provide really good training, advice and counsel. I hadn’t worked with someone with Alzheimer’s disease until I joined Home Instead. Now I feel as if I can handle any situation.”

She said she learned a lot from the Home Instead network’s Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education® Training Program. “I felt I had a lot of patience, but I learned how important it really is,” she pointed out.

Her weekly workload can fluctuate from heavy to light, but she’s always happy to be with a client. “This is my job, and it’s what I love to do,” she pointed out. “It’s definitely a great opportunity, and the office is the best – Sherry, Stacee and everybody else. I like what they are about, what defines them. Certain days can be tough, but that’s life. I am there for my clients.”  ​


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