Award-winning CAREGiver Lois Pointer’s life consists of three solid anchors: faith, family and a job that is family- and faith-oriented. There are no neatly drawn boundary lines between each.
Lois’ family activities include time spent with her husband Nathaniel, two children (Arnold and Agnes) and two granddaughters (Nizhoni, 6, and Keilana, 4). Nearly two years ago, in June 2013, her mother, Mary Alexander, passed away at age 88. It is because of her family caregiving for her mother that Lois knew she could be a CAREGiver candidate for Home Instead Senior Care® of Anchorage when she came across the opportunity earlier this year.
“I loved my mom, and it felt good to help her with her dementia after I put my arms around it emotionally. I miss her dearly, but now I am helping other seniors, and I enjoy my job. I usually leave my clients’ homes each day with a smile on my face, and when work is done, my time is then spent with family and faith,” said Lois, who has been with Home Instead Senior Care since Feb. 11, 2015, and was honored as CAREGiver of the Month for April.
“Clients are like family. For me to see my clients happy, it lights up my heart and spirit. They give me energy. If I can make their day a little bit brighter even if it is just for a minute or two, it makes my day brighter, too. An act of kindness might make a big difference.”
Lois puts her faith into action while helping church attendees who include seniors. Lois transports attendees in a van to Sunday night services at the Alaska Native Lutheran Church on the corner of 15th and Cordova Streets in the Central Lutheran Church building. “These folks are faithful to attend, so I am faithful to pick them up,” Lois said. “One of the attendees recently had surgery, so I help her in and out of the van. The church has a good family feel because it is the same church where my folks attended.”
From the very start, it was clear to the Home Instead Senior Care staff that Lois has a servant’s heart. Quoting from Lois’ references, this is what staff members heard:
“Lois is very responsible, a most reliable human being, very kind, understanding, patient, professional, polite, honest and ethical. Lois is very punctual and dependable, always making sure everything is tidy and in good order. Lois is courteous, respectful, caring and trustworthy. She drives for her church’s seniors and is a very devoted as a mother, grandmother, friend and wife.”
Lois’ actions as a CAREGiver confirmed every word. Front Office Manager Rose Marie Holliday pointed out: “In the short time Lois has been with us, she already has met all of our Home Instead Senior Care expectations. Lois is a very happy CAREGiver who is ready to make our clients and their families happy.
“By going into caregiving, Lois felt she could use the skills she developed while caring for her mother. Her hope is to help them regain their independence. Lois’ fondest memories of caring for seniors are when they share stories of their histories. Beyond her awesome companionship, Lois is eager to learn how to be a better CAREGiver and improve her skills. In fact, Lois has completed the Aging Process and Personal Care Class.”
As a family caregiver, Lois wasn’t formally trained to assist her mother, and she said she needed to emotionally come to grips with the behaviors that her mother’s dementia was manifesting. “I miss Mom,” Lois said, “and I know she made the trip to heaven. I get sentimental and choked up when I think of her. But I admit I was irritated at first with her dementia because I did not understand it. I had to change my frame of mind, and then things got a lot better for both of us.
“I had to be more patient. I had to do a lot of redirection, and I learned ways of refocusing her. Refocusing was important because there were some days when she would start to think about something bad that had happened to her long ago, and then she would get in a rut and dwell on it. I needed to change her frame of mind, or it would be a bad day all day long.
“Helping senior loved ones sometimes can be difficult, but it is the right thing to do and it’s fulfilling. Society lacks focus in caring for its elderly, which is a shame and angers me sometimes. I see lonely seniors trying to navigate through a grocery shopping trip all on their own or having to go to the doctor’s office all by themselves. That should not be happening.”
Lois is proud to help her three regular clients and take fill-in assignments when possible. And she is proud to work alongside a dedicated group of people. “I love our staff. The staff welcomed me to the Home Instead Senior Care family when I was hired, and that was a big deal to me,” Lois said. “I feel I can talk to anyone on the staff if I have a question. Katharine Wien, who interviewed me, greeted me with a friendly smile. It was a great first impression for me.
“Rose Marie Holliday is the first person you see when you come into the office, and she always has a smile. She sets the tone for anyone who comes in the door. I was nervous when I went to my first client for the first time, but everyone put me at ease about it, including the client.”
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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