When Kayla Coleman talks about working for Home Instead Senior Care® of Jackson, she emphasizes words such as "quality care" and "trust" and "family."
"Relationship before task" is another key phrase for Kayla and many other CAREGivers. Without quality care and establishing a bond, there's no way to earn the trust of clients. "Ideally, the client becomes like your family. That's my aim," said Kayla, the franchise's first-quarter CAREGiver Cornerstone Award recipient.
Referring to her regular client, Kayla said: "I reassure the client's husband that his wife is comfortable, and the husband draws strength from me and his wife's other CAREGiver. We work hard to gain trust, and it's a good feeling to have earned it. If the tables were turned, I wouldn't let just anybody come in my home to take care of me or my family member. They'd have to earn my trust, too," said Kayla, who has assisted the client since she started last July with the award-winning franchise owned by Bryson and Linda McQuiston.
Honesty also is a strong factor, especially since Kayla's client is on hospice. "I would never say she's getting better, but I'll tell her husband when we're having a good day," Kayla said. One good day came when Kayla noticed her client was getting into music that accompanied an old television western show that the client's husband was watching.
"She was saying, 'whee' with the music. It was as if she was trying to sing. It was so pretty.
Both of us were smiling because it happened suddenly. Those are the little things that make your day. It brings pleasure to her and me, too. I knew she was tuned in well to the music. A lot of people think those with dementia are hard of hearing, but that's not always the case. Something that remains meaningful for someone with dementia, even in the late stages, is rhythm and music," Kayla pointed out.
"I am lucky and blessed to have this client. Her husband is a sweet man and a special person. In addition to myself and just one other CAREGiver, the client has a hospice RN team that comes in a couple of times a week. The family doesn't want a lot of different people taking care of her. I know how to approach her care, and she acknowledges me. It feels like we're family," Kayla explained.
When Kayla moved back to Tennessee about a year ago and began attending college with the goal of working in the patient health-care management field, she chose Home Instead Senior Care as an employer.
"I had heard good things about Home Instead Senior Care before I moved back to Tennessee. I had been working in a medical setting and had contact with a lot of elderly patients. Many of them had Home Instead CAREGivers or other companies. I've also had a feel for seniors and their challenges because I have older family members. I have seen firsthand how dementia can affect a family member," Kayla said.
"I've worked in hospitals, clinics and urgent-care facilities since I was 18, much of it in a lab setting as a phlebotomist and laboratory assistant. I enjoy being in the medical field or in caregiving. I am taking full-time student hours, and Home Instead Senior Care flexibility is amazing. That's one reason I chose Home Instead Senior Care – they've continued to work with me. Seventy-five percent of my classwork is online, and 25 percent is at night, so I go to school two nights a week," Kayla said.
"Two or three years from now, you never know what life will be like. Hopefully my schooling, education and experiences will shape the future. I used to plan everything with my life. But I have quit trying to ponder every detail, and now I have goals I try to achieve by taking things day by day. Working for Home Instead puts me in a good position to push forward for those goals," Kayla added.
Asked about Home Instead Senior Care training, office communication and CAREGiver-client matches, Kayla said: "I feel we have such a great office staff. Anybody in the office can help you. Bryson McQuiston is an understanding boss. Every day I come in to work and try to do the best care of the client I can."
Our franchise serves most of West Tennessee, including Jackson, Medina,
Humboldt, Milan, Trenton, Dyer, Alamo, Bells, Lexington, Henderson,
Dyersburg, Gates, Halls, Brownsville, Covington, Brighton, Mason,
Ripley, Paris, Munford, Atoka and Union City. All Home Instead Senior
Care CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries
about employment, please call 731-984-7062 or apply online. For further information visit us at Home Instead Senior Care.
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.
Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.