(Change Location)

April 11, 2021

CAREGiver of the Month - April 2021

Written By: Brian Lahm for Home Instead of South Denver
Mary Mosha 148 CGOTM April 2021 COMP

Mary Vows to Remain With Longtime Client

CAREGiverâ„  of the Month Mary Mosha isn’t one to make many predictions, but she knows she won’t leave her 91-year-old Home Instead® client, whom she has assisted for the past five years. “I am attached to her. At this stage, I will stay with her. I want to be with her until she draws her final breath, the very moment God comes to take her,” said Mary, who serves her client on behalf of owner Bill Dahlquist’s award-winning franchise of Denver South.

When Mary first assisted the client in 2016, the client was recovering from a broken hip. Before that fateful fall, the widow had been managing her life capably in most ways, even splitting her time between Colorado and Arizona. “Up to a certain point, she had done everything for herself, including driving,” Mary explained. “When I started, she was in fairly good shape mentally. She was not confused and shared helpful information about life in America. I am from Kenya.”

But, Mary interjected: “She started to decline cognitively, which breaks my heart. She was so good mentally until late 2019 or early 2020. There are times now when she cannot remember my name. She does have days of clarity. But when I come in, I don’t know if she is sweet or confused and mad. You cannot take dementia behavior personally because it is not that person’s true character. It is an upside down world of confusion that leaves the person bewildered, fearful and sometimes angry and depressed. The short-term memory is gone.”

Mary spends three shifts a week with the client, working from 9 p.m. to 1 p.m. Others who’ve tried to help the former teacher have encountered challenges. “You cannot spend only one day with her and give up. The longer you’re with her, the more likely she’ll get used to you.  You must have kindness, tolerance, patience and good listening skills because dementia changes a personality.”

Mary pointed out: “She needs to do certain activities of daily life, but you cannot order her around. You’ve got to give her space and let her do some things on her own time. On some days before last year, she wanted to shower more than once a day. Now she says: ‘Why do I need to shower?’ I step aside and let her ponder. Then she asks: ‘What am I supposed to do?’ In addition to getting her to shower once a week, the daily routine is: Brush your teeth, wipe your face, change your clothes. For anyone, getting old is not easy. I have mercy when I look at seniors who are struggling.”

The client has come to depend on Mary, who said: “She agrees when we talk about what will keep her safe. She’s so scared of being in the hospital. I reassure her I’ll help her. Once you have developed a great rapport, she tries to understand and listen. Voicing her fears, she has said, ‘I don’t want to go to a nursing home. I would die there.’ At the end of a shift, I tell her, ‘I am leaving, so sit, put your legs up and relax.’ She responds, ‘Will  I be alone? Where are you going? Why are you leaving?’ ”

Mary views her client like a family member. “I treat her like my mother because she’s just like my mother. Sometimes I sit there at night and pray for her in my head and heart. I do the best I can do for her. Sometimes she wakes up and cries, and I hold her. She occasionally has said, ‘I want to die and be with my husband.’ I tell her, ‘No, I care so much for you that I don’t want you to die. I would miss you, and your family would miss you.’ I pray for comfort for her.”

Caregiving comes naturally for Mary. As the second-born in her family, she helped take care of her seven siblings in her home country of Kenya. Mary has been involved on the most serious end of family caregiving, taking care of a brother who became ill and died. “He was my best buddy. I was with my brother until he died 15 years ago. My older sister passed away two years ago. It breaks my heart. God has his timing and a life’s path for all of us,” she said.

“I last visited Kenya in 2019, when we buried my elder sister. Maybe I can go home to visit in November if international travel is allowed. I have two grandkids in Kenya. Here in Denver, I am a nanny for two grandchildren, a 16-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl. Their mother, my daughter, is a nurse practitioner. I try to do as much as I can for all of them.”

Mary has used her caregiving skills across the globe. Before coming to America, she was a CNA in Britain. She has been in the Denver area for 12 years. “My daughter brought me here. At first, I thought I’d never get used to the cold weather. It was never cold in Kenya. As the years went by, the winters got better for me because I became acclimated to them,” she said.

Mary joined Home Instead in September 2016 and received special mention in the franchise newsletter in 2020 for her exceptional care of her client. Building on that accolade, Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Rebecca Rinn and Training Coordinator Layla Rabih announced Mary had been honored as one of the franchise’s CAREGivers of the Month. “I did not expect this, but I am glad to be honored,” Mary said.

All Home Instead CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call (303) 389-5700 or apply online. For further information about Home Instead, visit our website.