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August 01, 2021

CAREGiver of the Month - August 2021

Written By: Brian Lahm for Home Instead of South Denver
August 2021 CAREGiver of the Month - Eric S.

Eric Finds the Right Words to Comfort Clients

“You’re fine. Everything is OK.”

CAREGiver of the Month Eric Stevenson did not think a simple, vanilla response would be a sufficient comfort for his distraught client who resides in a memory-care unit. “He was in an emotionally difficult state from what he was experiencing, but I did my best to reassure him. I explained that his consciousness was still intact and that he still was himself. The problem was, his body was failing and making things difficult for him,” Eric said.

As it turned out, an analytical explanation was the best approach to soothe the client, even one who had dementia. CAREGivers face unique challenges nearly every day, and they often must rely on their wisdom and best judgment while fulfilling their companionship roles. Eric recalled another day with the client at the memory-care unit.

“We were sitting in the dining area for breakfast one morning with all of the others. All of a sudden, toward the end of the meal, a lady jumped out of her seat and exclaimed, ‘Eisenhower is coming today! I’ve got to get ready!’ and she sped off with her walker to her room. I looked at my client and said, ‘Did you hear that? Eisenhower is coming.’ Unfortunately, it did not pick him up. But I was happy for the lady. In her world, she was eager to meet Eisenhower that day,” Eric said.

Rebecca Rinn, CAREGiver experience coordinator at Home Instead® franchise of Denver South, couldn’t be happier that Eric joined Home Instead in July 2018. Exactly three years after he began serving seniors on behalf of the award-winning franchise, Rebecca announced that Eric had been honored as CAREGiver of the Month.

When Eric came aboard Home Instead, he had had no previous professional senior-care experience. “Furthermore,” he said, “I had no family caregiving experience because I had been mostly overseas since 19, rarely ever returning to see family.” 

Explaining how he ended up at Home Instead, Eric said: “I was in Arlington, Virginia, after returning from overseas duty and was in a hotel awaiting my next assignment with the federal government. I was watching American TV for the first time in over a decade, and the Home Instead commercial kept playing over and over. So, I called them to see how to get affiliated with them. After talking about things, a person with Home Instead recommended that I look up the local office wherever I was posted next.” 

When Eric was asked what he liked most about being a Home Instead CAREGiver, this was his thoughtful response: “The compassion of it all. That’s why I looked at the position in the first place. I wanted to improve my compassion for other people in the world and experience the evolution of my own consciousness.”

He added: “I’ve always spent my adult life serving others, and I had some moments where professionally I needed to show compassion and understanding as a supervisor in various roles. But, to learn true compassion, I came to believe that one needs to place oneself in a compassionate role for a duration of time. Patience is first needed, which I knew I had. I began to have a much stronger clarity and understanding of compassion for another person who I had not previously known. That clarity is imperative during an 8- , 10- or 12-hour shift with someone who truly requires your assistance, in whatever form it is.”

Eric is among more than 100,000 CAREGivers worldwide, and he has helped add to those numbers because of his strong belief in Home Instead’s purpose. It isn’t hard to see Eric lives the Home Instead principles of “Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart.”

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.