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May 01, 2021

CAREGiver of the Month - May 2021

Written By: Brian Lahm for Home Instead of South Denver
Kacie Long CGOTM May 2021 COMP

Emotions Flowed When Kacie Took Client to Church

It was about a year before COVID-19 showed up in the United States. The wife of an 86-year-old Home Instead®  client thought CAREGiver Kacie Long would be the perfect person to take her husband back to church after a long absence because of health problems. That Sunday turned out to be an emotional day for CAREGiver and her client.

“I almost cried when I heard him sing. I feel there were tears in his eyes whenever he sang, and he had such a beautiful singing voice,” recalled Kacie, who joined Home Instead of Denver South on Jan. 18, 2019, and began assisting the couple just three weeks later.

“His mind was sharp. He remembered the responsive choruses and knew the songs. Many people were happy to see him, acknowledged him and said ‘hi.’ Most did not try to engage him in a long conversation because he did not look well. He was on a walker and needed supplemental oxygen, but the church service was an overall success.”

Kacie added: “The family was grateful I took him. He was a fall risk, so I stayed close to him. The fear was that he’d lose his balance and fall backwards, but he did not come close to doing that. I felt I was the lucky one to take him to church. I did it for a little less than a year.”

Sadly, the client passed away Jan. 20, 2021, about two months short of his 88th birthday. He and his wife had been married 44 years. “He was on hospice. He knew he had a few weeks left to live, but the doctors had been saying that same sort of thing during the past 10 years, that he was dying. He always bounced back. He’d be hospitalized and come home. He had a strong will to live,” Kacie recalled. “It was hard to accept. I was still in shock two weeks later. I miss him.”

Kacie was with the couple during a night shift, and 45 minutes after she left, he passed away. “I am glad there is a silver lining, and that is the fact I am taking care of his wife. I am very close to his 76-year-old wife, who is the smartest person I’ve met. I work from 4 to 7 p.m., and when I arrive, she said she is happy. She is inspirational, energetic and overall just positive. She is my favorite person I’ve ever met.”

When Kacie joined Home Instead, she could never have foreseen the fulfillment she’d receive from the job. “I was really surprised how close you can get to the clients. Clients literally are like family. You’d do anything for them. It’s impossible not to have a heart for them. When you get laughing together, those moments are precious. That’s the best part of my days, when I am with a client for whom I serve six days a week,” said Kacie, who has been honored as a CAREGiver of the Month at owner Bill Dahlquist’s award-winning franchise.

Kacie remembered when her friend Lynn, who works as a Home Instead CAREGiver, told her about the senior-care company. “My friend knew I had been a nanny, so she knew I had a caregiving heart. I thought I’d give it a try. At first, I was a bit nervous. I would never thought things would go as well as they have,” said Kacie, who always has had compassion for people, especially children. Her empathy was evident at a young age.

“As soon as I could, I started babysitting. I was 12 or 13. By the time I was in high school, I was working at a daycare. I served as a nanny for a family for 13 years. I basically raised two girls.

I have two boys of my own.”

The Home Instead office staff goes to great lengths to help Kacie with the timing of her shifts. “My schedule works with well with my sons’ school transportation needs. The staff answers any questions, and it is easy to schedule time off if you do it early enough,” Kacie said.

“As far as elder care goes in my family, my mom doesn’t need help. Mom is pleased and excited that I have this job. I’ve met friends who are amazing. I really didn’t expect relationships to develop the way they have. As I tell people, the best part of my day can be work. I don’t see myself leaving this job.”

 

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.