Caregiver of the Month Olayemi “Ola” Arogundade has been “adopted” at least several times since May 22, 2019, when she began working for owner Kelly Hutchison’s award-winning Home Instead® franchise in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.
“Home Instead is so wonderful. They took me in like they are my own family. I love the staff and Kelly, the owner. I say ‘thank you’ to all of them. May God bless every one of them and reward them richly for how they help people. I want to stay with them for a long time,” Ola said.
Ola has both a twinkle and tears in her eyes when she talks about the family she lost last spring when a 96-year-old client passed away. “The client was like my mom. Whenever I arrived at the client’s house, she welcomed me. She was sad to see me go when my shift ended. I always reassured her by saying, ‘I’ll be back, I’ll be back.’ She passed away one day when I was not there. I did not have time to say, ‘Goodbye.’ I was so devastated when I learned of her death. She was a wonderful client, and I miss her so much,” said Ola, who had taken care of the client for a year.
“It was not just the client who was like a relative because her family was so wonderful. The client’s daughter was like a sister to me. She was so nice and always said, ‘Thank you for taking care of my mother.’ How can you not get attached to people such as this? They truly were like family,” Ola said.
Ola’s heart for seniors comes naturally. Ola, a native of Nigeria, was raised during part of her childhood by her grandmother. She later served as a family caregiver for her parents and grandparents. After coming to the United States, Ola worked for a number of years for Walmart and was a valued employee who rose to a manager’s position before becoming a private-duty caregiver. From there, she joined Home Instead.
“One of my friends told me about Home Instead,” said Ola, explaining her jump to a franchise in the world’s leading network provider of in-home care services for older adults. Home Instead has more than 1,200 independently owned and operated franchises that provide more than 90 million hours of care annually throughout the U.S. and 13 other countries.