You can’t blame Home Instead® Caregiver of the Month Cathy Maropoulos and her client if they occasionally glance at next year’s calendar, specifically June 7. That is when Cathy’s precious lady will turn 100 years old.
“Celebrating her 100th birthday will be so great. We celebrated quite a bit when she turned 99, and it was a good time. My opinion is that she is a strong 99. I’m impressed with her,” said Cathy, who has assisted her client for the past 18 months.
One thing is certain: When the client celebrates her 100th birthday, Cathy will be with her. “I tell her, ‘I would never leave you,’ ” Cathy said, referring to a widow who has no children. “We are super fond of each, really close. We talk about anything and everything. Bonding is a big thing for us and makes you feel good. Our relationship is a win-win for both of us.”
Keeping an eye on the client’s health is important. Cathy does her best to help with the client’s challenging situations, including meal preparation and diet. In addition, the client and Cathy both have been vaccinated. Dementia? There’s no obvious sign of it. She keeps things in the same place, and her routine is the same.
Referring to her Home Instead Caregiver position. Cathy said: “I love it. I also am a part-time hairstylist who works for myself, and I have a friend who has the salon where I can come and go. When a client gets me as a Caregiver, she also gets a hairstylist. I love both jobs. Both are in the service industry where you get to meet people and get to know them.”
Cathy praised the Home Instead office staff in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, including franchise owner Kelly Hutchison, Human Resources Manager Alina Merrill and others. Digital Brand Manager Mia Tatone announced Cathy’s Caregiver of the Month honor. “The office members communicate well. At our Caregiver Convention, our scheduler talked to me about a potential new client to add to my current shifts, and we chatted about the possibilities. The office keeps the lines of communication open – I can call, email or text any time. Kelly is a great guy, and so is everyone else,” Cathy said.
Caregiving always has been in Cathy’s blood. “I love babies and seniors. I have a 7-month-old grandson, and I am delighted to babysit. In fact, if given the choice to go to Hawaii or babysit my grandson, I’d choose my grandson,” she said. As a family caregiver, Cathy took care of her in-laws while she was raising her children. “I loved doing it. My mom helped care for my in-laws, too. Both in-laws have passed away. They died in 1999 and 2000,” Cathy said.
Cathy’s mother had Lewy body dementia and passed away last July – after Cathy and her sister had taken care of her for five years. “My sister and I couldn’t have taken care of Mom without each other doing our share, so we’re thankful for each other. My mom and I were best buddies,” said Cathy, who also was the recipient of awesome family caregiving by others. “As a 34-year-old, I had breast cancer, and our babies at the time were 1 year old and 3 years old. Everyone stepped up and took care of me. I’ll never forget that.”
Cathy loves being a part of a franchise that is a member of a highly successful network founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska. The Home Instead network is the world’s leading provider of in-home care services for older adults, with 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. Cathy is among more than 100,000 Caregiversworldwide, and she has helped add to those numbers because of her strong belief in Home Instead’s purpose. Cathy lives the Home Instead principles of “Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart.”