Ewa Tatarnik, a native of Poland, vividly remembers the details leading up to her decision to become a senior-care professional in America. By using her compassionate heart, she is giving back to society in the best way she knows, and she does it quite well as an award-winning Home Instead® CAREGiver.
Ewa explained: “When my mother was battling lung cancer, I could not be with her. My sister took care of her. Everything happened in Poland, so I don’t have experiences as a family caregiver. I did support them as best I could, given the distance between us. I gave my sister good advice over the phone, and since then I decided to become a caregiver.”
Ewa, who immigrated to the United States with her husband and two sons, worked for a cellphone company and helped her husband with paperwork in his job during their first few years in the Chicago area. Ewa has been in professional caregiving since 2006, and she has been working for the Home Instead franchise in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, since 2014.
“Before I started working for Home Instead, I had worked for another elderly care agency. The location of that agency was too far from my house, and I tried to find a closer employer. I learned about Home Instead from an area care community, where I had inquired about a job,” Ewa recalled.
Ewa provides safety assurance, meal preparation, medication reminders, light housekeeping, and transportation and errands. She also offers personal assistance with eating, grooming, dressing, bathing, incontinence care, cognitive impairment, hospice support and mobility. By expertly doing so, Ewa not only assists her clients, but helps their families eliminate worry, reduce stress and re-establish personal freedom.
Focusing on Home Instead’s training, processes and procedures of successful caregiving over the years helped Ewa achieve the CAREGiver of the Month award.
In addition to her exemplary skills, Ewa displays a compassionate heart. Ewa said: “Empathy and understanding are very important qualities for a professional caregiver. When I can make it a better day for someone by helping him or her and then seeing a smile on the client’s face, that is what I like most about my job.”
Ewa lives Home Instead’s guiding principles of “Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart.” Part of the way Ewa builds trust with her clients is her extraordinary listening skills. Clients quickly tune into that aspect of care. “During the Christmas season, one client talked for hours about holiday ornaments that have been collected over the years and told me his family stories about the Christmas tree. That was one of the nice client memories I’ve had with Home Instead,” Ewa said.
Home Instead’s guiding principles are important to Ewa, and she also has embraced British actress Audrey Hepburn’s motto: “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.”