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November 30, 2020

CAREGiver Lynn "Was Born to Help Others"

Caregiver of the Quarter Lynn
When CAREGiver of the Quarter Lynn Richardson says, “I was born to do this job,” there is no disagreement from anyone who knows her. From clients to their families to the Home Instead® franchise staff, Lynn’s work always has received A-pluses.

Home Instead franchise co-owners Kris and Jean-Marc Mira are thrilled to have Lynn on their award-winning CAREGiver team. General Manager Allison Johnston and Training and Engagement Supervisor Nancy Weigandt echo what Lynn’s clients have told them: “Lynn is very dedicated to our clients. She is flexible and willing to accommodate her clients’ schedule changes and needs. Lynn has a disabled adult son for whom she cares when she’s not working as a CAREGiver. Yet, Lynn is 100 percent committed to her clients when she’s with them. We’ve never heard Lynn complain. She’s always positive, respectful, kindhearted and helpful.”

Staff members at the Home Instead franchise in New Braunfels also pointed out: “Lynn is the special kind of CAREGiver who plants roots wherever she goes. When Lynn meets a client, she’s there for the long haul. She’s been with her some of clients to the end, and those clients’ families have always taken the time to specifically recognize her. Not all families take the time to call the office to say, ‘Thank you’ and compliment their CAREGivers, but we can think of several who have done that for her.”

The Home Instead staff added: “Lynn sometimes ‘flies under the radar’ with us because she has her set schedule, she shows up on time, rarely if ever calls off and does a good job. We all thought it was about time she got recognized.”

Lynn traces her caregiving roots to her mother. “My mother was my great influence because she was kind to everyone. If anyone needed help, Mom always was there,” said Lynn, explaining the praise she has received for her compassion, patience, empathy and generosity of spirit.

For Lynn, touching lives impacts her soul, whether she’s providing physical help such as light housekeeping, meal preparation, medication reminders or personal care or if she is offering emotional support in a companionship role.

Lynn has been with Home Instead for 3½ years. She had seen Home Instead’s television commercials and had heard about Home Instead from other sources. When Lynn investigated Home Instead, she thought to herself, “That sounds like what I want to do.”

Lynn admitted: “I applied at Home Instead when I decided my job was boring. I wanted to make a difference and be useful to others.” Lynn has never had any second thoughts about being a CAREGiver. “Everything fits together as if it is meant to be. The clients and their families have made me feel good – I am fulfilled with what I do. Communication with the Home Instead office is good. Jean-Marc called me for a client assessment, and that made me feel good that he was depending on my judgment. Kris and Jean-Marc and the office staff are so nice,” Lynn said.

Lynn was a registered nurse for 17 years, but she joked, “Many of my patients were asleep when I saw them because I was a nurse for an anesthesiologist. I quit nursing and earned a master’s degree in archeology and also had other educational pursuits. In my last full-time job, I held an administrative position that served multiple hospitals. There were a number of things to do, including finding a POA for a patient, organizing social functions such as birthday parties for patients and other responsibilities. I was so happy to make somebody’s birthday a better day.”

The combination of being a family caregiver for her son and serving as a Home Instead CAREGiver could be daunting, but Lynn always optimistically pushes ahead. “I plan and plan, so that helps. I do feel fulfilled. But on some mornings, I put one foot in front of the other and keep going. No matter how tired or cranky I might be, when I walk in the door at a client’s home, I put that all aside. You have to let everything else in your life go and bring sunshine into someone else’s life,” Lynn said.

Lynn’s client memories could fill a book.

Referring to an 85-year-old client who resides in a seven-person, four-generation home whose age spectrum includes an 89-year-old husband and two great-grandchildren, Lynn said: “She is the most wonderful person who reminds me of my mother. We had an instant bond, and she values our conversations greatly. She is a Cuban native from Havana, and she teaches me how to cook her native dishes. Her mind is sharp, but her mobility is challenging because of the rheumatoid arthritis she’s had since she was a child. She always has soldiered on and never stopped. She is a fighter who remains on a walker and refuses a wheelchair. She’s determined to make her situation work. She manages her own medications and medical appointments. She found a pain specialist that worked a miracle for one of her medical challenges.”

Sadly, Lynn lost an 84-year-old client last August to a memory unit. “She declined rapidly with dementia. It was heartbreaking. I was so sad to lose her. I was there only three afternoons a week, but things became more challenging, I picked up hours and then she had 24/7 care. She would tell me, ‘I don’t understand why I can’t remember these things.’ She realized something was wrong, which made life all the more confusing for her. That’s the way dementia moves many times. My No. 1 mission, I felt, was to keep her as safe as possible and provide a stability that she could count on. I become emotional whenever I think of her,” a tearful Lynn said.

The newest challenge for seniors that shockingly and unexpectedly appeared earlier this year was the COVID-19 virus pandemic. “With seniors, I don’t see the overt stress. I see a lot of loneliness and feelings of isolation. Sometimes I am the only person who the client will see during a given week. I am 70, but I have no intention of giving up this job. As long as I can serve and make a difference, I want to do that,” Lynn said.

CAREGivers, who are screened, trained, bonded and insured, provide services to help keep seniors independent. For employment inquiries, call [Phone] or apply online at http://www.homeinstead.com/366/becomeacaregiver/employmentinquiry/Pages/EmploymentInquiry.aspx. For further information, visit www.homeinstead.com/366 or to learn more about services, link to a digital brochure at http://hisc366.digbro.com. Please join our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Home-Instead-Senior-Care-New-Braunfels-TX/375522375796468 and check out our blog at http://newbraunfels.seniorshomecaregivers.com/.