When Kira Lindsay was a salesperson for a major cell-phone company, she spent as much time as she could teaching seniors the basics of cell-phone use. No one else in her store had the patience for things like that. But Kira said, “I absolutely loved it.”
Kira added: “I’d spend an hour – or three – genuinely helping someone, getting to know them, without trying to persuade them to buy something or rushing them. I never wanted to be thinking about my paycheck while trying to help another person. There is so much more value to me, in making someone smile, or providing a much-needed hug.”
Ultimately, Kira decided she was in the wrong field. “After I realized I hated sales,” she said, “I quit my job and took a few months to figure out what I really wanted to do.”
Any discussion of Kira’s fascinating work-career journey is worth the introspective review that Kira provided. “After spending years trying to fit myself into different jobs, I realized I needed to find a job that would fit me. I took a few months off from working to research and think about what I really wanted in a career. I eventually landed on caregiving,” she said, pointing to owner Michael Lammers’ award-winning Home Instead® franchise of Boulder, Broomfield and northwest Adams Counties that is based in Louisville, Colorado.
“I loved the idea of being endlessly there for someone – no rushing, no talking about money, just helping another beautiful human being enjoy his or her day and feel a little more loved.”
Kira began running an art business in 2013. It was her full-time job for a few years, one she described as “a total whirlwind.” Kira eventually continually hiked her prices because she couldn’t handle the constant heavy workload. Kira admitted: “I also really missed being around people. I got a food-service job, then moved on to the cell-phone sales position.”
Not surprisingly, Kira said: “In every job I’ve had, my interactions with customers and co-workers have been the most joyous parts of my day. I’d have so much fun chatting with people, I’d tend to ‘hold up the line’ wherever I worked.” Kira entered professional senior care in April 2021 with Home Instead. For many reasons, it was not totally unfamiliar territory for Kira.
Kira had spent a few months caring for her mother as she was going through chemotherapy when Kira was in high school. She also spent years taking care of her ex-fiancé, who suffered from severe depression. “I learned so much about letting others express themselves and their pain without any judgment or trying to change them. I learned the value of just being there, listening and appreciating that person for everything wonderful about them,” she said.
Depression, Kira said, manifests itself in many ways: personal-care issues, panic attacks, a lack of energy and malnourishment. “Mental health is as important to me as physical health, and I really enjoy using all of my little strategies I’ve learned to help someone relax and feel taken care of,” said Kira said, who has helped seniors in many different ways during the past eight months because of her past experiences.
“I chose Home Instead because they seemed to be really supportive toward their CAREGivers. I have always wanted to feel as though the people with whom I work are a second family, and that’s exactly what I got with Home Instead,” said Kira, who joined Home Instead at the end of April 2021.
“I can’t believe the amount of kindness I’ve received since I started. The staff is incredibly sweet and supportive. At the risk of sounding redundant, they treat me like family, and my clients do too. It took a while for me to get used to being so appreciated on a daily basis. I care so much for the people in my life, and it means the world to me to have that feeling returned. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by such loving people.”
Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Rianne Matthews said: “It is fitting that Kira is our CAREGiver of the Month because she is unfailingly positive, and her high energy is infectious. She brings smiles wherever she goes, and this means the world to her clients. She looks after her seniors not just with genuine affection, but also with a care and attentiveness she would show to her own friends and family. She’s truly a shining star in such a challenging time for us all.”
In less than a year’s time, Kira has made a lot of memories.
“I have a ton of fun with my awesome gal, Ms. A., and her two golden retrievers. Once we went out to get her a fancy bagel sandwich she’d been craving, and we managed to arrive just before they closed. The moment we got back to her house, one of her dogs grabbed her sandwich off the counter and ate it in about three seconds. It probably has been the most hilarious moment of our time together so far, especially when you consider how much effort we had put into getting that sandwich,” Kira said.
On Thanksgiving Day with the same client, Kira recalled: “We took her doggies on a walk in Boulder, and Ms. A. surprised me by leading us into the mountains. We went on a full-out hike in an area where she used to run. We saw the most gorgeous mountain views. That was one of the coolest days.”
With a different client, Kira went on “a doggie hunting adventure” when two of the three of the client’s pets escaped. “They all liked to bolt out of the house any chance they get. They already done that previously, and I barely was able to catch them. This time, I told Ms. M. to hop in my car. We drove around the neighborhood and eventually found them. When I put them in my car, they gave Ms. M. lots of ‘hello kisses.’ She was overjoyed,” Kira said.
Meanwhile, a third client had a challenging time getting through each day because of her chronic pain and exhaustion.
Kira was thrilled to get the client out of her chair when she discovered the client loved art. “It’s much easier to enjoy something mutually interesting because it brings out all my enthusiasm,” Kira said. “I asked her to teach me about watercolor, since that’s what she’s used her whole life, and I’ve had experience only with acrylics.”
The client’s daughter said her mother lit up when she and Kira began their art sessions. “I was so excited to watch her work, and she was eager to help me learn. Eventually, I made my first watercolor painting, which I still have. It reminds me of all of the fun we had, talking about art, going through her art books and sharing what we loved most together,” Kira said.
To Kira, caregiving is a remarkable job. “I can’t believe I’m actually earning a living by just having fun with people,” she said.
All Home Instead CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call (720) 890-0184 or apply online. For further information about Home Instead, visit our website.