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December 11, 2020

Helping People is Carolyn's Passion

Home Instead Caregiver of the Month Carolyn

Helping People Is Carolyn’s Passion

Carolyn has been a caregiver her entire life, certainly not just during the past 10 months since she joined owner Michael Lammers’ award-winning Home Instead® franchise of Boulder and Broomfield Counties that is based in Louisville, Colorado.

Carolyn said: “This has been my passion for many, many years. The Lord has called us to serve, and I love to serve. I enjoy helping others. I started volunteering at a Denver hospital as a candy striper during my teen years. My mother was a great role model as a nurse at a Denver neighborhood health center and emergency room.”

For two years before she joined Home Instead, Carolyn volunteered at a Denver-area hospital. She continues to volunteer at her church’s food bank, where she leads one segment of the effort and helps with another segment. “I stopped helping at the hospital when COVID-19 came along,” explained Carolyn, who has been honored as the Home Instead office’s December CAREGiver of the Month.

Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Rianne Matthews said: “Carolyn demonstrates a strong, caring heart in all she does, both in and out of work. Carolyn usually volunteers on the days where she is not working for Home Instead. We can attest to the fact that Carolyn has shown reliability, commitment and strong care to our clients since she arrived in February. She is a giving person, and she has expressed a lot of satisfaction in her work from helping others.”

Carolyn’s psyche has been tested mightily while being buffeted by the winds of tragedy in recent years, but she keeps giving back professionally and as a volunteer. In 2½ years’ time, Carolyn lost her husband of 17 years, both of her parents and both pet German Shepherds. Nearly six months after her husband’s brain-tumor diagnosis, he passed away. Carolyn was his 24/7 caregiver that included a short period of palliative care.

She moved to the Denver area to be closer to family. Carolyn worked for two years in retail before becoming a hospital volunteer. “I had to be emotionally ready to help others after the deaths of my husband and my parents,” she said. “I volunteered one day a week, beginning in August 2017. The pandemic spoiled the hospital work, and my nurses are missing me. I love helping at my church’s food pantry, and that is an ongoing effort. Home Instead has been good.”

When asked about the key to being a CAREGiver, Carolyn said: “It is the same whether you are a family caregiver, a volunteer or a professional. I give respect and dignity. Some people don’t want much help, so I back off. But safety always trumps independence, so there are judgments to be made from time to time. It’s best handled with compassion and empathy,” she said.

Carolyn has the perfect touch with her clients with whom she has served since March, shortly after arriving at Home Instead. They have been 24/7 clients since September 2019, are in their 80s and live in their own home.

Carolyn has a bubbly personality she shares with her clients. “They get to know my heart and my passion,” she said.

Carolyn added: “They know when I am coming. I always announce myself and use the same greeting: ‘Good morning, Sunshine,’ when I arrive at 8 a.m., and they light up. They are very secure with me. They joke with me. I make life better for them, and I am adjusting my care for them all the time. It is a pleasure to go in, and I enjoy it.”

Carolyn has a favorite memory of the two. “I had them both laughing one night when I helped him go to bed. Out of the blue, he asked me to sing a lullaby. It surprised me, and I drew a blank mentally, so I made up some nonsensical words and sang to him. They both laughed at me. We had a great moment,” Carolyn said.

“All in all, I feel strongly about helping others. Home Instead is one way to help seniors. God is in my life, and I want to be a blessing to others and help.”

Home Instead CAREGivers, who are screened, trained, bonded and insured, provide a variety of in-home services to help keep seniors independent. For inquiries about employment with Home Instead, please call 720-890-0184. For further information, visit www.homeinstead.com/397/home-instead-senior-care, or to learn more about the Home Instead services, link to digital brochures at www.homeinstead.com/397/home-care-services/experienced-caregivers/digital-brochures.