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July 31, 2020

Jackie's Love of Caregiving Began During Teen Years

Home Instead Caregiver of the Month Jackie
Jackie Deall helped her grandmother when she was in middle school. In fact, Jackie was the only family member who was allowed by her grandmother to feed and bathe her as well as provide care in other ways. Jackie said, "I was her caregiver."

Fast-forward to July 2020, when Jackie was honored as CAREGiver of the Month for owner Michael Lammers' award-winning Home Instead Senior Care® franchise in Louisville. The office serves Boulder and Broomfield Counties, including the cities of Boulder, Broomfield, Brighton, Erie, Lafayette, Longmont, Lyons, Nederland and Thornton.

Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Rianne Matthews said: "Jackie is a warm, dedicated and consistent CAREGiver. She has a positive outlook, is deeply loyal to her clients and shows her heart of compassion to everyone. It's obvious she loves people and loves to take care of them."

Jackie said, "The reality is, I am a born caregiver."

Jackie was born in Boulder as a third-generation family member who grew up in the Flatirons city. Her great-grandparents immigrated from Cornwall, England, to Caribou, Colorado, a 10,000-foot elevation silver mining camp about 20 miles west of Boulder, before settling in Boulder. Jackie's work career includes both child care and senior care. Her daughter has the same compassionate heart. She also has worked at elder care, now takes care of two autistic men and teaches them life skills.

Jackie shifted from child care back to senior care when she joined Home Instead Senior Care in June 2019. Her previous stint in senior care ended when she lost two longtime clients while working for another agency. During the same sorrow-filled four-month period, death also claimed three friends and Jackie's mother, who had severe dementia.

"The reality is, I needed a break from senior care. I needed to regroup and get myself together," said Jackie, who visited her mother every day in a care community while also working full time.

"Mom thought I was her mother. She was in my arms when she drew her last breath Dec. 22, 2017, at 4 a.m. I knew it was coming and had slept on the floor next to her so I could be with her at the end."

While Jackie was committed to her mother, Jackie also felt an unwavering connection to two bedfast clients. "I remained with the other company for four years because of those two clients. I had promised I'd stay with them until the end. That's what I did. One died in December and the other died in February," Jackie recalled.

After joining Home Instead Senior Care a year ago, Jackie worked overnight shifts for a client with whom she developed a special closeness. "When I met the client, I met her family, too. From Day 1, we clicked. Of all my years of working with seniors, she was my all-time favorite client, and that's not easy to say. There were a lot of commonalities. Her oldest son and I went to high school together. One of the client's grandsons is best friends with my nephew. I became part of the family unit," Jackie said.

"Another CAREGiver and I did night shifts, and we arranged our own schedules – including vacations – so that one of us was always taking care of her at night for consistency's sake. Home Instead was great about the arrangement. It was just us two CAREGivers at night and her family taking care of her during the day. The family was amazing. When the client went to a care community, I continued to visit on my own time. She passed away about a month later."

For the past several months, Jackie has been working overnight shifts with a 24/7 dementia client who resides in an assisted living facility with her husband. "I was a fill-in CAREGiver at first and ended up working with them regularly. I had a good relationship with them right away. She took to me, and we clicked. She can be challenging because of her dementia, but I can calm her down and redirect her," said Jackie, who complimented Home Instead for its matches.

Jackie praised Home Instead's office staff: "What I really like about Home Instead is that if I have a question or concern, I can call the office. They will give advice or step in and take care of the problem. If I want to vent about challenges, I can do so with the staff. They listen."

She added: "Going from bedridden clients with one agency to ambulatory clients with Home Instead is so different. You have to reprogram your thinking. You have to make sure you give the clients as much independence as possible. You give them dignity and respect and yet hold fast to the No. 1 responsibility of keeping them safe. I am happy with my job. As I move toward retirement, I would probably have to rethink the hours at some point, but this is what I want to do."

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 Senior Care, please call 720-432-4956. For further information, visit www.homeinstead.com/397/home-instead-senior-care