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June 06, 2022

Retired Pediatrician Switches Gears to Help Seniors

Care Professional of the Month Marilea M.

For her nearly 43 years as a doctor, Marilea Miller took care of society’s youngest as a board-certified pediatrician and neonatologist. She worked with infants and children at Washington D.C.-area hospitals and Johns Hopkins University Medicine in Frederick, Maryland. During the last four years of her medical practice, Marilea served as a Department of Defense contractor who worked in a U.S. military hospital in Germany as the Medical Director of the neonatal intensive care unit.

In a 180-degree demographic turn to help people, Marilea now successfully deals with the challenges that seniors face as a Care Professional at owner Michael Lammers’ award-winning Home Instead® franchise of Boulder, Broomfield and northwest Adams Counties that is based in Louisville, Colorado. Almost exactly one year after joining Home Instead, Marilea was honored as Care Pro of the Month for the Front Range office.

Home Instead Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Rianne Matthews said: “Marilea is a gentle, kind-spoken retired physician who has been a tremendous addition to our team during the year she has been with us at Home Instead. Marilea has treated her clients and colleagues with dignity and respect, and she has gone above and beyond for clients while still respecting professional values. In keeping with Home Instead corporate theme of “Steady Betty” this month for honoring Care Pros across the network, Marilea is highly reliable.”

Marilea humbly said: “I am always learning about diseases and conditions that are common to seniors. Of course, infants and children had been my area of expertise.” She added: “With this job, I’ve learned that seniors keep their humor despite their limitations. I’ve taken care of many special ladies and gentlemen. Some have the most positive attitudes despite their predicaments, such as being bedbound. Some people would say that it would be like living in a prison. But they keep remarkable, admirable attitudes.”

Marilea also pointed out: “In some cases, the clients keep up with world events and want to continue learning. Many of them are compassionate to one another. They have impacted me to an extent that I’d say it doesn’t bother me to be turning old. They deal with life as it comes.”

Before joining Home Instead during the first week of May 2021, Marilea had worked for another in-home care company in 2019 and 2020, but she took a break from work in November 2020 because of the threat of COVID-19. “When I decided to go back to work,” Marilea said, “I looked at all of the in-home care companies. Home Instead appeared to be the best-run organization. They are very professional, and the staff is wonderful to work with. I like the kindness of the staff. When my brother died in January, the office was so very kind and supportive. Among other things, I also am happy with my schedule.”

Marilea grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School. “I wasn’t a caretaker for family members as some Care Pros have been. My grandmother was blind from glaucoma, and I helped her when we visited her in Illinois. Actually, both my mother and I also have glaucoma. The treatments are far better, and the chances of going blind are far lower,” Marilea said.

While saying, “I have interesting clients,” Marilea concedes her heartwarming days have been mixed with some challenging shifts. She once had to move quickly out of the way of a walker being piloted by a dementia client. “It sounds funny to tell the story. The behavior was part of his dementia, and dementia behaviors run the gamut of emotions, from joyousness to anger. There can be hallucinations. There can be difficult situations,” Marilea said.

“The most rewarding experience has been spending time with a 96-year-old client, who has been an inspiration to me. She is a very strong woman who loves art and music, and she loves to learn. Her mobility and balance are a problem because of her affliction. She is a very, very interesting person. She makes me realize we can continue to learn new things and enjoy life at any age. I have learned a whole host of things from her in the six months I’ve been with her.”

Asked about her future, Marilea said: “I am looking forward to what’s ahead with this endeavor. This is important work that should not be minimized. I think senior-care workers deserve to be recognized and supported. I wish there was more support for senior care in government programs. There are a lot of us boomers headed in this direction, and we will need help and support. For now, I am simply focused on helping others.”

All Home Instead Care Professionals are screened, trained and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call (720) 890-0184 or apply online. For further information about Home Instead, visit our website.