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March 25, 2021

CAREGiver of the Month - March 2021

Written By: Brian Lahm for Home Instead of Waterford
Ann Baker CGOTM March 2021 COMP

One More Daughter? Client Would Have Adopted Ann if She Could

Two-time CAREGiverâ„  of the Month Ann has a multitude of treasured client memories from her seven-plus years with Home Instead® of North Oakland County, Michigan. Near the top of the growing list of recollections are several special remembrances.

“One former client used to call me her daughter, then she would look at me and say, ‘You’re not really my daughter, but I’d adopt you in a second.’ She was so sweet. I just loved working with her.”

“I loved one client’s quirky meal requests. It tickled me pink when he often asked for ‘slippery eggs,’ meaning poached eggs. I said, ‘Yes sir, those can be very slippery.’ A time or two, he’d be trying to eat them, they’d slip out of his bowl and he’d just giggle like a kid.”

“What I love most about being a CAREGiver is seeing the look on my clients’ faces when I do simple things like putting lotion on their feet. One lady swears someone came into her home and cut her arms shorter so she couldn’t reach her feet anymore. I know what she wants. She’s a hoot.”

Ann added: “The most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life is help those who can’t help themselves. Not many people can honestly say they love their jobs, but I truly love my job. I do what I love, and ‘little pixies’ toss me a paycheck. It’s a pretty good gig.”

She also pointed out: “I’ve had so many wonderful clients in my years with Home Instead. My first and longest client is in a memory-care unit with end-stage Alzheimer’s. I still keep in touch with her husband.”

Another client recently passed away. “He was 97 and was such a joy. One day, I found all of the ingredients and baked banana bread for him and his family. He sat at the table and sobbed like a baby because I went out of my way to do that. He loved food. It made my day when I did things for him that made him happy. It is so heartwarming to bring such happiness to seniors. I will miss him for rest of my life. His daughter gave me an ugly-looking bowl in which he kept his bananas on the counter, but I tell you I’ll treasure that bowl for life,” Ann said.

In July 2018, Ann was first honored as CAREGiver of the Month for owner Glenna Yaroch’s award-winning Home Instead franchise that serves Waterford, Clarkston, West Bloomfield and 15 other communities in Oakland County. General Manager Gail M. Wilk was thrilled to announced Ann’s second CAREGiver of the Month honor for February 2021.

Ann could not contain her glee: “Wow! Twice with same company as employee of the month – what a lovely, lovely honor this is! I am thankful. I still feel as though I just discovered this amazing company, of which I found by accident as I was walking my dog one March afternoon in 2014. I saw the help-wanted sign at the Home Instead office, a block and a half from home, so I stuck my head in the door and asked for an application. I held onto the application for few days, and my husband said, ‘You should apply. You’d be perfect for this job because of the wonderful care you provided for my mother.’ So, I did apply and was hired on the spot.”

Ann took care of her mother-in-law for last seven years of her life. Ann recalled: “I couldn’t stand the idea of putting her in a nursing home. So, with joy and pleasure, I went daily to care for her needs. She was an amazing lady!” Her mother-in-law died in 2009 and years later, the former preschool teacher admitted to being bored.

Just as she did for her mother-in-law, Ann literally goes the extra mile for her clients. More than three years ago, she wore out three pairs of shoes while walking with a dementia client who later moved to a memory unit. “She was the first person who I knew who had dementia. We sometimes walked three miles a day, and I had her four days a week for four years,” Ann said. “She had good mobility but held my hand for comfort. She was fairly healthy, but everything was new every day. Her husband did an excellent job and adjusted her care with each dementia stage. She knew who he was until last year. She always was happy and always was smiling. She must have had the same personality her whole life.”

Gail said: “Ann is among the group of three CAREGivers we recently honored, and I love them. They are seasoned CAREGivers and our silent heroes. They are loved by their clients, go to work and help when needed. There is never an issue with them. They care for their clients and always go the extra mile.”

 

All Home Instead CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call (248) 886-7300 or apply online. For further information about Home Instead, visit our website.