It Took a While, but Pam Won Over Her Client
If CAREGiver of the Month Pam’s 90-year-old client had her way, Pam would move in with her at the client’s independent-care community. The client feels that close to her CAREGiver. Pam is flattered, especially when she remembers the first six months with the client.
“I’ve been with my client for about three years, but we did not bond for that first half-year. It was difficult. She didn’t want the help at first. I found myself was sweeping the leaves off her patio at her direction. I was with her for three days a week at her home before she moved to independent care,” said Pam, who works for the Home Instead® franchise that serves North Oakland County, including Waterford.
On July 3, 2010, Pam joined the award-winning franchise that is now owned by Glenna Yaroch. In January 2021, General Manager Gail M. Wilk announced the CAREGiver of the Month award for Pam.
Explaining how she won over the client, Pam said: “We bonded while telling funny stories. In terms of my variety of experiences, I told her my life ‘is a soap opera.’ She is funny and highly intelligent. She has an Ivy League education, and she was a university professor for 47 years. At the start, I would take her to the university so she could swim and walk on the indoor track.”
Pam, who now assists the client five days a week, has a goal of trying to keep the client from having to move to assisted living. She has started to deal with memory challenges with Pam’s help. “The family is trying to keep her in independent care as long as we can,” Pam explained.
“Because of COVID-19, she cannot go to the dining room, so I’ve helped her call in her meal order,” said Pam, who has worked with the client on reheating meals and making sure she takes the tin foil off the food before it goes into her microwave. “That’s not an uncommon challenge for people who have memory challenges. It also is hard to keep her active because of the COVD-19 restrictions.
“Among the other things are pet care for a cat, medication reminders and personal care such as teeth brushing. She does shower on her own because she’s capable. After I set up the shower with a towel, wash cloth and clean clothes, I am a standby assist. Her mobility is good for her age. When she does get wobbly, I remind her to use her walker. In addition to her university activities when I first started, she liked attending estate sales. She hunted for ‘treasures.’ ”
For another client, Pam’s meal preparation and laundry are big “He likes how I prepare his breakfast. I make his eggs sunny side up in bacon grease. He said it is perfect. He has other CAREGivers three or four days a week, but I am the only one who does his laundry. He likes how I fold his shirts,” Pam said with a laugh.
Another client had grown silent but regained his ability to speak with Pam’s help. “He enjoyed Southern music, so I played it for him,” Pam said. “Then I started singing, and he began to verbalize again by trying to sing, too. Then he was talking with me. His wife was in tears when he did that.”
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.