Client Included Sandy on Cruise To Bahamas With Family Members
For CAREGiver Sandy, a short trip with a Home Instead® client to an Ocala travel agency surprisingly resulted in a much longer trip later on.
“I took him to AAA to help him set up a family cruise to the Bahamas. When I heard him give the number of travelers to the agent, I told him, ‘You have one too many,’ ” Sandy recalled. The client looked at Sandy and said, ‘I’ll need you to come along.’ Stunned by the comment, Sandy said: “I didn’t think that was possible, and he had me call the Home Instead office to see if I could go on the cruise.”
The Home Instead office told Sandy, “The client’s got to understand he pays for your time when you are on the cruise.” The client nodded and told Sandy, “That’s fine.” As a result, Sandy got her own state room just as the client’s entire family did. “Working a shift that’s actually a Caribbean cruise was totally unexpected. It doesn’t happen every day,” Sandy said.
Sandy spent four years helping the Parkinson’s client, a retired pastor who died in June 2019. His wife had died three years earlier. “I was with him when he drew his last breath at the hospital. I stayed there the whole night. His spiritual faith amazed me. When he was still conscious and knew he was dying, he said he saw angels,” said Sandy, who works for the Home Instead office that serves Marion County, including Ocala, Silver Springs, Belleview and Summerfield. The award-winning franchise’s owners are Jim and Mary Samuelson.
Sandy has been with her current Home Instead client for more than a year. The widow is in good health, remains active and looks much younger than 91.
“We are fond of each other. I quickly learned I was there more for companionship than anything else. She doesn’t want to be coddled. I remind her, ‘If you ever need me to do something, please tell me.’ She said, ‘Down the road, I might need you for more than one day a week,’ which is something I’d of course want to do,” Sandy said.
During Sandy’s 6½ years with Home Instead, it has not always been smooth sailing. Two clients did not want Sandy’s help or assistance from any other CAREGiver. “One client slammed the door on me. Her daughter had set up the shift with Home Instead, and her mother apparently felt she’d be losing her independence if someone came alongside her,” Sandy said.
Mary Samuelson praised Sandy’s skill, empathy and loyalty to her clients, explaining: “Sandy started with us, worked for the same client for quite a while and then he moved to another county and a different Home Instead territory. The client still wanted her, so she was hired by the Leesburg office and stayed with him. After he passed away, she came back to us! She’s quite amazing.”
Sandy loves being a part of the CAREGiver team for the Samuelsons’ franchise, a member of a highly successful network founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, by Paul and Lori Hogan. The Home Instead network is the world’s leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,200 independently owned and operated franchises that provide more than 80 million hours of care annually throughout the U.S. and 13 other countries.
Sandy is among more than 90,000 CAREGivers worldwide, and she has helped add to those numbers because of her strong belief in Home Instead’s purpose and core values. Those core values are: “Honor God in all we do; Treat each other with dignity and respect; Encourage growth in ourselves and others; Build value in our service to others.”
All Home Instead CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call (352) 622-6447 or apply online. For further information about Home Instead, visit our website.