Some of my favorite blog posts each year come when we have the opportunity to recognize our Exceptional Caregiver Award finalists. These wonderful people provide the heartbeat to Home Helpers® Home Care offices across the country and are the reason we proudly proclaim Exceptional Care. Exceptional Caregivers.® as a registered trademark. That’s our focus every day and one we take very seriously.
We’re proud of that commitment. But stories of Exceptional Care are certainly not limited to the five Exceptional Caregiver Award winners who are featured every year. There are plenty of other examples of Exceptional Care that come to mind when I reflect on this topic.
For example, when I think of someone who is constantly caring for others, I think of Danielle. As the young mother of a school-age child, Danielle already has her hands full. However, she also works as a Caregiver for Home Helpers who is beloved by her clients and co-workers. Sometimes she’s taking shifts seven days a week, fitting shifts around her daughter’s busy school schedule.
Oh, and one other thing: she also has a sick mother and needs to take her to dialysis multiple times per week. Still, she is dependable, always on time and will happily cover shifts for other Caregivers if she is available. Danielle has Caregiving in her blood and is deserving of our respect and admiration during this National Caregiver Month.
Danielle is just one example of the more than four hundred we receive every year in our Exceptional Caregiver Awards nominations. Here are some other brief examples of what Caregivers do on a regular basis:
- Suzanne, who took her dementia client Christmas shopping to buy a gift for his wife. Then she went out of her way to contact the client’s son on Christmas to let him know where the gift was hidden so his father could present it to his mother that day.
- When a local home care agency went out of business, the Home Helpers office got a large influx of new clients. Jennifer met with each new client personally to make sure all their needs were noted and tracked so the clients would continue to receive the care they needed from their first day.
- As she worked a day shift at a live-in facility, a big snowstorm hit the area where Joanne was working. Not only did she finish her shift, but she stayed and worked the evening and overnight shifts, then worked again during the next day shift so her fellow Caregivers wouldn’t have to go out in the snowstorm. That’s dedication to both clients and your co-workers!
- Joan cares for a 75-year-old woman with impaired memory. While the client says little and generally didn’t appreciate company, her husband was a perfect example of what is known as “Caregiver stress” – angry at his wife, the office – even the Caregivers who tried to help. But through her dedication and very calm and nurturing demeanor, Joan was able to make the husband understand that he wasn’t angry at her, his wife or the office; he was angry at the disease. He was soon kinder and more approachable to everyone, including his wife.
As these examples show, Exceptional Care is being provided every day to clients and families who have come to depend on their Caregiver.
I would also be remiss not to acknowledge that there are family Caregivers providing the same type of service day in and day out, as well as Caregivers who work for other organizations. We can turn on the television or read the news and it seems sometimes like the entire country is divided. But I take solace in knowing that instances of Exceptional Care are taking place every minute of every day by wonderful, caring souls who exemplify our best nature.
Finally, I’d like to share a sentiment written about a Caregiver named Tiffany. To me, it almost reads like a prayer. You could substitute the name “Tiffany” with “Suzanne,” “Jennifer,” “Joanne,” “Joan” or any of the countless Caregivers who give of themselves to help other every day. Here it is:
“Tiffany is the kind of Caregiver I think of when I think of the word ‘exceptional.’ She embodies the caring nature that a Caregiver must have. She’s passionate about her work and truly cares for her clients. I never have to worry about her not showing up to an assigned shift. She truly is exceptional.”
Happy National Caregiver Month to all Caregivers everywhere and thank you for making the world a better place!