Home Care Heroes: The Meaningful Impact of Caregiving

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Home Instead shines a light on the essential role of the caregiving profession

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Over the last 18 months, we’ve seen firsthand how important it is to extend a caring hand to those in our lives, especially older adults. And at a time when distance and safety measures kept many families apart, professional caregivers rose to the challenge to ensure our aging loved ones never lost this feeling of connection. Through these unprecedented circumstances caregivers have served as a pillar of strength in households and communities, offering compassionate care, companionship and even hope to older adults.

Like first responders tending to patients outside the home, caregivers act as in-home care heroes, providing much-needed support to the aging population and often serving the needs of others before themselves. And while the pandemic brought attention to the valuable role that caregivers play in our society, the demand for their services will only increase as this segment of the population continues to expand at a rapid pace.

According to a recent report from Home Instead and the Global Coalition on Aging, the number of adults 65 and older will more than double to 1.5 billion by 2050. As the number of older adults increases, we’ll need more passionate and selfless individuals to answer the call to join the caregiving workforce.

“Caregivers are essential to the fabric of our society, enabling our loved ones to age safely and with dignity in their own homes,” says Lakelyn Hogan, Ph.D., gerontologist and caregiver advocate at Home Instead. “Home Instead is committed to empowering this workforce and recognizing the significant impact they have on our communities, from bolstering training and education standards to rewarding the work they do. And we encourage others to do the same.”

People find themselves drawn to the caregiving profession for several reasons – from its rewarding nature to the ability to make a tangible difference in someone’s life each and every day. Regardless of what attracted them, each caregiver’s experience is deeply personal and unique. By hearing their real-life stories of these Home Instead CAREGivers, you can better understand why this is such a fulfilling career for so many.

  • Bill – South Carolina, six years as a caregiver and 2021 North American CAREGiver of the Year. Bill – Home Instead’s 2021 North American CAREGiver of the Year recipient – became a caregiver to gain experience working with seniors in pursuit of his dream to create a ministry for aging adults with his wife. However, in a heartbreaking turn of events, Bill’s wife was diagnosed with cancer, and six months later, she passed away. Despite the change in his plans, Bill stayed with Home Instead where he quickly put his love for helping others into his clients and helping them continue doing the things they love in life. Bill’s very first client, who decided to pick up running after an early onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis, allowed him to do this. When his client’s condition worsened and he struggled to continue running, Bill would go on long walks with the client – nine miles a day, three days a week. Over time, Bill developed a great friendship with his client, and when the client passed, his wife asked Bill to be a pallbearer, to which he said he’d be honored. The wife responded, “Bill, you’ve carried him for the last four years. You should carry him one more time.”
  • Ruth – Iowa, four years as a caregiver. It was a long journey that led Ruth from working at her local grocery store to serving others as a caregiver. Her most memorable experience thus far was with a hospice client, a man whom she only saw twice. Their first meeting was filled with conversation on a variety of topics, including religion and heaven. Ruth’s next visit with this client would be the last. When the end was near, Ruth asked him to send her a sign when he made it to heaven. Four days after he passed, Ruth was at another client’s home when they handed her a surprise. “I was shocked to find a penny. Not just any penny, but the shiniest penny I’d ever seen. I felt goosebumps everywhere.” These goosebumps follow Ruth wherever she goes – whether through the overwhelming feeling of love she has for her career, or her clients whose lives she’s making a dramatically positive impact on.
  • Marilyn – Arizona, 16 years as a caregiver. It’s no surprise Marilyn landed in her role as a caregiver given her long history of caring for others. Along with being the oldest of her seven siblings, Marilyn is also the mother of five children and cared for both of her parents before they passed. One especially memorable moment Marilyn once shared with a client was when he suddenly began sharing his life story – speaking candidly about his time in the military service. “It all just came out,” Marilyn says. “Whatever was on his mind — and in his heart — he just needed to tell someone. So, I listened.” That part of being a caregiver is something Marilyn thinks is especially important: listening to the memories, stories and thoughts the client is entrusting you with.

If you want to make a meaningful difference in the lives of older adults and feel fulfilled in your career, then caregiving may be for you. To learn more about how to become a caregiver, visit: https://www.homeinstead.com/home-care-jobs/

Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, the Home Instead® franchise network provides personalized care, support and education to enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today, the network is the world's leading provider of in-home care services for older adults, with more than 1,100 independently owned and operated franchises that provide nearly 90 million hours of care annually throughout the United States and 12 other countries. Local Home Instead offices employ nearly 100,000 CAREGivers℠ worldwide who provide relationship-based care services that enable older adults to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. Home Instead franchise owners partner with clients and their family members to help meet varied individual needs. Services span the care continuum – from providing personal care to specialized Alzheimer’s care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources. Visit HomeInstead.com. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. Each Home Instead® franchise office is independently owned and operated. Home Instead, Inc. is a subsidiary of Honor Technology, Inc.

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Dan Wieberg
Home Instead Senior Care
+1 (402) 575-5970
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