Congratulations, June “Zoe” Kelly for being named The Caregiver’s Voice Caregiver of the Month.
Zoe Kelly is The Caregiver’s Voice first Caregiver of the Month based on her dedication, sincerity, and excellence as a caregiver.
Zoe was hired by the Home Care Assistance office in San Diego, California in April 2009. After excellent reviews from her initial assignments, she was placed in a very difficult situation three months later. Zoe was assigned to take care of live-in clients, Dominic and Mary, an elderly couple living in Encinitas, California. Dominic had rapidly failing health and Mary was suffering from early dementia. A month after Zoe was assigned to the case, Dominic passed away and Zoe was confronted with assisting a grieving eighty-five-year-old widow.
Zoe’s immediate goal was to assist Mary through the grieving process in order to avoid the physical and mental decline that often follows when a beloved spouse passes. Zoe found aspects of The Balanced Care Method™ to be of the greatest help to Mary. When Mary lost her appetite, Zoe used her culinary skills to create a varied, nutritious menu of small meals and coaxed Mary to eat as much as possible. Mary eventually regained her appetite. Zoe also made certain that Mary participated in regular physical activity, including walks around the block, shopping trips, and drives to the beach to keep her body fit and healthy.
Another goal that Zoe set for Mary was to keep her mentally active. Zoe engaged Mary in a variety of activities that they would do together like reading the newspaper, surfing the internet, and discussing current events and other topics of interest.
While Zoe led Mary in pursuing mental and physical activities, she encouraged Mary to continue doing as many activities as she could independently, so that Mary felt she was maintaining her independence.
Zoe also helped Mary maintain social ties and achieve calm by encouraging Mary to continue attending church and directing her attention to other small social projects. In fact, Zoe discovered an amazing charity project called “Knit-a-Square,” which encourages volunteers to knit or crochet eight-inch squares that are shipped to South Africa and made into blankets for AIDS orphans. Last year, Zoe and Mary shipped twenty squares to South Africa. They have a new goal for 2010; to make 105,000 squares! This is a perfect example of how Zoe helps the lives of more than just her clients.
Nominated by Kathryn Zakskorn
The Caregiver’s Voice thanks professional caregivers like Zoe Kelly in taking care of our loved ones. The Caregiver’s Voice is accepting nominations for our next Caregiver of the Month–family and professional caregivers are eligible.
Please click on Nominate TCV’s Next Caregiver of the Month.