October's Caregiver of the Month Spotlight
Karen Pappageorge - Home Care Assistance of Chicago and Surrounding Areas
Karen is a caregiver who takes the Balanced Care Method, our company’s holistic approach to care, to heart even in the most difficult situations. After joining Home Care Assistance, Karen was introduced to her client Jackie who had aphasia. Speaking was such a challenge for Jackie that she would sometimes bang her fists in frustration at trying to form any words. Her frustration, glares and folded arms did not faze Karen — she knew she could make a difference. Jackie and her family soon came to trust and rely upon her new friend, caregiver and advocate, Karen— and Karen was able to establish a close bond with Jackie that enabled her to communicate.
Over time, Jackie had isolated herself in her home, and Karen encouraged her to visit friends again. She also learned that Jackie loved to needlepoint and had owned and operated a needlepoint business. Often Karen joined Jackie in needlepointing and had their joint artwork framed. Karen supported Jackie for many years and also was a comfort to her grieving family following her death.
Karen utilizes that same spirit and creativity now with her client, Anne. For the past three years, Karen has worked full time with Anne, who values her as a member of the family. When Anne received news of the death of a close family member in a different state, Karen put her own life on hold to travel with her so she could attend the funeral.
This year Anne sold her home and is moving to to an apartment. In addition to performing regular caregiving duties with dedication, Karen has also been helping Anne with every task that is associated with downsizing; from cleaning up water damage and renovating the kitchen to sorting, staging and selling the home, Karen has been by Anne’s side every step of the way.
"Karen goes above and beyond what I would expect from a caregiver,” Anne says. “She makes an impact on everyone she meets and is an asset to Home Care Assistance. She is more than a caregiver. She is a good friend to me."
Karen attributes her success in the field to this motto: helping her clients feel as relaxed and carefree as possible, however they may define it. She uses humor and calmness to diffuse the usual and unusual stresses of life.
Thank you, Karen, you are a true gem! No job is too big or too small when it comes to the clients you serve. We are so privileged to have you as part of our Chicago team since we opened doors in 2009!