Posted by: Bert Copple | March 28, 2011

Meet The Canadian Region CAREGiver of the Year

This week we are highlighting our regional CAREGivers of 2010. These regional winners are eligible to be honored as the 2011 Mary Steibel CAREGiver of the Year, an award that will be presented at this year’s International Convention. Today we’d like you to meet Donna Kumar,2010 Canadian Region “CAREGiver of the Year.”

One of Donna Kumar’s heroes is Dr. Patch Adams.  Robin Williams plays the true-life physician and clown in the movie Patch Adams, which she enjoys sharing with her Home Instead Senior Care© clients. Like Dr. Adams, Donna believes laughter is the best medicine.

Another of Donna’s heroes is her father.  Serving as a family caregiver for him, Donna learned how laughing and joking comforted him through his severe scoliosis.  She witnessed how his amazing sense of humor could ease his pain.

For six months, Donna, the oldest of five children, cared for her father in her home while her mother recovered from surgery.  Donna loved caring for her father.

After an enjoyable, 20-year career as a home daycare provider and special education teacher, Donna looked for a new home for her skills. She answered a Home Instead ad and interviewed to become a CAREGiver with Tom Chuchmach and Scott Johnson’s Oakville, ON, franchise office.

“I believe it was divine intervention,” Donna said.  “I was at a crossroads, and I was taking care of my father, and it led me to Home Instead.”

For her first Home Instead shift, Donna volunteered to be with a client on Christmas Eve.  The staff was torn, because Donna would spend a holiday evening with one of their most difficult clients.  Afterward, Donna assured them everything had been fine.  Just hours later, on Boxing Day, Donna accepted an emergency client who had fallen.  The client died in her arms two days later.

“Everyone at Home Instead — Scott and Tom, too — were calling to make sure I was OK.  I told them I considered it an honor, a blessing, to be with this client as she was dying.  I just felt it was a wonderful experience that I was there to help the family through,” she said.

Her Home Instead Senior Care co-workers were in awe of Donna’s ability to find a positive side to death.  Encouraged by co-owner Scott, Donna enrolled in a palliative care course which was “an incredible experience.”  It served Donna well, as she believes a key to great care is to keep learning.

Her father is on her mind as she cares for clients.  “I always recall that, when I’m with a client, this is someone’s mother or father, brother or sister.  First and foremost, I treat clients with respect and dignity,” Donna said.  “I think it’s important to remember our clients were once very independent people.”

Her greatest CAREGiver success, she believes, is when her assistance allows clients to stay in their own homes longer than they might have without her.

Donna is just another fine example of the high quality CAREGivers we have all around the world working for Home Instead Senior Care. Be sure to check back as we highlight more of our outstanding people in the coming weeks.

Home Instead Senior Care will provide outstanding CAREGivers to help your loved one with personal care, incidental travel, companionship, medication reminders, light housekeeping, and even meal preparation. To learn more, call 248-203-2273 or visit Home Instead Senior Care is the world’s trusted source of in-home non-commercial personal care and companionship for seniors. Each franchise is independently owned and operated. And remember, to us, it’s personal.



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