Sometimes, caregiving isn’t only about the willingness to care with genuine sympathy. A solid caregiver must love what he or she does, yes, and do it with passion and care, true, but it doesn’t hurt to know a thing or two about the medical field. Enter BrightStar Caregiver of the Year finalist Melinda Comeau from the BrightStar Care of Hartford, CT home care agency.
Delivering Home Care and Support with Compassion
Compassionate and on-task, this Northeast Regional finalist is on top of doctor appointments, geriatric issues and dementia processes, and she seamlessly sets her patient up for success whether he is in Connecticut or hundreds of miles away in Vermont. “Melinda is diligent about doctor appointments and puts the medical info into special file so there is continuity of care whether he is in Connecticut or visiting me in Vermont,” said Kate Lee*, whose father, John*, who Comeau cares for.
John, who lives in Windsor Locks, Conn., suffers from dementia. He loves pets, and he enjoys being social. In all aspects of life, Melinda is there for John. On the medical side, Melinda understands geriatric issues regarding dementia and the pharmacological effects of medication. But, perhaps more importantly, said Kate, is the comprehensive care Melinda offers to John. “She engages with him,” Kate said. “She will help him pick up branches from trees following a wind storm. She prepares meals using fresh, healthy ingredients. These meals are presented in an appetizing manner. Melinda feeds him foods he enjoys.”
A people person, Melinda can laugh with John for hours. “She jokes with him and listens to what he says,” Kate said. “They have conversations. He will tell her about his visits with me. She is able to draw him out and helps him maintain appropriate social skills.” Melinda provides John with a variety of healthy snacks and encourages him to eat small portions several times during her shift. She thoroughly cleans the house, does the laundry, cleans the refrigerator and the kitchen always smells good.
But Melinda’s most redeeming quality? “Deep and abiding respect for her patients,” Kate said. “Never has she treated him in a patronizing or degrading manner. My brothers and I are very grateful for the splendid care Melinda gives my father.”
*Client name has been changed