Jeanne McCutcheon, a caregiver for BrightStar Care of Louisville East in Kentucky was awarded as this year’s 2016 BrightStar Care Southeast Caregiver of the Year. Her constant dedication to her clients, providing them with individualized care to match their specific personalities, is why Jeanne was awarded with this prestigious title. One of her clients who nominated Jeanne said, “I was the only one that Miss Sue ever allowed to shower her, until Jeanne stepped in and worked her magic. Showers have become “spa day” and Miss Sue gets her hair done and she feels so pretty. It’s all in the approach.” Jeanne not only took care of her Miss Sue, but used her time with her to talk chat about memories. Jeanne wrote down everything she said in a book for the family so those memories never fade. The dedication Jeanne puts in every day at work has not only strengthened her bond with her clients, but also their families. “She has become our dear friend, and companion.”
The National Caregiver of the Year Award Ceremony
Jeanne McCutcheon, 2016 BrightStar Care Southeast Caregiver of the Year
2016 BrightStar Care Regional Caregivers of the Year
The Nomination Letter
WRITTEN BY LUCY M.
It is with great pleasure that I am writing to recommend Jeanne McCutcheon as BrightStar’s Caregiver of the Year. Jeanne has been our caregiver, and a part of our family for almost four years now. Jeanne is a caregiver to my mother, Miss Sue, who is now 92, and has dementia. She has become our dear friend, and companion. When Jeanne arrives in the morning, everyone runs to meet her, the cat Sami, the dog Winnie, and when Sue wakes up, she gives Jeanne a great big smile because she is so happy to see her! That makes me happy too.
Miss Sue has a stubborn streak. When she makes up her mind on something, you might as well forget trying to change it. Like the idea of wearing adult diapers, no way she would do it for me. But when Jeanne called them “panties”, well, that didn't seem so bad. And I was the only one that Miss Sue ever allowed to shower her, until Jeanne stepped in and worked her magic.
Showers have become “spa day” and Miss Sue gets her hair done and she feels so pretty. It’s all in the approach. All these things may seem small, but when you live with someone who needs 24 hour care, these little things add up. We need all the help we can get.
Sue has lost her appetite. Nothing sounds good to her, except sweets! For breakfast, Jeanne pulls the grapes off the bunch for her and arranges them on the plate. She has figured out that if the food is easy to eat, Miss Sue will eat it. At lunch Jeanne makes her a protein shake with ice cream, and she mixes it by hand, just like in an old time soda shop. It’s such a treat, she makes it fun and Miss Sue loves it. Jeanne spoils her.
Jeanne makes Sue’s day the best it can be. Sometimes they sing, sometimes Miss Sue tells stories, or they look at photo albums. They used to write Miss Sue’s life story, back when Miss Sue could still remember. I cherish the memories Jeanne recorded for me, they are my Momma’s words.
Do you know anyone who has socks for every outfit and every Holiday? Socks are Miss Sue and Jeanne’s thing. Jeanne loves to dress Miss Sue in coordinating socks, the wilder the better. And Miss Sue loves the compliments she gets. Anything to tickle Miss Sue, and Jeanne is in on it!
Jeanne has taught me about dementia, about caregivers, and about life. People with dementia still have feelings…when you care for them 24/7, and you are constantly cleaning up their messes and dealing with their issues, and well you get tired and you can lose sight of this. Jeanne helps me remember, and to see the beauty that is still there and that will always be there. Jeanne reminds me that I need to take care of myself. A lesson that I am still learning. Caregivers shouldn't have to feel guilty for taking time for themselves…I thank you for that lesson Jeanne.
Did I mention that I have such a secure feeling when I know Jeanne is there with Miss Sue? I trust her so implicitly to make sure my precious Mother is safe and secure. I don’t have to worry at all. That feeling cannot be quantified, and honestly there is no better reason to recommend someone as Caregiver of the Year? We love you Jeanne!