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What began as a regular Friday meeting at Lifeline Home Health ended in bittersweet tears as the staff received a surprise visit from a former client.
Robert Blevins and Catherine Jennette-Blevins recognized the staff at Lifeline Home Health in Elizabethtown by making each member a Kentucky Colonel after the team worked with the couple for almost a year with Blevins’ ailing mother-in-law. Jennette-Blevins surprised the staff Friday with the news.
Jennette-Blevins’ mother-in-law, Anita Griffin, died Feb. 11 at 66 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Jennette-Blevins said initially she didn’t know home health care was an option, and after a couple months of receiving assistance from Lifeline she was overwhelmed by the support from the organization. A staff member was at her home almost every day, sometimes spending hours caring for Griffin. Jennette-Blevins said they also took time to ensure she and the rest of the family was cared for too.
As she handed out certificates to each staff member, Jennette-Blevins told them the education they gave her about caregiving was invaluable.
“I can’t express how much you guys taught me,” she said.
She said she would be the company’s biggest promoter and advocate.
Jennette-Blevins became a Kentucky Colonel about 10 years ago and that was when she learned the process of earning the honor. She since has passed on that designation to others who have impacted her life. She knows people don’t often hear positive feedback about the work they do.
“We always hear complaints,” she said.
Lifeline branch manager Sheila Decker visited the funeral home when Griffin died, and when Jennette-Blevins pulled her aside, a complaint was what she expected. Instead, Jennette-Blevins told her of her plan to honor the staff.
Decker said the plan was “just over the top for us,” she said.
“I don’t think we’ve ever been recognized like this,” she said.
Decker said she’s proud to be the team leader of a staff that ensures each patient is cared for like a member of their own family.
“Bottom line, Ms. Griffin was the most important thing to all of us,” she said.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.