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Caregiver Month: Honoring Miriam

SYNERGY HomeCare of Boston, Metro Southwest, is growing and we’re adding new caregivers every day. Our clients have ranged from emergency day and night care to a few mornings a week. We are thankful and proud that our caregivers have risen to the occasion and met those needs graciously and efficiently. In this first year of business, we have enjoyed building relationships with both our caregivers and our clients. And a special pleasure is when we see a client and caregiver make a connection and develop a close “synergy.”

February is Caregiver Month, and we want to recognize one particular aide for her exceptional work with our SYNERGY HomeCare agency. Miriam Teitlebaum came on staff last summer and became the regular caregiver for our first client. As needs and schedules changed, she transitioned to another client and has continued to provide regular, consistent care for her.

Miriam T

Originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, Miriam studied Fine Arts and Secondary Education at the University of Nebraska, then worked as a high school art teacher. Later she moved to New York and worked in graphic arts illustratration, publishing and--her favorite--fabric design in the Garment District.

When she moved to Boston, her focus shifted to working as an arts coordinator in senior centers and assisted living residences. This was a natural shift that emerged from her life experiences. While growing up, she actively participated in the care of a grandmother with Alzheimer’s. Years later, Miriam’s husband was diagnosed with cancer. Before he passed, Miriam was his primary caregiver. These family needs allowed Miriam to put into practice many of the skills she now uses with clients--meeting the practical needs of personal care and homemaking and reaching out to care for the whole person: companionship, supportive listening, and encouragement. And when possible, Miriam shares her passion for art with clients, especially those who suffer from memory loss and who can use art as a connection to memories and self-expression.

We’re so happy that Miriam can bring these experiences to her work with SYNERGY HomeCare . Our clients report that she’s a wonderful companion who engages in thoughtful conversations and draws out memories and experiences that bring meaning and joy to their lives. She is also conscientious about daily practicalities, whether that means laundry, preparing a meal or taking a client shopping or to the doctor’s. Always, her patient and peaceful demeanor are soothing in stressful situations, and her practical approach to care assures clients that they are well taken care of.

There are many ways Miriam goes beyond expectations for our clients. During the warmer months, she regularly brought flowers from her garden to a bedridden client, brightening her bedroom and bringing in the freshness of nature. Another time she joined us at a client’s church on the anniversary of her husband’s memorial, to support and honor that client’s memories of her loved one. When we check in with her about clients she works with, it is clear that she knows them and cares deeply for them. She has learned their stories, their likes and dislikes, what calms and encourages them, what brings them joy. When she reflects on what drew her to home care, she thinks of her own experiences and her understanding of loss: “Everyone I have provided care for has experienced some kind of loss, whether it’s the loss of a spouse, a job, a social life… I understand that. I’ve gone through that, and my approach to care is to be sensitive to those losses.”

There’s one final way in which Miriam has proven herself to be invaluable: she has been the most dependable and consistent of all our caregivers. She hasn’t called out sick one time, and she seldom needs to change schedules for vacation or personal days. When she does need to change schedules, she gives us ample time to coordinate with other caregivers to make sure the needs of the client will be met. Furthermore, there have been several times when a client’s schedule changed or another aide had a last-minute cancellation, and Miriam has been the one we could count on to help us cover those needs.

Congratulations to Miriam Teitlebaum for being our first honored caregiver! We appreciate all you do!!!

We admire and appreciate all the work that all our caregivers do!  Please contact SYNERGY HomeCare at (781) 762-1114 to learn about how we can provide the right aide to meet your needs!

Shannon Sakellariou

Shannon has devoted her life to service, teaching for almost 20 years and serving as a missionary educator in Albania for four years. Her work with SYNERGY HomeCare of Boston Metro SW will continue that service, as she works with families and clients to meet their individual home care needs. Her motivation is the joy she finds in building relationships and finding solutions for each person's unique situation.

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