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National Family Caregivers Month: In Home Senior Care


About the Observance


Last week, we kicked off National Family Caregivers Month with a blog on how Care Around the Block defines “caregiver” and described how our mission and core values reinforce our definition. Over the next few weeks, we will introduce a few of our Care Partners and Care Managers and dive into their unique and valuable points of view on being a senior caregiver. Join us in honoring our Care Partners and Care Managers by learning more about who they are and what they do in the amazing world of senior care.


Life of a Senior Caregiver

Senior Caregiver - Jackie Cahelo

This week, we have the privilege to hear from EMBRACE Care Partner Jackie Cahelo. Jackie is originally from Miami Beach, Florida but has lived in Knoxville for the past thirty-five years. She has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology, is a former state of TN Licensed ACLF Administrator, retired Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, has 8 years total experience as a caregiver, is a certified grief educator and coach, and has been EMBRACED certified since the beginning of 2022. She has also been a caregiver for multiple of her own family members and volunteers for many organizations in the area. With over 21 years of experience working in senior care, she is an expert in the field and has significant insight into the life of a senior caregiver.


Dementia Care


Our EMBRACE program was designed in-house with the purpose of empowering clients to embrace life and find purpose & meaning while coping with mild cognitive impairment or dementia. The program is designed to improve overall well-being and make our clients’ lives easier. For those early in disease progression, we offer activities and ideas to help strengthen cognitive resilience and slow disease progression. If your loved one is living with advanced dementia, we target activities to engage through the senses and provide connections to increase quality of life. Jackie completed 120 hours of rigorous dementia care training to work with our EMBRACE clients.


How Caregiving Helps


When asked about her favorite part about being an EMBRACE Care Partner working with dementia care clients, Jackie said she likes “helping clients have a sense of accomplishment.” For her, being able to show them they can rise to challenges, be proud of themselves, have confidence, and find enjoyment in their activities & accomplishments is what motivates her as a caregiver. She recalls times when clients might have become confused or frustrated while trying activities, but when she told them how and why it would help them, they understood and felt more motivated to complete their tasks.


With Jackie’s 21 years of experience in the senior care industry, she has an in-depth perspective on the various moving parts of the industry. She has worked in assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, and other caregiving companies. She is a self-proclaimed advocate for treating care recipients how she would want her parents to be treated. Since starting her job at Care Around the Block, she has noticed that is exactly what Care Around the Block does. Her favorite part about the culture here is that the “client is always the first priority.” She says she has “never seen a company advocate for their clients’ needs and in the way CAB does.”


At other companies, Jackie described the relationship as “adversarial,” like the caregivers were against the client. But she doesn’t see that at here at Care Around the Block. She says she is most grateful for getting the resources needed to help her clients. She “loves the emphasis on training and follow-up after being hired.” The support provided by Care Around the Block is what makes her feel like her work is being appreciated and that it’s important. She has never heard anyone from Care Around the Block say they wouldn’t provide resources to help clients.


Senior Caregiver with client


Jackie’s Story #CaregiversConnect


When working with an EMBRACE client, she witnessed improvement in their most recent cognitive testing. She knows this is a direct result of teamwork. The collaboration between the family's involvement in the client’s care, the Care Manager’s dedication to the client’s aging journey, and her own Care Partnering through the EMBRACE program has made a lasting impact on the client's quality of life and disease progression. Caregivers Connect with families and the other members of care teams.


This type of collaboration and connection, between care team, family, and most importantly client, is what Care Around the Block strives for to fulfill our promise to make lives easier and be partners in an exceptional aging journey.

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