Faces of Caregiving
Debbie Owens with FirstLight Home Care
“Hello, My Good People!”
Debbie Owens brings a personal warmth, upbeat attitude, and strong work ethic to caregiving. In Brunswick, Georgia, she is like a “local celebrity,” known for her constant smile and dedication to doing whatever is necessary to help her clients – even during natural disasters.
When Hurricane Matthew was approaching the Georgia coast in 2016, Debbie volunteered to help two of her clients evacuate. She helped these clients leave their assisted-living facility and followed their bus for seven hours until they reached safety. Then, Debbie not only provided care to her clients, she also assisted the facility’s staff as they cared for other residents. These selfless contributions were so helpful that the facility’s executive board wrote a letter to Debbie’s employer, saying they could not have managed the evacuation without her.
Debbie displays this same level of dedication on a daily basis with all of her clients, especially in difficult circumstances. On one occasion, she arrived to find that a client had fallen out of his bed during the night. Debbie wasn’t large enough to help him herself, so she called the office and requested assistance. When the owner arrived, he found Debbie lying on the floor, comforting her client as they waited for help. Based on stories like this, her employer says that Debbie “has so much compassion for the clients that she works with. She’s not just going to go for the personal care and the light housekeeping, she’s going to go above and beyond for that client, that client’s family, and the client’s overall well-being.”
At the FirstLight office, Debbie starts every day with the greeting “hello, my good people!” and co-workers line up for their “Debbie hug.” She also provides practical support to her colleagues, always willing to take on a last-minute shift and thoroughly train new caregivers about how to care for a client. She never complains and regularly reminds her co-workers how grateful she is to be able to help others.
Debbie says that “caregiving is in her heart,” and she makes this clear through her hard work, exceptional care, and uplifting outlook. Clients and co-workers alike say that they are lucky to know her.