CAREGiver of the Year 2015

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"Go ask Alice", we'll hear from the scheduling team. “Why Alice?”, you wonder. Because Alice willingly takes on challenging, high needs care roles, where others pass. Our Alice may be small of stature, but she’s a mighty force of can do drive & determination!

Nominating our CAREGiver of the year is a serious endeavor - especially when we must select just one individual from our very talented group. It takes careful consideration and thought. While sifting through our pool of 250+ CAREGivers, one name kept surfacing ~ Alice. “It’s absolutely the right thing to do!” exclaimed the unified staff.

We are blessed that the face of Home Instead Senior Care is well represented by our many CAREGivers. Alice really shines as an example of Love (v.), and the 8 Attributes - kind, humble, patient, honest, selfless, respectful, forgiving, and most of all, committed. After sharing an in-depth conversation with Alice, it was apparent these traits came from industrious parents, with strong values and virtues. As one of 5 siblings, Alice’s mother instilled the importance of commitment, and to always respect her elders.

Through her mother, Alice learned that helping others gave her an incredible feeling of satisfaction. When she was just a young girl, with only her bicycle to get around the neighborhood, she would help out those who were home bound elders. Alice would arrive at the apartment building on her bike, and her ‘friends’ as she called them, would toss a grocery list and money wrapped in paper out the window to her. Alice would head for the store and return with the bags of goods for them, being sure to put everything away in the cupboards. They’d give Alice the usual form of payment, a saltine cracker and some tea at their kitchen tables, where Alice happily sat listening to her friends’ stories.  So you see, our Alice was already a natural born CAREGiver, providing service, comfort, and shared companionship to be enjoyed together.  

We asked Alice if there were other influences that helped her become so strong minded and confident. She chuckled and said, “Part of it comes from working with a mostly male work force at Green Bay Drop Forge for 13 years!” Alice proudly became the first female tow motor driver at the company. Learning how to manage relationships with her male counterparts, prove her worth by demonstrating a strong work ethic, and managing the inevitable challenges that come in any work environment, only made Alice stronger and better prepared for what was to be her next role.

When her mother showed signs of dementia, Alice knew exactly what she needed to do, and became her mother’s primary care provider. “It was only right after all my mother had done for her family,” she said. Through the trials and tribulations, good days and bad days, Alice quickly learned to adapt as each day presented new challenges and behavioral expressions that dementia creates. In September, 2011, Alice proudly began her career as a Home Instead CAREGiver.

Alice's friend, husband and siblings couldn't be more proud!

Clients and their family members have been quick to praise Alice for her skills and abilities. Which brings us to this comment from Client Jim, “Alice is very strong minded, and she was always able to get my wife to do things other caregivers were not able to, such as bathing and dressing. I can honestly say Alice is one of the BEST people I know!” Alice works effectively with persons having cognitive challenges such as dementia. Her tips are to, “…use a matter of fact approach, a smile and cheerful voice. By choosing a few key words to get them started, the individual is less likely to feel overwhelmed.” Soon Alice and her Client are working as a team.

Another Client’s daughter sent a card, “Just a note to say that Alice does a great job with my Father-in-Law. Her special talent is to make him feel comfortable with help for all of the personal needs that he must have assistance with. Even the first week she came in, Alice had the expectation that he was getting a shower. He resisted at first, but they got what was needed done. She talks confidently to him while guiding him through his routines. Alice is always punctual and helps out when others cannot make it to work. We are grateful for Alice!” We often find Alice combines confidence with reassurance, and importantly maintaining an individual’s dignity in the process.

Client daughter Susan had this to say about Alice: “We’d like to express sincere gratitude to Alice for her dedicated and loving care given to both our parents.  While her primary job is Dad’s physical well-being, she’s very thoughtful about bringing the outside world into their home.  They look forward to her visits, filled with stories of the Green Bay area and places they’re now unable to visit themselves. These daily bright spots aren’t limited to just conversation, but often take the form of sharing recipes, and even her family pets. Alice clearly has a servant heart. She is respectful, patient, encouraging and kind. Her good humor helps offset the challenges of my parents’ daily life, for which we are extremely grateful. As we live over 1,000 miles away, it is comforting for us to know Dad and Mom are being assisted by someone who takes such care with her responsibility.”

The Green Bay office staff celebrates Alice!

And this from a Staffing Coordinator, “Just thought I would share some ‘Good News’ today about new Client John, especially since a prior competitor’s service did not go well, he had high expectations for Home Instead. Alice called this morning to let us know she and John really hit it off! John told Alice he’s so looking forward to her coming back tonight. John is a Veteran and enjoyed having Alice listen to his stories. Alice thoughtfully left a note for his daughter Janine to tell her how things went and how much she enjoyed her time with John. Nice touch Alice!“

You can see more pictures of this wonderful event on our Facebook Page.

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