Stella is always full of smiles and energy. In fact, she tells me that this is because she is still sixty-eight years young. She has a beautiful daughter and a wonderful son who, together, have given her four granddaughters and one grandson. The Lord has even blessed her with a great grandson. Stella grew up in rural Georgia, in the Bible belt. She has a deep love for the outdoors, and enjoys time where she can work in the flower garden or the yard. She enjoys long walks, rides on her three wheeler, family gatherings and cooking for them. Stella has a very outgoing personality and loves it when friends drop in to just talk or play games.
Stella shares her heart with the following story from her past. “I started working at the age of 14 with a normal job. From there I went to being a cashier at a theatre, a grocery store, a store clerk at a department store, a telephone operator. I worked in a sewing factory, then went into the education system as a paraprofessional in special education. My husband then became ill with terminal cancer. I became interested in health care and worked for a local health care agency.” Stella continues with, “Because I was introduced to hospice at the death of my husband, I felt a calling to work with hospice patients. They only hired CNAs so I went to East Central tech school in Tifton Georgia and got my CNA license. Unfortunately, by this time, my mother's Alzheimer’s had advanced to the point where she needed 24-hour care so I returned home to Florida to help care for her.”
Stella joined our Home Instead Senior Care CAREGiver family in October of 2011. She said “I was sixty-three when I returned to Daytona and age worked against me as I applied for positions in the fields that I had previous experience in.” She knew that she wanted to stay in the health care field and several local agencies were interested but all of the other offers were from companies that hire as an independent contractor only, leaving her to pay her own taxes. Stella saw an ad in the Penny saver for Home Instead and called and spoke to a lovely young woman who encouraged her to come put in an application. Stella did just that and she passed her interview and was offered the job. Stella said she accepted the position even though the pay scale was lower than the other agencies and has never regretted her choice.
Stella builds trust with her client and they have wonderful relationships. She is often able to get her to do things that no one else can even though she sometimes forget her name. Stella stated that, “She remembers my voice rather than my face.” Stella has been with this client for almost 4 years. We are encouraged not to get emotionally involved with our clients but when you let your heart lead you, you do a much better job. Stella takes the lead and has completed the following training; Central Nervous System, Care for the Dying, Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder, Parkinson’s Disease, Hospice Educational Class, Client and Caregiver Safety, and COPD. Stella stated that she loves working with Home Instead and that, “They have never misled me about any of the perks that come with the job: regular raises, matching me with compatible clients, trainings that help me meet the needs of my clients, and most importantly letting me chose the hours I can work.” She smiles and throws out a big, “Thank you Susan” to the Home Instead Senior Care franchise owner. Stella tells me that “open and productive are two words that come to mind when describing my relationship with the clients and the office staff.” Is there anything that she doesn’t like about her job, she exclaims, “Not much.”
The staff at Daytona Beach Home Instead Senior Care is honored to present to you, Stella Houston our choice as November 2016 CAREGiver of the Month.
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