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CAREGiver of the Year 2019

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  4. CAREGiver of the Year 2019
Home Instead recognizes outstanding CAREGivers who demonstrate the Attributes of Love (v)This program inspires CAREGivers to strive for excellence, and it rewards CAREGivers for their hard work, compassionate care and dedicated service to others.

On an annual basis, we select a CAREGiver of the Year from our monthly winners and celebrate him/her at a special reception at our office. Our CAREGiver of the Year is also presented to our franchisor in Omaha, Neb., as a nominee for the North American award — The Mary Steibel CAREGiver​ of the Year Award.

After submitting Becky's story to our franchisor in Omaha, we learned that she had been selected as Central Region CAREGiver of the Year, meaning she was one of eight semifinalists in contention for the North American CAREGiver of the Year Award.

CAREGiver of the Year 2019: Becky M.

Congratulations to Becky M. for being named our CAREGiver of the Year for 2019! In total, Becky has provided 8,500+ service hours to senior clients in her caregiving experience. CGOTY_APL_2019_Becky_Albert.jpg

Becky's Story

We at Home Instead Senior Care believe that we play important roles in the lives of our seniors, but we also strive to fulfill a higher purpose. That higher purpose begins with “teaching others about Love (v),” which is our Core Purpose. Love (v) — or love in action — guides how we serve clients and each other; it means using words and actions to actively demonstrate the core attributes of Love (v): Patience, Humility, Selflessness, Respectfulness, Forgiveness, Honesty, Commitment and Kindness.

When we asked one of Becky’s clients about what comes to mind when she thinks about Becky, Judy quickly responded, “Becky is so kind. She’s there for us and has always been respectful coming into our home. She gets along great with my dog, Oscar, and that means the world to me. I just love her.”

Client Marian also described Becky as kind. “In all the time she’s been with me, she has never had an unkind word to say about anyone! While she is with me, it’s all about me for the day.”

Becky doesn’t act out of kindness with the expectation of getting credited for it. She believes it’s a privilege to help others in their homes. This selflessness comes from knowing she is living for a higher purpose, which has always been a motivator for her. She knows that her position is making a difference in clients’ lives. She recognizes that, through her work, she is helping ease the burden of family caregivers.

Not all days can be smooth when working with clients, but Becky has the capacity to address challenging issues. She also asks for help or advice, leans into forgiveness and starts each next day fresh. She never takes anything personally and always strives to learn to become better.

There was a difficult time when client Matt, who has Down syndrome, broke his ankle and needed 24/7 supervision for six weeks. Brenda, who is Matt’s sister and serves as the primary caregiver, commented, “This was a big adjustment for Matt. He was upset that he didn’t have his independence, and he didn’t want anyone there with him. He threw tantrums, slammed doors and even hurled a shoe at Becky, who said, ‘I don’t blame him. I probably would have done the same myself.’ Becky never gave up on Matt. Demonstrating resilience, patience and forgiveness, she shook it off and took charge, kindly letting Matt know that this is what he needed and that this is how she was going to do it. And that was that. She just gets it.” 
Becky also knew that, since Matt needed 24/7 care, other caregivers would be entering the home. Because Down syndrome limits Matt's communication and because the other caregivers were not as familiar with Matt and his situation, Becky took the initiative to write down all of Matt's preferences for the other caregivers who would be filling the extra shifts. This helped with a smoother transition.

Brenda also commented that she feels like Becky has long been a member of their family, “Becky started caring for Matt at a very pivotal time in his life. A 40-year-old with Down syndrome, Matt had been living with and cared for by his parents his whole life. He functions at the level of a seven-year-old but very much wants to be accepted and treated as an adult. He is shy and takes a while to warm up to people.”

While other caregivers have come and gone, Becky has remained. Brenda added, “I would be lost without Becky in our lives. In addition to being Matt’s sister, guardian and caregiver, I am also a caregiver for our parents; our mother is six years into a vascular-dementia diagnosis and our father is two years into a Lewy body dementia diagnosis. Becky watches out for the whole family; she’s even so warm to my mom and dad, even though they aren’t the clients.”

Considering the family dynamics, Becky played an instrumental role in helping Matt transition from living full time with his parents to living independently at a separate location. Brenda said, “From the very beginning, Becky anticipated Matt's needs, adjusted her care accordingly and advised me of the progress. She has an innate ability to know how to react appropriately to every situation.”

As part of Matt’s transition, Becky transported Matt from home to work at a local fitness center. Brenda continued, “This was a new situation for Matt, and it took him a while to adjust. Becky was always patient with Matt and was able to help him with his anxiety over leaving the house.” Today, Becky takes Matt not only to work but also to the YMCA for recreation. “She does not wait for me to tell her what needs to be done but identifies Matt’s needs and partners with me to meet them. She has taken the initiative to provide needed personal hygiene, housekeeping and positive reinforcement for Matt.”

Matt has traveled a long road in terms of his development, and Becky has been a big part of that. The two have developed a meaningful client-CAREGiver relationship; in fact, Matt looks forward to the days he gets to spend with Becky and would be sad to not have her in his life.

Brenda concluded, “I, too, depend on Becky to keep the ‘wind in my sails,’ as we continue on this journey together. She picks me up with kind words when I am feeling lost.”

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