CAREGiver of the Month - Steve


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Simply Put, Steve Has a Heart for Those in Need

CAREGiver of the Month Steve Ranson is a busy guy. He assists seniors on behalf of the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise that serves the Northern Shenandoah Valley, including Winchester, Virginia and 25 other communities. But the resident of Mount Jackson also helps others, including the homeless, “I just don’t like to sit on my hands,” said Steve, who retired 10 years ago after a 28-year career as a jailer.

“I always have thought there is nothing more important than people and helping them, so I have been trying to do that. I serve God by serving others. My faith is the center of my motivation, but my faith is displayed in such a way that is not overt. It is offered up by the action of helping and providing compassion. I am blessed more by helping others than what I give, and I honestly feel I could do much more than what I do,” Steve explained.

“In my previous career, some people were more receptive to help than others were,” Steve said wryly, referring to prisoners. “But they all needed help in one way or another whether they realized it or not. The homeless need hope. With Home Instead Senior Care, it is more than helping the client because I am helping the family as well. One of the challenges of the job is to find ways to bring a little relief from the depression or suffering that can set in with a client.”

Steve calls his job as a CAREGiver “fulfilling and enriching” and “another way of paying it forward.” In recent months he also has been helping a new organization, Family Promise of Shenandoah County, prepare to launch in January. Family Promise serves by organizing 25 churches of different faiths and sizes that provide assistance and hope to Shenandoah County homeless families with children. Said Steve: “This is another way to help people and keep families and their children together. It starts by providing the basics like shelter and food, but that’s just the beginning. It is pretty exciting.”

As for his foray into senior care, it began Nov. 5, 2014, when he joined owner Aaron Blight’s franchise at 174 Garber Lane in Winchester. “I saw a newspaper ad for Home Instead,” Steve recalled. “I had no previous professional caregiving experience. I know there is a need for male CAREGivers. At first, there was apprehension, and I thought I just wanted to provide companionship for men and let it go at that. As I took the good Home Instead training, my care skills evolved on the level of personal care. It is more rewarding to be able to help them in every way possible.”

Steve believes he originally got “the bug for helping seniors” from visiting a family member in a nursing home six years ago. “He told me three things made him happy at the nursing home, and one of them took place when he opened his eyes and I would still be there sitting with him,” Steve wistfully said. “Just sitting there with him brought him comfort. It was very humbling.”

“That is why I like being a CAREGiver: Just the feeling that being with someone is helping them, and I also like knowing that my efforts are making a difference. I am not just punching a clock and stacking boxes – this is so much more than a regular job, and it is important to someone and an opportunity to do good.”

In one instance, Steve helps a 93-year-old client get out of his home and “get reacquainted with his old haunts and people he had known for a long time.” By providing the transportation and companionship to accomplish the feat with his client, Steve said: “It helps my client maintain a connection with the world he previously had been a part of. I take him for rides around his farm, which is now maintained by family members. There are a lot of memories for him.”

Steve recently lost an Alzheimer’s client. Beyond assisting his client, Steve was a comfort to the client’s widow, a retired LPN who worked at a nursing home. After her husband passed away, the client’s wife emphasized to Steve that her husband had bonded with him and had depended on him. When Steve visited, he was the only one with her and her husband because their children live a long distance away.

“My client’s wife and I had long talks, and she took really good care of him. I had the good Home Instead training, but I also learned a lot of things from her about taking care of him during the couple of months that I helped. I provided respite care so she could get groceries and run other errands. At the beginning, I could talk to him and was reassuring him a lot before his swift decline, when he became nonverbal.”

Summing up his CAREGiver experience, Steve said: “There are so many things to like. The office is great. The flexibility with Home Instead is good, and I can pick and choose fill-in assignments. I live about 45 minutes from Winchester, and I am able to stay in my own neck of the woods for assignments. I really like the aspect of one-on-one care. I am building relationships with everyone involved.”

All Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call 540-722-8750 or apply online. For further information about our home care services, please visit Home Instead Senior Care​​.​

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