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September 2018 CAREGiver of the Month - Janet

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From Young to Old, Janet Anderson Impacted LivesCAREGiver of the Month - Janet

Janet Anderson was a people person who positively impacted nearly everyone with whom she came in contact. Janet’s daughter, Brandi Bennington, recalled her school years when she said, “When we were younger, our friends were automatically ‘her kids.’ ”

Brandi added: “Mom was incredible, definitely a special lady. She had a huge heart for people.

She treated everybody the same, and that was very well. She enjoyed life and had an effect on people with her compassion and empathy. Mom was very family-oriented.”

It is no secret that seniors easily bonded with Janet while she was working for Home Instead Senior Care® of Winchester, and many of them became like family to Janet. “Mom loved her work. She had some clients who really wanted only her to help them. She would take them to the grocery store or out for ice cream. They loved being with her,” said Brandi, whose mother passed away Aug. 24 after a short battle with cancer. At age 63, life ended much too soon for Janet. “I am glad Home Instead honored her posthumously as its September CAREGiver of the Month; we were touched by such a tribute,” Brandi said.

On July 8, 2015, Janet joined the Home Instead Senior Care franchise that serves Northern Shenandoah Valley first as a CAREGiver and later as a staff member. Special Projects Coordinator Beth Kerns worked with Janet as an evening scheduler for at least a year, and Beth pointed out Janet had a passion for making sure each client received the best care.

Beth said: “She not only placed the best CAREGiver with a client, but Janet was willing to coach the CAREGivers on ideas to help them with their clients. Janet really had a knack for breaking down solutions so CAREGivers would be receptive to trying something new or in a different way. Janet also went to clients when we had no one to fill assignments, and she even transported CAREGivers to shifts when needed. Janet was willing to fill in at the office when someone was out. She also went to bat when she thought something was unjust. She really wanted everyone – clients, CAREGivers and office staff – to be treated fairly and with the respect every person deserves. She truly cared about everyone.”

Beth recalled an evening when she and Janet didn’t necessarily see eye-to-eye about handling a situation, but Beth added: “She was the ultimate sounding board – I knew I could trust getting her honest opinion on any situation and she would hear me out and respect my opinion as well. I completely loved her for that. We became friends, and we shared our family’s and friends’ lives with one another. We also shared meals and laughs. As with any untimely passing, you always wish you had spent more time together and had been more diligent about getting together outside of work more often. I miss her greatly.”  

Recruitment and Retention Coordinator Kristi Piotter said: “Janet always tried to help me find solutions to situations. She liked to encourage the younger CAREGivers and make them feel comfortable when going to their assignments. She was always willing to lend a hand when needed. I will always associate Janet by her love of Pepsi.”

Administrative Assistant Marilyn Stokes said: “Janet had a happy and strong personality. I loved her big laugh and willingness to help. For instance, she took scheduling phone calls despite the high pressure that resulted from each day’s call volume. While doing that, Janet still had a happy, cheerful tone. During the time I worked with Janet, I never heard or saw her feeling stressed or overwhelmed. She was a doer and had a strong desire to help everyone. I am blessed to have had met Janet. She became a part of my life even though it was for just a short time. I will truly miss her.”

Brandi said her mother always sought to help society’s most vulnerable and had strongly considered a nursing career when she was young.

“Mom wanted to become a CNA before I came along. I am the oldest, followed by two brothers, four and eight years younger. She was a single mom for a while, and she worked in a factory to maximize her income for our family,” Brandi said. Janet later worked at a residential home for developmentally disabled adults. “She loved that kind of work, which is what I thought she always had wanted to do. She took the residents on trips they enjoyed,” Brandi said. “Mom later went through CNA training but was not certified, and she worked at a nursing home for three or four years. Then she transitioned to Home Instead.”

Referring to her mother’s illness, Brandi said: “It started with back pain. She had late-stage lung cancer by the time it was diagnosed. Mom battled, but it went very fast. We were with her when she passed. At her funeral service were many people we hadn’t seen or been in contact with for 30 years or more. She was well-thought of.”

Janet was born April 11, 1955, in Hagerstown, Maryland, to Calvin and Beauannis Davis. Janet would schedule lunch dates so she could catch up with family and friends. Any time friends would get together with her, they would talk while drinking Pepsi.

Janet is survived by Brandi, and her husband, Robby Bennington; two sons: William “BJ” and his partner, Kevin Anderson, and Brian Anderson; grandchildren: Hunter and Kaitlyn Bennington, and Will Crowder; and six step-children: Barbara Sickles, PJ Bohrer, Steve Anderson, Staci Hott, Stephanie Hott and Derek Hott. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Paul Anderson.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Ridge Hospice of Winchester.

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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