CAREGiver of the Month Josephine Strother had no problem stretching her heartfelt companionship from her client to … the client's pet bird. Sometimes there was chatter between CAREGiver and bird, but mostly there were smiles and a few laughs. An unusual caregiving situation? Yes. But "unusual" was a good break in the tempo and routine of Josephine's job.
"This client had a parrot that loved to talk," Josephine explained. "Once in a while, after the client and I had been out for the day and returned home, the parrot said, 'Where you been? Where you been?' That would make my day."
Marilyn Stokes, the client care coordinator and office administrator, did not count the parrot when she pointed out: "Since Josephine joined us April 13, 2020, she has served at least a dozen clients. Josephine took on quite a load when she was hired because our Home Instead Senior Care® franchise really needed the help. Now Josephine is working the amount of hours that she requested."
While treating her Home Instead Senior Care clients like family with skill and compassion, Josephine's service stood out. In September 2020, it was no surprise when Marilyn announced Josephine had been honored as the franchise's CAREGiver of the Month. Keith Clay owns the award-winning company as well as the Home Instead Senior Care office that serves Martinsburg and the Eastern West Virginia Panhandle area.
Marilyn said: "Josephine works hard and is a dedicated employee. Her honor is well-deserved. We are happy to have her on our team."
Long before Josephine saw Home Instead Senior Care of Winchester in a newspaper advertisement and applied at the franchise that serves Northern Shenandoah Valley, she served as a family caregiver. "As far as helping my family is concerned, I took care of my parents," Josephine said. "More recently, I took care of my husband for five years before his passing two years ago, before he sadly lost his battle to cancer."
Those who know Josephine know several things: She has a great amount of empathy, including an open heart and soft shoulder that are always ready to extend a measure of compassion when it is needed. A strong faith has always played a big part of Josephine's life, and she has a good sense of humor as well as an awesome perspective of life.
"Despite what I go through in life, I am very grateful and thankful that God let me live to see another day to help others who have no one but CAREGivers to depend on," Josephine said.
In addition to her strong people-person skills, Josephine provides safety assurance, meal preparation, medication reminders, light housekeeping, and transportation and errands. Josephine and other CAREGivers offer personal assistance with eating, grooming, dressing, bathing, incontinence care, dementia and cognitive impairment support, hospice support and mobility issues. By expertly doing so, CAREGivers not only assist their clients, but help their families eliminate worry, reduce stress and re-establish personal freedom.
Josephine feels fulfilled as a part of the CAREGiver team for the Winchester franchise, a member of a highly successful network founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, by Paul and Lori Hogan. The Home Instead Senior Care network is the world's leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,200 independently owned and operated franchises that provide more than 70 million hours of care annually throughout the U.S. and 13 other countries.
Josephine is among more than 90,000 CAREGivers, and she has helped add to those numbers because of her strong belief in Home Instead's purpose. It isn't hard to see Josephine lives the Home Instead Senior Care® principles of "Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart."
Josephine added: "I like being able to be there for the clients. They are more than clients. They are people who need someone. I am always glad to help them when needed and to be a listening ear. I want to thank Home Instead for giving me the opportunity to work here to assist others."