CAREGiver of the Month - Jerry Mansfield

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Jerry Has the Drive to be an Awesome CAREGiver

As one of the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise’s transportation specialists, award-winning CAREGiver Jerry Mansfield likes to stay on the move. Sometimes he has no choice.

Like the time he hustled to follow a 96-year-old client who was determined to make the most of her time during a grocery store trip. “She was just a treasure,” Jerry said. “It was hard to keep up with her. It was zoom, zoom here and there as she moved around and gathered what she needed without hesitation. She is very sharp and obviously knew where everything was.”

At least once a week, an 88-year-old widow rides shotgun as she directs the Detroit native through the southeast Oakland County neighborhoods served by owner Bert Copple’s franchise. Make no mistake, Jerry knows where he’s going – well, 99 percent of the time.

“I can tell that my client misses having her car. She sometimes loses track of where we are. In one case, she led me on a wild-goose chase because I didn’t know where her hearing aid clinic was,” Jerry recalled with a chuckle. “We were doubling back and circling until I finally pulled over and did an internet search for the address on my cell phone. The good news was that we weren’t very far from it. But now I get a business card for the destinations we’ll be going.”

Jerry insists he’s just a guy who provides a lift for a client. But he’s much more than that.

“I go wherever needed and primarily provide transportation, most often to a hospital or clinic,” said Jerry, who retired four years ago from a career with the State of Michigan and joined Home Instead Senior Care Jan. 1, 2013. “I am on-call 24/7. Our clients and the hospital count on it. The clients and I chat a lot and share stories. A lot of companionship can be squeezed into a half-hour drive. It is a good time, and it’s a great way to meet people.”

Other caregiving responsibilities are involved. “If there are no family members or friends,” Jerry said, “I will stay to make sure everything is OK. Sometimes after a hospital discharge, clients want to stop at the grocery store or drug store. I can bring a meal, take out the trash or do whatever they need.”

For the 88-year-old widow, Jerry does more than provide rides – he has been a trusted companion for more than a year. “That client says what we all know, that Jerry’s a great guy with a big heart and that he’s an awesome CAREGiver,” said Anne Monaghan, CAREGiver experience manager.

Said Jerry: “My client seems like a mom to me. She wants to get out of her care facility occasionally, and I’m proud of her for making the effort. I know her so well I know what she’s about to say if she loses her thought. Communication doesn’t require many words sometimes.

“Residents at facilities can get only so much attention because the staff is spread so thin. I try to help her with anything she needs. She knows she can rely on me.”

She is Jerry’s only regular client because he sits at opposite ends of the caregiving realm. “I’ve got six grandchildren in the area. My daughter has five who are 7 and younger, while my son has a 4-year-old boy and I love being with all of them. I joke that I am on-call with Home Instead and my daughter. Both roles are awesome,” he said.

Family and faith are huge for Jerry, who has been married for 41 years and is a member of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Roman Catholic Church in Royal Oak. He and his wife helped care for their parents, all four of whom are now deceased. “I also helped my grandfather both in his home and at a nursing home and remember that experience well. This work is like paying it forward. I hope someone is around to take care of me when I reach that age,” Jerry said. “None of us wants to be a burden on others, but it is unavoidable if you live long enough, and so that’s why I like to help out as much as I can.”

Home Instead Senior Care’s staff, Jerry said, feels like family because is it concerned with the welfare of both CAREGivers and clients. Little things like a summer bash for employees and their families, spontaneous complimentary notes, rewards and bonuses add up to a big deal. Home Instead Senior Care also has an annual dinner for its employees and clients where CAREGivers are acknowledged with awards and prizes.

Jerry praised Home Instead Senior Care’s ongoing training regimen that includes specialized instruction. Among those is the Home Instead Senior Care network’s Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education® Training Program. The program offers a personal approach to caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s at home, where 60 to 70 percent live. It is a unique program that was launched during the past two years and has received acclaim and endorsements from senior-care experts.

Jerry mentioned that, in addition to the Alzheimer’s or Other Dementia CARE training, there is instruction in meal preparation, body mechanics, proper lifting techniques and client companionship, among the many other subjects.

“I am totally impressed with the company. They are always thinking outside the box,” Jerry said. “This company makes you feel good on a personal level. If you have any questions about clients, a nurse is always available to talk. It is a rare company.”

Jerry pointed out that Home Instead Senior Care has been named a Top 10 workplace by J.D. Power and Associates for four straight years, including a Top 3 ranking in 2013.

“I look back on my working career and wish I could have worked for a company exactly like this one,” Jerry said. “They are thorough and complete in their hiring practices, and that impressed me. You have to think about it – you are hiring a company to have someone come out and take care of your loved one. Wouldn’t you want the best, people who you could completely trust, with your mom or dad?”

Home Instead CAREGivers, who are screened, trained, bonded and insured, provide a variety of non-medical services to help keep seniors independent. For inquiries about employment with Home Instead Senior Care, please call (248) 203-2273 or email Anne Monaghan at anne.monaghan@homeinstead. For further information about the company, visit, or to learn more about the company's services link to a digital brochure at


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