"I am continually struck by the professionalism, high level of caring and exemplary caregivers that I have met from Home Instead. My mom couldn't live without them, and neither could I.
As Operations Manager, Jessica oversees the daily operations of Home Instead Senior Care ensuring that our high standards are met with exceptional CAREGivers and customer service. "I am especially touched by CAREGivers who come to Home Instead because of a personal caregiving experience. One such person is Jennifer who has been with us for a year. Jennifer moved her own mother in with her and cared for her during the last 5 years of her life without any outside help. Jennifer's Mom had Parkinson's and related dementia. For Jennifer to turn around and come to Home Instead to make a difference in other people's lives is tremendous. She really knows how to anticipate a client's needs and to assist them in remaining independent. She knows dementia firsthand and has a heightened compassion because of her journey. She is a calming presence for her clients and their families. To Jennifer, it really is personal."
As Community Service Representative, Bryan plays a critical role in educating other professionals in the senior and healthcare community and forms great partnerships with our referral providers. Bryan's friendly nature and collaborative style keep us top of mind in Mecklenburg County. "When I am in the community talking with our referral providers, I see firsthand the difference we make in helping others, especially those who return home after a fall or procedure and need a little extra help during their transition. I am especially proud of what we do when Social Workers and RN's look to us to help their patients when they are discharged from a hospital or rehab facility. I remember one time a social worker was so happy to see me when Ruth was about to be discharged from the hospital following a fall. Ruth, a very independent 93 year old, lived with her daughter and son-in-law in a separate mother-in-law apartment. Prior to her fall, Ruth cooked for herself, exercised every morning and overall, was very active and independent. Following her fall she was not able to maintain her lifestyle. Since her daughter and son-in-law worked, they were not able to be there during the day. They were very anxious about how to help her. Our CAREGiver was able to come in 3 days a week for 12 hours a day and help her as a friend, companion and assistant. Ruth felt that she could still be independent and did not have to rely on family. Our CAREGiver helped prepare meals for Ruth, assist her in bathing, walk with her and help her with her physical therapy exercises. Her daughter was so relieved that we could be there when she could not. Stories like Ruth's motivate me to help others who need that extra assistance to make transitions during the challenging times in their lives."
As Client Relations Director Karen says this is her dream job because she loves working with clients, families and our CAREGivers to help older adults thrive in their homes. "One of the most gratifying aspects of my job is being a witness to the incredible long term friendships that develops between a client and CAREGiver. One example is with our CAREGiver Joyce and client Ann who have been together for 4 years. Ann's husband and 2 children died. Ann began to use our services one day a week but now has Joyce visit 3 days a week. Ann says she lives and breathes for the days that Joyce comes and believes she has lived so long because of Joyce's friendship and assistance. (Ann is 95.) She views Joyce as a friend, not a daughter because Ann says she can never replace her daughter. Together Joyce and Ann go out for lunch, go to the grocery store, run errands, and go to doctor's appointments. Joyce also helps with cleaning, changing linens, and fixes her lunch when they don't go out. Joyce has planted plants in her planters, gets Ann's mail, and sweeps her porch. I feel so good when I visit Ann because I know how much this relationship means to both Ann and Joyce. This is one of the many stories that have touched my heart. I just love what I do."
As an RN, Diane works carefully with clients to ensure that their needs are being met and that CAREGivers have the necessary skills to help their clients age in place. Diane does an excellent job in reinforcing skills for our CAREGivers so that they have the confidence to help clients during their transitions. "Working with older adults to fulfill their wishes is so satisfying to me, especially when we partner with others in the community to achieve a person's goal to remain at home. One story that made an impact on me is Kenneth. He was 85 and was released from rehab to go into hospice care during his final days with stage 4 cancer. Kenneth's son and daughter wanted him to go to hospice house but Kenneth really wanted to receive hospice care at home. I was certain that we could accommodate Kenneth's wishes. His adult children were skeptical but Kenneth was appreciative that I supported his decision. I told the son and daughter that I would be the first one to tell him if it wouldn't work. We worked with hospice. It was the most beautiful union of in-home care and hospice care to satisfy a person's final wishes. After 2 or 3 days, the son and daughter were convinced that this was the right decision. The daughter admitted that she was trying to make a decision at the time that seemed to be easier for her. Additionally, Kenneth did not want a hospital bed but I told him he really needed one. The next day he agreed to a hospital bed when he realized that it was best for his care. Our CAREGivers provided him and his family with the most extraordinary care. They engaged in many meaningful conversations with him about his life and legacy. Ten days later, Kenneth died in his own home, under his own terms. To me, it was so fulfilling to play a role in Kenneth's wishes and to witness the great compassion and dignity our CAREGivers gave him.
Connie Mann works in our office as a Client Care Coordinator, helping clients remain safe and comfortable in their homes. “Today many families experience challenges as they try to juggle work, children, and care for their aging parents. My first work experience with Home Instead Senior Care was in Pennsylvania, where I worked as a Client Care Coordinator. I saw firsthand how emotional it was for families when parents, who had always been independent, suddenly needed care. Adult children wanted to respect their parent’s desire for independence but also wanted to make sure they were safe and well cared for. As a Client Care Coordinator, my favorite part of my job is the relationships I build with clients and their families. Our clients have led fascinating, full lives and they want to be as active and as engaged with life as long as they can. It is gratifying for me to arrange for services that allow seniors to remain safely in their home where they can be comfortable and well cared for. It is also gratifying to be able to provide “peace of mind” to families separated by distance or responsibilities. For example, one client, Laura, told everyone, she was “the oldest in the neighborhood, but the most fun!” Laura lived with her “furry companion”, a small Yorkie dog named Suzie. We first met Laura after she fell in her home and lay on the floor for a day. Suzie never left her side, until a neighbor stopped by and found her. At the urging of her son who lived in California, she accepted services on a limited basis. Reluctant to start service Laura also didn’t want her son to worry. After further decline in her health and a few more falls, Laura’s son felt she needed nursing home placement. Laura was distraught over the thought of leaving her home, Suzie, and the families in her neighborhood. Because we had built a good relationship with Laura and her son, we were able to arrange live-in services for Laura and she was able to stay safely in her home with Suzie. Working for Home Instead Senior Care has enriched my life and I like to think we enrich the lives of our senior clients and their families.”
As Client Care Coordinator Becca ensures that clients continue to receive great care, reviewing their plan of care and coaching CAREGivers. "I see first hand how one CAREGiver can make a difference, even turn a client around. Recently, one client, Ellen, was not doing well at all. Her apartment was very cluttered, and she had difficulty communicating due to aphasia. This was especially frustrating for Ellen because in her former careers as a teacher and military personnel, her ability to communicate was vital. Although Ellen's daughter said we needed to be forceful with her, we believed that this approach was not yielding positive results. Our CAREGiver, Gina, really cared about her, spent time talking to her and validated Ellen as a person. Today Ellen's speech has improved and she is allowing us to help her shower and help organize her home. CAREGivers Gina and Ilean have bought her organizational cabinets and are working with Ellen to make her apartment feel like a home. Ellen just needed someone to care. I often see how just a how far a little bit of care goes. These small gestures that turn into big changes make my job so rewarding."
As Retention Coordinator, Toni is responsible for ensuring that our CAREGiving team has the resources they need to provide exceptional care to our clients. She encourages CAREGivers, provides moral support as well as reinforces policies and procedures. According to Toni, "I am passionate about supporting, encouraging and caring for adults during their golden years. My grandmother Rose lived with us when I was a child, enabling me to spend time with her and become very close. As she aged and required more and more help, it felt natural to care for her in whatever way she needed. In my heart I felt I was simply giving back to her what she so easily and unselfishly gave to me all my life. Working at Home Instead has given me the opportunity to fulfill my passion to care for older adults in a way that satisfies their individual personal needs. I started with Home Instead as a CAREGiver myself. I realized I was on the lucky side of the coin when I met Marge, our client and her 5 adult children. It became easy to see why it was hard for these siblings to ask for help in caring for their Mom. Marge is so loving, kind and giving it was easy for her to raise 5 equally loving, kind and giving people. They felt they should have been able to do it on their own and expressed they did not want this care to replace but only be and extension of themselves. Communicating and working together toward the common goal of caring for Marge, we were able accomplish a plan of care they were all very happy with. In my current position I work with our CAREGivers to ensure that they have the same wonderful experience with Home Instead and their clients as I have had as a CAREGiver.
As part of the Recruiting and Retention team, Jackie helps Jessica in creating an exceptional team that truly cares for our seniors as if they were family. "We work hard in our office to find the Perfect Match for a client and a CAREGiver. One such situation that I will always remember is with a new CAREGiver, Regina. Mrs. P, our client, had difficulty communicating due to Parkinson's disease. A couple of CAREGivers were unable to understand her and became frustrated in working with her. After Regina became her CAREGiver, they developed a bond and Regina was the only person who was able to understand her. Even on her days off, Regina would help the office staff by interpreting messages to and from Mrs. P. It really was quite something."
Debbie plays an integral role in ensuring that the administrative and financial aspects of our business run smoothly. "As the Account Manager for Home Instead, I have the opportunity to talk to clients and family members. They often tell me how happy they are with the services, especially how much they love their CAREGiver. Recently, I received a call from client Grace. She said of her CAREGiver, 'Jennifer is worth every penny. She does everything I would ever want her to do for me and is such a joy to be around. You couldn't have made a more perfect match. I look forward to every minute with her.' These unsolicited comments are just icing on the cake for me and remind me that what we do at Home Instead is so very important and meaningful."
Darla offers much compassion in her role as Staffing Coordinator, ensuring Perfect Matches between clients and CAREGivers. "Clients and family members tell us all of the time how we make a difference in someone's life. One of our clients, Mr. M., was really not taking care of himself. He was eating frozen dinners and he was depressed following the loss of his daughter and wife in a short period of time. Our CAREGiver Delores asked Mr. M. what kind of food he liked. She went to the grocery store and purchased greens and sweet potatoes, corn, peas, and fish and asked Mr. M. to come sit with her in the kitchen while she cooked. Mr. M smelled the food and Delores explained how she was preparing his favorite food. She encouraged him to enjoy the wonderful aromas of the food. Mr. M ate for the first time in days. Because of Delores' help, our Care Manager instructed his other CAREGivers to ask the right questions to determine other types of food Mr. M enjoyed. Mr. M. is doing much better and is eating healthier meals these days."
As Staffing Coordinator, Joy focus on positive relationships helps her to find perfect client-CAREGiver matches. So many variables go into matching and scheduling, including personality, skill levels, location and client preferences for time and date, that Joy's puzzle-solving skills are tested regularly!
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