You could see the fire in the eyes of the 86-year-old Home Instead Senior Care® client, who had invited CAREGiver of the Month Gloria Welborn to accompany her to a formal party. The client quietly and coolly demanded an apology from a party guest who had mistaken Gloria for a member of the service staff.
The truly embarrassed person apologized to Gloria and gave her a hug, but Gloria's client took it one step further and described Gloria as "my good friend and guest at the party." There was no mistaking how the client felt.
A stunned and magnanimous Gloria said, "I was OK with everything without anyone saying anything because it was an honest mistake, but there were two apologies. The thing that struck me was the fact that the client was so adamant that I was her good friend, even like 'a member of the family.' It meant a lot to me. Not only did the client always feel that way, but her family treated me like family, too."
Gloria said she felt fortunate to assist the client for two years. "She had the biggest heart," Gloria recalled. "She was all class, inside and out. She was an impressive client who dressed up and put her makeup and jewelry on every day whether she was going out or not. I have amazing clients. I am grateful to God to have the heart and personality to do this job, and to have such clients."
Gloria has been honored three times as CAREGiver of the Month since 2012, when she joined Home Instead Senior Care of North Austin, Round Rock and Sun City, an award-winning franchise owned by Tyson Murphy. Gloria's clients have told the office staff they love Gloria because she's compassionate and genuine.
"Compassionate" and "genuine" fit the Argentinian native to a T. Gloria spent most of her childhood years in Anchorage, Alaska, and lived there until she was 24, before moving to the East Coast. She spent 17 years as a store manager in some of the toughest neighborhoods of Baltimore, Maryland, before moving to Austin to help take care of her mother.
"I needed to step up. My siblings had done it for a long time. It was only fair. I gave up a good job to take care of Mom, but it was time for me to do so," said Gloria, who also previously had worked in the Human Resources department of a correctional facility. "While I was taking care of Mom, I began looking for a job. A friend suggested I call Home Instead Senior Care. I wasn't so sure it was for me, but my friend said: 'You have the biggest heart, and you'd be awesome.' "
Sadly, Gloria's mother passed away in 2015. Accordingly, Gloria's hours at Home Instead Senior Care increased. "I love Jennifer and Nora, our schedulers. They know the job from both sides: working in office to find matches for clients and as CAREGivers who were out in the field," Gloria said. "I like Home Instead Senior Care. This company worries about the employees just as much as they worry about their clients. Many businesses do not."
Gloria added, "I've worked for two good owners at Home Instead. I had a car repair going, and the previous owner provided transportation to my shifts until I could get the car out of the shop. Both owners cared about what I thought. Tyson recently asked me into the office and asked what changes, if any, could be made to make things better. I appreciated the fact that he asked my opinion and what concerns I had. I felt comfortable enough to speak frankly. Then, I told Ty that now for the first time in my five years with the company, I am content. My parents trained me to put 1,000 percent into my jobs."
Gloria works a full schedule, but she likes the idea that the office allows her ample time off to see her kids' activities. "They are involved in a lot of sports and other things. If something special comes up, the office makes every effort to get a sub for me. The flexibility is good, and it is something I appreciate."
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