CAREGiver of the Month Barbara McCutchan’s heart leapt with joy when she heard that a dear family member benefited from assistance from Home Instead Senior Care® and was able to remain in his home rather than move to a retirement village. The fact that he is thriving in his own surroundings in an eastern North Carolina city with the one-on-one attention from a CAREGiver just like Barbara is a win-win for everyone involved. Barbara has been an integral part of many senior success stories during the past six years. “You don’t know how happy I am for the relative and the rest of the family,” Barbara said. “I am glad I work for Home Instead Senior Care and knew about this option that really works for him. He is happy, and that’s what Home Instead Senior Care is all about – keeping seniors in their homes, where they do the best.”Barbara also took note of Home Instead Senior Care’s impact on her life. “Home Instead has helped me through so many phases of my life,” said Barbara, who joined Home Instead Senior Care of Iredell and Alexander Counties in Statesville in December 2010. “I am extremely happy with my job, especially when taking in consideration that Home Instead Senior Care is so flexible with my time because my life has changed in the past five or six years. “I became a grandmother for the first time in December 2015, and I love it. Home Instead allows me to take off five or six days at a time every two or three months to stay with my grandson, my daughter and my son-in-law in Atlanta. Early on in my career with Home Instead, I needed more hours because my husband found himself unemployed. I was able to get those extra hours as part of a 24/7 team that assisted an Alzheimer’s client.” Being with family, including daughter Laurie in Atlanta and daughter Sallie in Cornelius, is important to Barbara – and Home Instead Senior Care respects that. Barbara also treats her clients as if they were family. In fact, Barbara is filled with emotion when she speaks of a client who passed away Memorial Day. “I worked with her for a year and a half, and there was love and bonding. She reminded me of my mom, who died in 2001,” Barbara said through her tears. “Death is the down thing with the job. Three days before she passed away, when she was so weak, she told a son, ‘I am dying.’ Instead of imploring her to hang tough, he said, ‘I know, Mom.’ For him to acknowledge and accept her imminent passing meant a lot to his mom. Her four children were so attentive to her. When she fretted about me leaving one day, I told her, ‘You are never alone.’ I showed her the filled-out calendar where names of family members were written on each day, along with us Home Instead CAREGivers,” Barbara explained. “My client was so nonjudgmental, and she knew what to say in every circumstance to put people at ease. She had sweet, kind and complimentary comments that were personalized for me. She wanted the best for me. She was so amazing.”Barbara’s high level of compassion and concern for clients and their family members, office staff members pointed out, truly reflects the Home Instead Senior Care principles: “Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart.”“Barbara builds trust by rarely calling in to cancel a shift, by accepting fill-in shifts on short notice when possible and by returning phone calls to the office promptly,” Human Resources Manager Lori McKay said. “She takes the lead by loving her job and Home Instead Senior Care. Barbara attends CAREGiver meetings, completes in-services and verbally promotes Home Instead Senior Care wherever she goes. Because Barbara shares her heart, her clients and families love her.”Lori, human resources manager, added, “Some of the other comments I have received from staff members are: ‘Barbara is always pleasant, on time and smiling.’ Everyone among the office staff has only wonderful things to say about her.”Wonderful outcomes sometimes happen for Barbara. For instance, the office was searching for a CAREGiver to take a client to church and sit with her as part of the shift. “It was like a miracle – I never would have thought to pray for something like this. I end an overnight shift on Sunday morning and go to the next client’s house. We can easily make the 11:15 a.m. service. It is another miracle because of the timing that allows me to take her to The Cove Church, and I also benefit from making it to church, too,” said Barbara, who grew up in the Disciples of Christ Church in her native Pittsburgh, where she also graduated with a teaching degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Barbara started a 34-year teaching career in western New York State and ended it when she retired in June 2009 from Iredell-Statesville Schools. After she retired, Barbara noticed the white Home Instead Senior Care cars wrapped with the franchise’s distinctive purple advertising. “I figured I could be a CAREGiver because I am a patient person. My strength is working one-on-one with people,” Barbara said. “The job has worked out wonderfully.” Barbara chuckles whenever she thinks of her humble beginning in December 2010 with her first client, who had dementia and loved to go out to a restaurant for every supper. “They were fixing the streets in his area, and I was a bit unfamiliar with the traffic flow. After dark, the street signs, which were propped here and there, were hard to see. I actually had gotten confused while driving him back home from the restaurant. My client sensed something was wrong, and he turned to me and say, ‘You’re lost, aren’t you?’ The irony was not lost on me. I did figure it out and got him home,” Barbara said. All Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about
CAREGiver employment, please apply online call 704-924-9909. For further information visit Home Instead Senior Care.
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