Laurie Tevepaugh trudged to the altar at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Stony Point, where Pastor Wesley Hammer had completed his message. Laurie, out of work for some time since undergoing knee surgery, wanted to be employed so badly that her heart ached. Praying, she reverently reminded God that she was good with people, especially in serving the elderly. "Lord, could You help me find such a fulfilling job again? I am putting all my trust in You."
As the expression goes, the Good Lord works in mysterious ways. The first of several steps toward seeing answered prayer came when an uncle of Laurie's husband encouraged her to apply at Home Instead Senior Care® of Iredell and Alexander Counties. That is where Uncle Darrell's wife, a CNA, worked part time on the weekends as a CAREGiver.
Laurie said: "Uncle Darrell had a high opinion of the company. He said: 'Sugar, I'm telling you to go apply. You have the heart. It is a very good company.' ""When I had my face-it-face interview with co-owner Creighton Gibson, my eyes welled up with tears. I never felt so comfortable at a job interview, and I wanted to thank him just for interviewing me. As I talked to Creighton, I could feel a burden lifted off my shoulders. When I heard about Creighton's story and how he and his wife Tracey came to Home Instead, and believed in its principles of "Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart," it meant a lot to me," said Laurie, who was hired in December 2016.
"When I returned to the office, the entire staff lined up and shook my hand. I was immediately part of a family because every staff member has been so welcoming and helpful. Their care is not only for the clients, but also for their CAREGivers. They are very good to employees."
Not only is Home Instead Senior Care friendly, Laurie pointed out, it is professional. She knows, because she had worked for a home health services company for seven years in her former hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts.
"I'd go into homes and help. I became a lead caretaker and then a supervisor in an elderly apartment complex. "I was extremely happy with the Home Instead training. I didn't receive half as much training with my job in Massachusetts. Home Instead is absolutely organized. As far as ongoing training, I took the Alzheimer's class and signed up for a hospice care class. More information benefits me, and my clients, too. Every client is different, and I want to know how to solve challenges. My daughter has put the idea of getting the CNA licensing in my mind."
Laurie's daughter, who graduated from high school in 2016, earned her CNA before she received her diploma. She is finishing her first school year at Mitchell Community College in Statesville.
"I am proud of her. She also has a full-time job as a CNA with a pain-relief clinic. With my daughter and my husband, I have an excellent support system. My daughter has inspired and helped me with my down days when I was unemployed. I felt worthless because I wasn't contributing to our family. After a while, I thought no one would hire me. I was volunteering at church with the elderly and praying for a job to come along. I thought I was striking out because my faith was shallower than it should be," Laurie recalled.
But her prayers were answered.
"I am a happier person, am more confident and look forward to getting up every day. They have made me a new person. I constantly praise them, and I get emotional when I think about Home Instead. It is a faith-based company. My faith has gotten so much stronger, and I feel as though the Lord knew I needed to put my faith into action," Laurie said.
When she thinks of her clients, Laurie said she counts them as family. "I give it 1,000 percent. I help them as if they were my own kin. I enjoy working for the elderly and providing hands-on help for them. I enjoy walking in the door, putting a smile on a client's face and taking care of their needs. I am happy to do whatever it takes to help a client," Laurie noted.
She believes companionship is underrated. "Being able to talk to them and cheer them up is a big thing. I provide assurance – I don't want them to worry about laundry, cooking, cleaning, medication reminders, transportation and errands," she said.
Laurie has two regular clients, widows who are in their 80s, and she takes every available fill-in shift. She said both clients "are as sweet as can be."
With one of them, Laurie said, she laughs constantly from the moment she begins her shift. That client lovingly calls her "My Pack Rat." "She says my arms and hands are full of things when I come in, including my purse, a bag, her newspaper, my chocolate milk and other stuff. 'My Pack Rat' stuck with me," Laurie said. "All in all, I am touched and blessed beyond what I could have anticipated with Home Instead Senior Care."
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.