In the past 15 months, Sheryl Glase has been at the right place at right time in more ways than one. First, 47-year-old Sheryl felt compelled to pull up roots and move 730 miles from her longtime home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Mooresville, North Carolina, in April 2015 to be closer to her 70-year-old mother, who at the time was enjoying good health. Shockingly, Sheryl’s mother suffered a rare brain-stem stroke Jan. 28, 2016, and Sheryl was there to help drive her to the emergency room. Three months later, during her mother’s physical therapy session, Sheryl heard about Home Instead Senior Care® of Iredell and Alexander Counties in Statesville. When her mother recovered sufficiently to remain at home alone, Sheryl become a CAREGiver at the award-winning franchise owned by Tracey and Creighton Gibson. She started work April 19, and on June 30 was honored as CAREGiver of the Month. “I was at a crossroads. I’ve done a lot of things in my life, and I wanted to do something different. I had never worked in professional senior care, but I discovered I am a natural at it,” said Sheryl, who was working at a part-time retail job in Mooresville last year. Sheryl added: “Since taking this job, I have a renewed sense of vigor. I quit my other job because two jobs were too much and this is what I enjoy. I find satisfaction in my job while helping seniors who need help to remain at home, and job satisfaction is hard for many people to find. I fit into this job really well because it fits my temperament.”Sheryl, originally from Jamestown, New York, is the oldest of five children and helped her parents take care of her siblings. “I was always the peacemaker in the home when I was growing up,” she recalled. While attending Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, Sheryl joined an Adopt-a-Grandparent program at a nursing home as a volunteer. “I spent time talking and writing letters for the residents,” she said.Explaining how she approaches her job, Sheryl said: “I use gentleness and the right kind of humor to help my clients cope. I put the clients at ease, especially when accidents happen and challenges come up. I did that with Mom after her stroke. Mom’s philosophy about the daily bumps in the road is simple: ‘Life happens.’ That explains a multitude of difficulties without trying to figure out a cause. Don’t sweat the small stuff, just go on living.” Sheryl has received rave reviews. “I am excited and honored to have Sheryl on our team. She is relatively new to Home Instead Senior Care, but Sheryl is fantastic and authentic, and we appreciate her. She loves her job, and her friends have noticed how happy she is since she joined us,” Human Resources Manager Lori McKay said.Office staff members affirm that Sheryl’s work truly reflects the Home Instead Senior Care principles: “Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart.”Ashley Marshall, office manager and head service coordinator, said: “Sheryl builds trust by being responsible and professional in dealing with clients, their families and our office. She returns calls even if she can’t help. Sheryl takes the lead by engaging clients in meaningful activities. She built a great relationship with a previously challenging client, sparking the client’s desire to get out in the community instead of sitting at home. Sheryl also prioritizes ongoing training such as the diabetes and COPD instruction. Sheryl shares her heart as a compassionate, smiling and thoughtful CAREGiver who is fun and quirky. I’m glad she’s with us.” Service Coordinator Taylor Lowry said: “Sheryl is my nomination to be honored! She is amazing, she goes above and beyond, and is always willing to help if she can. One weekend we needed emergency help, and she was the only CAREGiver who responded on a Saturday and Sunday. It is clear she enjoys her job and loves helping people.” One way Sheryl helps a client is through music or anything that involves listening because the nearly blind client suffers from macular degeneration. “She also is afflicted by a Parkinson’s-like disease, so she is trapped in a body that allows her to do very little other than listen,” Sheryl said. Receiving permission from the client’s family and the Home Instead office, Sheryl brings her laptop computer and plays music that ranges from contemporary pop artists from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s to music from older artists such as Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. “Hearing is her world, but it’s not always music. I take her outside, and she loves to listen to the sounds of nature and tries to identify the birds by their songs. It is a break from the monotony of listening to the TV,” Sheryl explained. Reflecting on her work, Sheryl said: “It all works for me. The office has been 100 percent behind me. They are Johnny-on-the spot with returning calls and work hard on CAREGiver-client matchups. They are considerate and want to know how my mother is doing. I only hope when I grow older that someone will do right by me as I do for my clients.”
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