An experienced medical specialist had seen his illustrious career end after he began struggling with Parkinson's disease 15 years ago. In recent years, he and his wife had been seeking help. They had tried many care providers and an agency before contacting Home Instead Senior Care® of Iredell and Alexander Counties in Statesville.
The client spent only two days with CAREGiver Padmavathi "Padma" Thippa and was pleased. He told Padma, "You are professional. We need to keep you." The client's wife and other members of their family applauded. For them, it was easy to see how Padma lives the Home Instead Senior Care® principles of "Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart" even though she'd been with Home Instead for a short time. Her original twice-a-week shifts quickly expanded.
That was in August 2017, just after Padma had joined the award-winning franchise owned by Creighton and Tracey Gibson. Padma has remained with the client since then – she is their only CAREGiver – and was honored as CAREGiver of the Month in December 2019.
Asked about her experiences, Padma chuckled and said: "Sometimes it's not easy. There's an old saying that doctors sometimes make the worst patients, but he is a good person. I am happy because I have a wonderful client. I know it'd been frustrating for the family to find a care professional. I've been a CNA since 2008 and had worked with Parkinson's residents at a nursing home in Connecticut before I moved to North Carolina in July 2017. The Home Instead office might have had this specific client in mind when I was going through the hiring process."
The client's wife appreciates Padma's respite care because she runs errands and does the grocery shopping. In fact, it was at a grocery store where the wife saw a CAREGiver wearing a Home Instead polo and liked it because it was professional-looking and made an impression.
Padma said: "The wife is very nice, and I've received hugs from family members. There is so much patience. She stays in the house if I am not there. He has many challenges. When I started, he could walk, but now he must use a wheelchair. The Parkinson's also has hindered verbal communications. I know his routine and generally understand what he wants. Otherwise, I ask questions that require only a yes or no. The situation involves personal care and a Hoyer life, but the wife handles his transportation. They got a special van that is wheelchair accessible, and she takes him to church. I am glad because I think it helps anyone in this situation to get out."
Above all, Padma is focusing on one primary goal – keeping the client out of a care community. "No nursing home! They want to keep him home. That's where he wants to be, and she doesn't want to live alone. We're set up to cover his care every step of the way, even when I am not there or if I'm there for short shifts. For instance, she needs me for an hour or two during the holidays. I help him shower. There are no showers on the weekends because I am not there. We all think ahead and calculate what needs to be done, whether it's my assistance or solely hers," Padma explained.
As a senior care specialist, Padma knows the pluses and minuses of facility care vs. one-on-one care. "Nursing home work is very busy and tiring. There are a lot of residents and not so many employees. It is not an easy job," Padma said.
"There is so much more bonding and companionship with in-home care. The Home Instead office provides good client matches. The scheduling is flexible – I have two children, a teenage girl and a 9-year-old son. I can plan work and family hours that are complementary and favorable. I can work some in the evenings and pick up weekend shifts. With Home Instead Senior Care, so far, so good. Otherwise, I wouldn't have stayed this long."
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.