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February 2019 CAREgiver of the Month - Erica F.


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Napkin Held the Key to Erica’s Fulfilling CAREGiver JobFebruary 2019 CAREgiver of the Month - Erica F.

A friend’s napkin remained folded in Erica Farr’s purse for months before she finally pulled it out one day and called the Home Instead Senior Care® phone number written on it. The friend, a co-worker at an assisted-living nursing home, worked in the evenings as a CAREGiver and had touted her Home Instead job to Erica.

“One thing led to another, and I was called into Home Instead for an interview. The owner himself, Mr. Gibson, did my interview. He was so nice, and he told me his story about how he started his franchise here in Statesville. I left feeling so good and praying that it would all work out,” said Erica, referring to the award-winning Home Instead Senior Care franchise that serves Iredell and Alexander Counties.

That was middle of April 2018, and Erica started her Home Instead Senior Care orientation May 1. “I have been loving it ever since. After assisting my first client, I called my mom and told her I loved this job, that this was my true calling,” said Erica, who was honored as CAREGiver of the Month in February 2019.

Erica had been working in nursing homes as a cook and aide since she was in high school. “I love being around the elderly, but I wasn’t happy because I was unable to work one-on-one with residents because of a lack of time. I had so many patients who’d beg me to stay and talk, but I couldn’t because I had to get back to work. I had time to only tell them hello, give them a huge smile and show them I cared, and it would make their day,” Erica recalled.

As a family caregiver, Erica also helped with her grandmother when her health declined. “She would be so lonely when I came to visit her. I would give anything to have known about Home Instead Senior Care at that time. She passed away three years ago. Now, for anyone who could use our services, I tell them about Home Instead Senior Care,” Erica said.

A five-minute conversation would easily reveal that Erica lives the Home Instead Senior Care® principles of “Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart.” “What I like most about my job is loving my clients. Each one of them means the world to me, and I would do anything to help make their lives a little better, a little more joyful,” Erica said.  

“Companionship is what so many seniors desire, just to have someone with whom to talk and show he or she cares about them. It goes without saying that it is so important to be nice and loving to the clients. Some clients will even try to take care of you because they trust and love you, too. I wish only that I could have as many clients as I want 24/7 because I love my job.”

To build on their knowledge and experience, Erica and other CAREGivers are offered ongoing training, including the opportunity to complete the Home Instead Senior Care network’s Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education® Training Program.

Knowledge is important in senior care, but perhaps the biggest asset is a huge heart. Erica’s compassion was evident when she helped a 96-year-old client from the start of July until his passing in December. The client had his challenges now and then, but Erica speaks fondly of him and his family.

“He had the best family you could ever ask for. They were there every single day, helping us CAREGivers in any way they could. He had run several businesses, so he was ‘The Boss,’ and he let you know it. It took time for us to get to know each other well, and I loved him just like my grandpa. The loss of my special friend has been really hard on me,” Erica said.  

“As his medical condition continued to worsen, I spent more time with him. On every other Saturday for a while, I would leave him to go to another client from noon to 3 p.m., so another CAREGiver would take my place. That CAREGiver was an amazing person. When I would return after 3 p.m., I’d go to his room and say, ‘I missed you, I love you and I’m back now.’ He’d say, ‘I missed you, too, I’m glad you’re back. I need you at this job.’ ”

One Sunday when Erica was leaving, the client asked his daughter if Erica was going to church. “I said, ‘Well, I would, but I’m with you every Sunday.’ Then I joked with him a little when I asked, ‘Are you going to give me a Sunday off?’ He exclaimed, ‘No! I need you!’ He was truly my special person,” Erica 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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