The Home Instead Senior Care®
principles are “Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart” and CAREGiver of
the Month Vonda Warren remained patient for three months while working hard on
the first principle to win over an 80-year-old client with dementia.
Vonda finally gained his trust, the situation pivoted 180 degrees and the
client couldn’t wait for her to arrive for each shift. Sometimes the client
would rise at 4 a.m. so he could greet Vonda four hours later as she came
through the door.
“I think part of the reason he didn’t want me at first
was because he didn’t want someone ‘looking over his shoulder,’ ” explained
Vonda, who joined Home Instead Senior Care of Iredell
and Alexander Counties in Statesville, North Carolina, on Nov. 7, 2017, and
began assisting the client in February 2018. The client lived with his
daughter, son-in-law and a grandchild.
What was the key to gaining the client’s trust?
“I grew on him. I kept talking to him. I told him I
was there to help. After I won him over, he’d ask his daughter, ‘Where is that
girl?’ when I wasn’t there. He couldn’t remember my name but recognized my face
and voice. I was with him on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. He’d ask the
family what day it was and knew which days I came,” Vonda said.
“He’d be glad to see me, and I heard: ‘Oh, it’s been
too long since you’ve been here.’ On the weekends when I didn’t work, he’d
sleep a lot, his family said. Then he’d get up early on the days I came,
sometimes at 4 o’clock. When my shift would end at 5 p.m., he wanted me to
stay. The client was like a daddy to me.”
The client was physically fit and loved to spend time
outdoors, which sometimes created a challenge for Vonda. “Being out in the yard
with him was no problem – I used to do yard work with my dad and enjoyed it –
but the client sometimes would wander after he finished picking up loose twigs
and branches,” Vonda recalled.
“I’d leave my light housekeeping inside the house to
keep an eagle eye on him. He’d get upset sometimes when I followed him for very
long, saying: ‘You don’t have to follow me everywhere.’ But I had to make sure
he was safe, so I explained: ‘I want to be with you if you go up to the road or
across it.’ I think he understood.”
Sadly, the client passed away in early February 2019.
That brought back sad memories for Vonda, who lost her beloved husband nearly a
year before, on Feb. 12, 2018. Vonda was with Lanny J. Warren when he died in
his sleep at a hospice facility. She was back at work three weeks later – the
Home Instead office staff told her to take as long as she needed.
“Lanny was such a great guy. He had gotten sick, and I
took care of him for two years as a family caregiver. If Lanny had lived until
August 2018, we would have celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary,”
she said. “I took some time to process the grief, but it was time to get back
Vonda pursued the job with the award-winning Home
Instead Senior Care franchise about three months before her husband passed
away. “I knew the franchise owners, Creighton and Tracey Gibson, because we
attended the same church at one time,” Vonda said. “I had worked in
private-duty caregiving and at an assisted living care community for a total of
about seven years, ending in April 2015.”
Vonda loves working for Home Instead Senior Care.
“They are a Christian-based company that cares about their employees. I told
Creighton about my husband’s health. The franchise worked all that out for me.
They said: ‘How can we help you?’ ” Vonda said. “Since I have few family
responsibilities here in town – I have a grandchild on Hickory – I can handle
my regular schedule and even more clients as a fill-in.”
Vonda takes on many challenges. “Every client is
different. For example, for some clients, it’s fixing breakfast, helping with a
bath and taking care of other needs. You learn to be patient and always kind no
matter how the client is feeling. There’s a lot of pain and confusion. For one
client, I keep telling her, ‘I am here to take care of you and love on you.’ I
refuse to join in on negativity. I guarantee that we CAREGivers try our best,”
Vonda turns to her faith and believes the best will come
out of every situation. “If we had the faith of a mustard seed, everything
would turn out right. I need that mustard seed, and more, sometimes. Life’s not
always fair, so we have to deal with each hurdle as it comes,” Vonda said.
“Home Instead already has helped me with that. Now I am helping others.”
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 .