CAREGiver of the Year Pat Barnes’ weekend client lets everyone know that Pat embodies the Home Instead Senior Care® principles of “Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart” with two short sentences.
A fellow CAREGiver revealed one of Pat’s successful senior-care approaches: “Pat always has a smile on her face.” Smiling as she walks in the door, Pat exudes confidence even in the most challenging situations. A 24/7 client knows Pat is attentive and will do whatever it takes to keep her safe and comfortable during a shift that starts at 10 p.m. Saturday and ends at 8 a.m. Sunday. It’s easy to see why Pat was honored as CAREGiver of the Year for 2019 at Home Instead Senior Care of Iredell and Alexander Counties.
Helping seniors on behalf of the award-winning franchise that is owned by Tracey and Creighton Gibson has changed Pat’s life since her first day of work in October 2012.
“I have a different identity. I am a different person since I joined Home Instead Senior Care. Every client adds something to my life. I have been reflecting on who I am and how the clients and I impact each other,” Pat explained.
Pat previously dwelled on the loss of her father 37 years ago and three other family deaths. “Both of my brothers are gone. One died in January 2012, and my mother also died before I joined Home Instead Senior Care that year,” she explained. “My siblings and I were really close in age. Losing both of them and Mom was hard. All I have is cousins.”
Pat added: “Clients add to my life things I never thought I’d get back. I’ve felt healing in my spirit by receiving affirmation from my clients and their families. Assisting clients has helped me as much as I help them because I put my compassion somewhere else. It’s not a job – it is like visiting and helping friends.”
Pat always has had a heart for seniors – her grandparents helped raise her and her brothers until she was 10. During one high-school summer, Pat worked in a nursing home where she received a lot of training and got a lot of experience. After graduation, Pat served as a CNA at two nursing homes in Maryland for about four years before she and her husband moved back to North Carolina.
Recalling those nursing-home days, Pat said: “I worked for three years on a veterans’ floor, and we had five to six women and 20 men residents. Most of the time, we had just two CNAs, so we had to buddy up and go like a white tornado to get everything done. There was hardly time for one-on-one companionship, no more than a ‘good morning’ and a pat on the back or hug. In the nursing home, there are so many challenges. As Home Instead CAREGivers, we give the quality of life seniors deserve.”
After Pat and her husband moved back to North Carolina in 1980, she spent 25 years with a hosiery company, where she met Lori McKay, now the Home Instead Senior Care director of human resources. “We became good friends. Lori was the reason I got hired at Home Instead Senior Care. I was looking for a job after two different sets of layoffs. “When I was starting, Lori was scheduling and training. I enjoy working with Lori because you can trust her. She has your best interest at heart.”
Lori said: “Pat is a jewel. She gives all of her heart in what she does.”
Pat’s heart has been on display with a 90-year-old client who had worked in government. “He’s a card, a lot of fun as well as a wonderful person and such a gentleman,” Pat said. “I’ve built the trust. He remembers my face but forgets my name five minutes later. He is detail-oriented and has strict routines, and they bring him a sense of comfort.”
Pat further explained: “You must respect the clients and help them understand we’re there to help them. Being demanding and bossy with a client doesn't work. As much as possible, suggest or advise them it is time to do this or that. Gently guide them with a calm, confident manner and voice so they feel in control. Then redirect or restate your request as many times as needed.”
The client and others, Pat said, have filled her heart with joy. “The new relationships move us from one phase of life to another. I love what I’ve received and how a big benefit comes through developing relationships,” Pat said.
After being presented with the award at Home Instead’s annual caregiver Christmas party, Pat was completely in shock. Pat says she had, “like a nine or ten level of being surprised. I wasn’t suspecting to be honored at all.” For Pat being honored with the award made her feel personally, “very happy, appreciated and a sense of being successful.” Moving forward as a caregiver, Pat says the award, “makes me take pride in what I do at my job; and makes me want to do more going forward.” However, for Pat the best part of the award was not being honored or recognized publicly. Instead, “the best part of the award is being able to give 200 dollars to a charity of my choice.” This is just another example of how Pat treats everyone with respect and takes a personal approach to every aspect of her life.
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. Read More...
Home Instead Senior Care staff members knew they had a caregiving gem. Terrie’s
work immediately stood out, so she was honored as CAREGiver of the Month. “I
had done home-health care years ago and also did private-duty caregiving. I helped a paraplegic Air Force veteran for
seven years before she died at age 72. Later, life happened: I got married and
had kids. My husband and I have four teenage children now,” Terrie said. Read More...
CAREGiver of the Month
Diana Ballard’s strong faith shines with her clients as she carries out the
Home Instead Senior Care® principles of “Build
Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart.” Diana said: “I love my job,
which doesn’t feel like a job to me. It is more like a ministry.” Read More...
As a CAREGiver, Debbie
feels a responsibility not only to her clients, but also to the Home Instead
Senior Care staff and ownership. “Of course,” she said, “the primary concern is
the clients. But the office staff is on my mind when I offer to take open
shifts, so I believe in staying in close contact with them. They’ve helped me
with different things and offer flexible hours, and I know I can always call on
Tracey or Creighton. Last winter, the staff picked up CAREGivers in the snow
and ice and drove us to our clients when necessary. There are no other
companies like Home Instead that are as responsive to their employees. They
feel responsible for all of us.” Read More...
Twenty-one years after
her father’s death, Cynthia Gray has shifted the same compassionate, caring feelings
she’d had for her dad and other precious family members to her Home Instead
Senior Care clients. She lives the Home Instead Senior Care®
principles of “Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart.” Read More...
the second time in 16 months, Arleen Bell has been honored as a CAREGiver of
the Month for Home Instead Senior Care® of
Statesville, an award-winning franchise owned by Tracey and Creighton Gibson.
Arleen, a CAREGiver since Oct. 10, 2017, was first honored in March 2018 and
again in July 2019. Read More...
was only fitting that on May 29, 2018 – Jeanette’s birthday – she joined Home
Instead Senior Care of Iredell and Alexander Counties
in Statesville. “This is a calling for me. I treat my clients as if they
were my mom or dad. Many seniors struggle with aging. I try to let them do as
much as they are capable of doing – that preserves some independence and
dignity. One of the biggest things is to listen to them,” said Jeanette, who
was honored by the award-winning Home Instead franchise as its June CAREGiver
of the Month. Read More...
Pat and her husband moved back to North Carolina in 1980, she spent 25 years
with a hosiery company, where she met Lori McKay, now the Home Instead Senior
Care director of human resources. “We became good friends. Lori was the reason
I got hired at Home Instead Senior Care. I was looking for a job after two
different sets of layoffs. “When I was
starting, Lori was scheduling and training. I enjoy working with Lori because
you can trust her. She has your best interest at heart.” Read more...
While her grandmothers were flesh-and-blood examples of caring, Linda
relies even more on her belief in God. “My faith is important to me. I believe
in the Bible, anointing, prayer, the whole nine yards. I have anointed myself
and prayed before a shift. Prayer has an impact. I turn it over to God, and
then the approaching day is made easier, not more difficult,” said Linda, who
holds a full-time job in addition to serving as a CAREGiver. Read More...
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.” Read More...
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. Read More...
had gotten acquainted with Tracey and Creighton Gibson’s Home Instead Senior
Care franchise about eight years ago when she first participated in the franchise’s highly successful “Be a Santa to a Senior®” program. The
program reaches out to help provide gifts to seniors who have no family and are
isolated. Some of the seniors are struggling financially or have recently lost
a loved one. Read More...
Lori has loved her time as a CAREGiver for the past four years, but her
hours are limited to weekends during the school year. Lori works more hours
during the summer months when school is out, securing shifts that allow other
CAREGivers to take vacations. She’s in her 13th year as a
first-grade teacher for the Iredell-Statesville Schools, and she has taught in
the elementary grades for the past 22 years. Read more...
In some ways, it felt as
if the walls were crumbling around Tomecca Patterson. As a CNA, she had worked
in a hospital setting for 11 years. After she left her job because of burnout
two years ago, she was positioned to take care of her dying father, but he
would not allow it. In January 2018, Tomecca experienced a rejuvenation and
joined Home Instead Senior Care® of Iredell and Alexander Counties in Statesville. Read More...
The Home Instead Senior Care® principles are “Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share
Your Heart.” Lori, who frequently has been praised for her empathy,
patience, hard work, personal-care skills and high trust factor, said: “With
this type of work, you can be successful if you have a big heart. Clients
become like family, and I can’t help but get close to them.” Read more...
resident of Harmony, North Carolina, joined Home Instead Senior Care of Iredell and Alexander Counties in Statesville in
November 2016. She was honored as CAREGiver of the Month for September 2018.
While making the announcement, Lead CAREGiver
Julie Higgie said: “The CAREGiver of the Month committee, in selecting
Kimi, said she is one of those quiet, dependable people who gets the job done
without any muss or fuss.” Read more...
that when compassion and companionship intersect, Irma sees the power of a Home
Instead CAREGiver unleashed not only for a client but his or her family as
well. “We serve a relational God, not a God of isolation where loneliness
should be the norm nor expected for anyone,” said Irma, who was honored as the
franchise’s No. 1 CAREGiver for August 2018. Read more...
Shelia has never helped
someone for recognition, and her acts of kindness have been free-flowing
whether she is thanked or not. In fact, she was somewhat reluctant to grant a
story interview when Home Instead Senior Care of Iredell and Alexander Counties
honored her as CAREGiver of the Month for July 2018. She joined the
award-winning franchise that is owned by Tracey and Creighton Gibson in
November 2017. Read more...
Karen likes the daily
opportunity to practice the Home Instead Senior Care® principles of “Build Trust, Take
the Lead and Share Your Heart.” She noted: “You could say this is my second career, and I’d
say every day is a blessing. It is a chance to do good things. I enjoy being a
CAREGiver because I enjoy my clients, and it is rewarding and fulfilling. It’s
not like a job. The clients tell me they couldn’t manage without me, and that
means a lot. I’ve also met so many new people in the 14 months I’ve been a
CAREGiver.” Read more...
of the Month Tonya Beam was helping her client get dressed following a shower last
December. Filled with a deep appreciation for Tonya’s assistance, the
83-year-old widow spontaneously put her arms around Tonya and said, “Tonya, I
love you so much!” During the emotional moment, tears filled both women’s eyes.
Tonya recalled, “It made my heart so full.” Read more...
Gloria heard about Home Instead Senior Care of Statesville and
Mooresville from a friend of her daughter who had worked part time as a
CAREGiver. Early in her career, Gloria became a CNA and worked for a couple of
years at an assisted living community in her native state of Michigan. As a
family caregiver, Gloria and a sister helped their mother before she passed
away. Among other jobs, Gloria worked as a private-duty caregiver and for an
agency before taking a fulltime school district job in Statesville. She retired
from the school district in 2014, and Gloria wanted one last caregiver job that
offered part-time hours. Read more...
Asked what she likes
about Home Instead Senior Care, Arleen said, “I think they have good hours and
clients for me. I have three regular clients now, having lost a gentleman in
January. I really liked him – he was quiet, and so am I. We enjoyed the cops
shows. He was glad to have someone with him who liked the same thing. He and
his wife were nice, friendly people, very kind and accepting.” Read more...
Cathy is a night-time
CAREGiver at her own request because she is a daytime family caregiver for two
granddaughters. “I was taking care of grandchildren but needed
to get back to work, so I was looking for a night job that offered flexibility. I saw an ad for
Home Instead Senior Care, applied and Creighton Gibson gave me a chance. I am
grateful for that,” said Cathy, who previously had worked in finance her entire
life. Read more...
Tammy sought her Home Instead
Senior Care position on the word of a registered nurse friend who had joined
the Home Instead office staff. Tammy explained: “I was working as a
private-duty caregiver, and my client died. My friend was impressed with Home
Instead and told me, ‘You ought to go apply. It’s a good place.’ She was right.
I like my job.” Read more...
dementia client, a former high school principal, Lois takes on the persona of a
schoolteacher who assists her client late in the afternoon when he worries
about students who need transportation to return home. “He
thinks I am a schoolteacher who is helping him. I just go along with what he’s experiencing. I never tell
him I am not a teacher. I just imagine with him,” said Lois, who has been
assisting the client for the past two years. Read more...
has assisted her current regular client for the past seven years. “I am the
only regular CAREGiver he’s had,” said Darla, referring to the 93-year-old
widower. “His wife was a client first. She had Parkinson’s and dementia, and
she went to a nursing home. One day when I was looking in on her, she talked
for the first time in a long while and told me, ‘You must take me home right
now.’ I sensed that’s where she wanted to spend her final days, so I told her
daughters, and they made it happen. A week later, she passed away. My client
and I talk about his late wife quite often.” Read more...
asked if she had any words of wisdom for those who have lost adult parents,
Brenda sighed and said, “I really don’t have answers that generally cover
everybody’s situation because they are all different. What I can tell you is
am trying to keep busy as a Home Instead CAREGiver. I have always tried my
hardest to help my clients and take good care of them.” Read more...
work was an asset for Ruthann, but the Home Instead Senior Care staff uncovered
an even more important reason for Ruthann’s desire to help others. Her
background included a tragic family caregiving experience that began when
Ruthann was a teenager. “Dad died after a one-year battle with cancer. Mom and
I took care of Dad in our home the entire time, and he passed away when I was
16,” Ruthann recalled. Read more...
Julie never intended to
work in senior care. “I have a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Ohio
University and worked as a community life editor in Cleveland until the mid-1990s,
when I decided to switch careers. Because of what happened with my mom, I
wanted to earn a degree in social work with an eye to advising people about
senior care. So, I resigned from the newspaper and found a job as support staff
with a non-profit called Care Alliance. Read more...
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. Read more...
Nae Anna learned about
Tracey and Creighton Gibson’s award-winning franchise through a relative after
taking early retirement from her longtime job. “I like being a CAREGiver
because I like taking care of people. I have been able to match up with
compatible clients. Home Instead Senior Care is flexible because I cannot work
weekends and Wednesday nights because of church duties. That part is also
good.” Read more...
CAREGiver of the Month Cathy H. has been involved in a “rally” that
has lasted since December 2016. By now, it could be considered a rebound, and
Cathy deserves credit for the comeback, the 88-year-old dementia client’s
daughter contends. Following a hospitalization, the client spent two tumultuous
days in a hospice facility before her daughter brought her home. Read more...
Because Laura can put almost anyone at ease and help them with any need, she has been honored as CAREGiver of the Month for the award-winning Home Instead Senior Care® franchise of Iredell and Alexander Counties owned by Tracey and Creighton Gibson. The award came less than a year after Laura joined Home Instead Senior Care in May 2016. Read more...
Robbie epitomizes the Home Instead Senior Care principles of “Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart.” When asked about the qualities of a CAREGiver, Robbie explained: “If you have compassion, empathy and good listening skills, you will have a caring heart. If the heart is not there, you are in the wrong field. My reward is the joy I bring to the clients, and the joy they bring me. Read more...
There have been many memorable client moments for Debra, who joined Home Instead Senior Care on Aug. 17, 2012. Her current client, a 91-year-old widow, shares commonalities with Debra. Debra has overcome an illness, and her client is in the process of overcoming the same illness. The client’s daughter died of a similar illness. “We sometimes discuss the situation,” Debra said. Read more...
Tommacena, an Evangelist at the Mt. Moriah Holiness church in her hometown of Mooresville, is sad about the loss of life, but she feels she’s been placed in those situations to comfort others, including clients and their family members. “I have seen and experienced the good and the bad of life. Speaking from what I have been through and have read in Scripture, I know we need to go through trials to become better people,” Tommacena said. Read more...
Darlene, a member of the St. John Baptist Church in Statesville, also says a prayer each morning before a shift, when she asks for God’s assistance. “I want the Lord to help me keep my clients’ confidence and create the atmosphere for a good and peaceful feeling,” Darlene revealed. “My faith is important to me, but I never impose it on anyone. I never know about my clients’ belief systems or absence of them unless they bring it up.” Read more...
Shortly after Melanie joined Home Instead Senior Care of Iredell and Alexander Counties in Statesville in May 2015, she was called to assist a man who lost the use of an arm and partial use of a leg as a result of two strokes. Read more...
The fact that he is thriving in his own surroundings in an eastern North Carolina city with the one-on-one attention from a CAREGiver just like Barbara is a win-win for everyone involved. Barbara has been an integral part of many senior success stories during the past six years. “You don’t know how happy I am for the relative and the rest of the family,” Barbara said. Read more...
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. Read more...
Rita joined Home Instead in
November 2015, and she experienced the first death of a client May 30. “I had
spent only three weeks with her, but I cherished those times and the
opportunity to make her comfortable. She had a strong will and was trying to
hang on for her family. It was an honor and privilege to be with her and her
family just as it is with my other clients,” Rita said. Read more...
call had been made, and I just wanted her to hold on, but at the same time I
knew she wanted to go. It was as if she was saying, ‘This is it,’ ” Traci
explained. “She had been in and out of the hospital a lot from her facility and
just didn’t want to go back to the hospital. In her final days, she had told me
how tired she was. I am never ready for someone to die, no matter how many
times I have gone through it. There was a look of peace on her face, but it broke
my heart.” Read more...
continues to be a family caregiver, carrying the major load of helping an aunt
and her father. Sandra also helped another aunt before she died in July 2015.
Her introduction to senior care came years ago after she moved back to
Statesville from Chapel Hill to help a grandmother, who was left partially
paralyzed after undergoing spinal surgery to remove a tumor. Read more...
It was an unforgettable day at Home
Instead Senior Care® of
Iredell and Alexander Counties when CAREGiver of the Month Debbie
Lankford tracked down a client who appeared to have gone missing. Read more...
“At Home Instead Senior Care in the Statesville
office, I work for the most wonderful people. Even though there were
many things I needed to learn about home health care when I first started
in 2005, the office staff gave me training and support. Read more...
was CAREGiver of the Month John Lawrence’s single goal after he had worked day
in and day out with a 94-year-old client, a World War II veteran. John, who has
assisted seniors for more than three years with Home Instead Senior Care® of Iredell and Alexander Counties,
jogged memories from the client’s days with the U.S. Army in the European
theater during the struggle to subdue Adolph Hitler’s Germany. Read more...