Linda Tiberke, recently honored for the second time in less than two years as CAREGiver of the Month for the award-winning Home Instead Senior Care® franchise in Lubbock, has never been more certain about her place in life.
"I just feel this is the most rewarding job I've had. It makes me a better person. I want to keep going because I feel I am where God wants me. By working for Home Instead Senior Care, I am receiving my blessing," said Linda, who was first selected as CAREGiver of the Month in May 2015. She joined the franchise owned by Tracy and Terry Baugh in August 2013.
Linda said her focus on Home Instead Senior Care's training, processes and procedures of successful caregiving have helped her. "It is rewarding in other ways that are bigger than most people understand. The Home Instead Senior Care staff and CAREGivers are like family. I have had other jobs, but I have never worked for such a loving, caring company. They are on top of everything. When I first applied at Home Instead Senior Care, I was so nervous because of my spoken English. I thought, 'How will my interaction go with the clients?' "
Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Juanita Camacho never saw a communication barrier for the native of the Republic of Palau, a western Pacific Ocean island country about 1,000 miles southeast of Manila in The Philippines.
"Linda has a passion for caring for others. When she came to Home Instead, we knew immediately Linda was going to be a wonderful CAREGiver. She came to the right place," Juanita said. "Linda is kind, caring and compassionate, and she's always dependable. When Linda goes to our clients' homes, she makes sure that her mind-set and attitude are in the right place. Linda wants the client to know she is there to help make their day a better day."
Linda thinks of the Bible's Golden Rule when she assists Home Instead clients. "I do for the clients how I would want someone to treat me. When I accomplish everything I do that day with the client, I feel like a new person when I leave. I feel so good," Linda said.
"If a challenge comes up, I pray to God and ask Him to help the client understand I am there for his or her good. I go to church and pray for clients and others. By praying, it makes things easier for me. I ask God to partner with me to help the client. Then I meet the client where they are, physically and emotionally. I never raise my voice. I never raised my voice with my mom, and I would never do it with my clients."
Linda, who has a positive and upbeat personality, becomes introspective and melancholy when she is asked about her late mother, who died last November. Linda and many other family members had celebrated her mother's 86th birthday five months earlier in Guam.
"My dad passed away when I was young. Mom helped form my character. I am proud of the way she shaped my life. I really loved my mom. When a person is young, the advice and counsel from parents can sometimes go in one ear and out the other. I wanted to learn from my mother," Linda said. "When your parents talk, you need to listen so you can learn about life. She was my inspiration. She really wanted me to take care of aging people. She did the same thing.
"Her funeral was a celebration of her life and faith. Thinking of faith, Mom taught me how to pray. She also taught me to accept things as they come, such as the challenges and hurdles that were out of my control. She also taught me how to put my faith into action. I helped my mother take care of my grandmother, and I learned a lot from that experience. With Home Instead Senior Care, I am getting that same kind of blessing."
Nearly three months after Linda's mother passed away, Linda lost a longtime client, who died at age 90 in her home, where she had hoped to remain until life's end.
"I had her as a client from the beginning, and we were very close. When I would go back to Palau for three weeks, she would worry. She was an amazing lady. She was like a mom to me. She was a strong woman whose body wore out, and she went quickly. Toward the end, I served her only three hours a day, and I could have switched to another client where I would have picked up more hours, but I wanted to keep the relationship going because it was special. The last time I saw her, she told me, 'I don't know what's going on with me.' I told her, 'God is up there watching over you. Everything will be all right. God is taking care of everything.' With these two deaths, I have been through a lot since November. But God never gives you something you cannot do."
As Linda pushes ahead, she's eager to see her youngest son graduate from Coronado High School in late May. "He is very good with computers. He wants to join his brother at South Plains. They grow up too fast," Linda said. "On the work end of things, I am back to building relationships with relatively new clients. I observe them and learn how to deal with them and their challenges. As I form relationships, I gain their trust and also with the clients' families."
Home Instead CAREGivers, who are screened, trained, bonded and insured,
provide a variety of non-medical services to help keep seniors
independent. For inquiries about employment with Home Instead Senior
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Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.