There was hardly any time
for Shirley Jones to catch her breath from the sorrow and exhaustion she had
endured in 2005. During the year when Shirley’s husband had died following 18
months of chemotherapy, she moved from Lubbock to Houston with two school-aged
children in tow. Her mother, living alone, needed Shirley as a family
Recalling the hectic
time, Shirley said, “I have a strong faith in God. He helped me through
it.” Shirley had been married for 26
years before cancer claimed her husband at age 53. Their oldest son remained in
Lubbock, while their daughter and another son moved with Shirley. Sadly,
Shirley’s 75-year-old mother died in 2012, pushing Shirley into yet another
transitional season of life. Eight years earlier, she had retired from a
30-year career as a medical laboratory technician to take care of her husband.
After her mother’s
death, Shirley worked for about two months as a CAREGiver for Home
Instead Senior Care® of
Galveston, Texas, about 50 miles southeast of Houston on the Gulf of Mexico.
But the Houston native packed up again and moved back to Lubbock in 2013 to be
closer to her oldest son and his family, which includes two grandchildren. In
Lubbock, Shirley found work as the house manager at a group home for three years.
Then, in August 2016,
Shirley joined the award-winning Home Instead Senior Care franchise owned by
Tracy and Terry Baugh. Shirley, drawing from her family caregiver experiences,
was an immediate success and was honored in January 2019 as CAREGiver of the
and Engagement Coordinator Juanita
Camacho said: “Shirley has been amazing from day one. She is
another of our unsung heroes.”
Juanita added: “Shirley
is a compassionate CAREGiver who has a joyful heart, and it shows when she is
with our clients. She is always ready to go above and beyond to help
anyone in his or her time of need. Shirley does not shy away from a
challenge, and she believes all obstacles can be overcome. Shirley
communicates well with clients, their families, her co-workers and our Home
Instead Senior Care staff. Through hard work and dedication, Shirley gives our
clients and their families peace of mind.”
Even in the most
stressful situations, Shirley’s steady character and unflappable composure have
won the day.
In one situation, she
gently persuaded an 87-year-old client to get into her car so Shirley could
drive her to a medical appointment as the client’s 92-year-old husband tagged
along. However, when they arrived, the client refused to get out. The persuasion
that Shirley had used earlier wasn’t working initially, and the client’s
wheelchair-bound husband’s voice got louder and louder. “He’s a good guy, but
he was frustrated. His insistence didn’t help his wife. Once I got him calmed
down and moved to the doorway, I was able to quietly coax her out of the car.
She was fine when I got her inside, but she was mad at her husband,” Shirley
Shirley praised the
client’s husband for his consistently compassionate help for his wife. “He was
in a wheelchair, but he could do a lot of things for her, including dressing
her. He was a very sharp guy. Dementia produces such unpredictable behavior,
and you have to ‘roll with the punches,’ so to speak. The husband did that
quite well, I thought. That’s exactly one of the many reasons why we CAREGivers
are in those situations, sometimes to provide respite,” Shirley said.
“I was with them for
about a year overall, and I remember sitting at the dining room table with them
after having prepared lunch. Just out of the blue, she turned at me and said,
‘Who are you?’ I said, ‘I’m your Shirley; I am your friend.’ . . . Eventually, they moved to a care community. I
miss the clients when they are gone.”
Shirley now is helping
a client four times a week with seven-hour shifts while her husband works.
“Mobility is one of the challenges: She uses a walker and wheelchair. She gets
out for medical appointments and sometimes goes out to eat. In addition to her
husband, she has a good family support system,” Shirley said.
While Shirley serves as
part of a client’s support system, she praised her Home Instead Senior Care
staff for coming to her aid just like family. “I battled cancer last year, and
Home Instead was very supportive. They encouraged me and sent cards and
letters,” Shirley said.
“My schedule is good,
and the schedulers are flexible. I like to see my son when he is serving as a
musician because he plays in a wonderful group. With my two grandsons in
Lubbock, there’s hardly any babysitting, but I pick them up from school and
occasionally take them to movies. With Home Instead, I am very happy, and I am
planning to stay with them. The staff is fantastic and nice.”
Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured.
For inquiries about CAREGiver employment, please apply online call (806) 281-4663.
For further information visit Home Instead Senior Care , or to learn more about the company's services
link to a digital brochure at www.hisc510.digbro.com.
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Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.