In 1996, Jeanne McCusker and her
family had a life-altering experience. Six months after moving to the Charlottesville area, Jeanne’s Mom was diagnosed
with Lou Gehrig’s Disease at the age of 51.
The next four years the family rallied around caring for her Mom at home and
making sure she had the quality of life that we all would want for our loved
ones. Initially the process started with being support for her Mom as her
physical capabilities started to change.
First, her Mom lost her ability to speak which was ironic since her Mom was a
speech pathologist and audiologist. The challenge of the disease continued and
slowly she started losing other abilities; typing on her communication device,
feeding herself through her feeding tube and eventually she started falling.
“After a few scary trips to
the hospital we knew things had to change. The worst was when we found my mom
laying on the driveway with her head split open, it was dark, 40 degrees and my
Mom couldn’t get up. She had to get staples in the cut on her head. The next
day we made a change.”As
Jeanne often tells the families she works with, it is best to try to avoid
crisis whenever possible but if it does happen it is time to swiftly make a
change. She hired a caregiver immediately to help with her Mom.
The next year or so her family had this wonderful person in the house during the
day helping the family and making sure her Mom was safe. As the disease came to
the end stages they had to split the shifts: her Dad took the overnight shift, the
private caregiver helped during the day, her sister in the evenings, and Jeanne
did the weekends since she traveled for work all week. But without their steady and competent caregiver, the family alone would be overwhelmed to provide the excellent care that her mother needed and deserved.
This whole life-changing journey inspired Jeanne as she considered the invaluable service that caregivers contribute to our society. It became her personal mission to provide our community with the most qualified and reliable caregivers available. In 2003, Jeanne opened the doors of Home Instead Senior Care of Charlottesville which has served individuals and families for over 15 years.
Carolyn joined Home Instead Senior Care as a Staff Coordinator on March 15, 2010. In March 2013 she was promoted to Operations Manager. As Operations Manager she is responsible for scheduling CAREGivers that are appropriate to meet the needs of the clients. Carolyn finds having direct frontline contact with clients and CAREGivers a new and interesting experience. “My employment history primarily has been in the back office, in financial or administrative roles. As such, I’ve managed frontline employees, so it’s an interesting experience being the frontline. The most rewarding part of the job is when the match between client and CAREGiver proves equally beneficial. Knowing that both client and CAREGiver are happy with the match creates a win-win situation for everyone.” Carolyn is a lifelong resident of Central Virginia, and enjoys landscape painting, classic movies, reading, science, and learning new things. A self-proclaimed “education junkie” and nontraditional college student, Carolyn received a Master of Business Administration in May 2010.
Inspired by his mother, a 'caregiver' who was always helping friends and family, Greg went on to own a Homecare Agency in Minneapolis for 6 years. Now he is continuing his career in homecare for the aging population here in Charlottesville while being close by to his own aging parents. Greg enjoys camping, biking and exercising, and is a collector of fine art.
Janey came to HISC in Charlottesville in June of 2019 as our Recruitment and Retention Manager. She had previous experience working with Home Instead in another state, and brought with her the strong values and principals of the Home Instead network family. She grew up and lived in Northeast TN for the majority of her life, and has personal family experience with Alzheimer's, caregiving, and Hospice care. Janey and her husband now reside in the Louisa area of VA. She enjoys camping, walking on the beach, and playing with her grandchildren. Please feel free to contact Janey at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
After over 10 years of experience in healthcare, Demetrice "Dee" joined Home Instead Senior Care in November of 2017. Before working as aa Staffing Coordinator, Dee was our Administrative Assistant at the front desk, greeting everyone who came into the office. Her winning personality, tremendous work ethic and unquestionable integrity afforded her the opportunity to move into her new role. As Staffing Coordinator, Dee matches qualified CAREGivers with Clients and schedules shift assignments. There she is able to express her passion for promoting the highest quality of service to those under our care. In her free time she creates amazing wedding cakes and acts as a special events coordinator. She also enjoys spending time with her family.
Lakecia "Kecia" Hembry joined Home Instead Senior Care in April 2018. The most rewarding part of scheduling for Kecia has been "providing the perfect match for both our client and our CAREgiver. Nothing is more satisfying than hearing that our clients are happy and well taken cared for." Kecia comes to Home Instead with a Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration and a variety of experience in operations management. She is from Louisa, Virginia, and currently resides in Waynesboro, Virginia with her fiancee and their two children. In her spare time Kecia likes to spend time with family, travel with friends, read, and cook.
Dianne joined Home Instead Senior Care in November 2008 to develop and implement the personal care training program. Her responsibilities include training and staff development, continuous quality improvement and being a participating member of a team that’s committed to superior client care. CAREGivers newly hired are enthusiastic learners and her job is to try and sustain that enthusiasm during their employment with Home Instead Senior Care which ideally translates into a competent and more knowledgeable CAREGiver. Dianne has been married for 50 years to the same guy, has 5 children and 7 grandchildren. She loves travel, reading, going to the movies and entertaining the many friends and family who visit her and her husband in Charlottesville.
Anne joined Home Instead Senior Care in May 2015 after more than a decade working with hospice patients and their families. Anne is responsible for admitting new clients, developing individualized care plans, and monitoring clients for new or changing needs. Anne earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1999, and a Master of Acupuncture in 2008. Anne is inspired by the wisdom, humor and history seniors have to share and believes providing care in a client’s home creates a special kind of trust and connection. Anne loves backpacking and camping and considers herself a “hobby farmer” with a small flock of chickens, adopted pit bull named Lucy, and plans for a goat or two. Two of her favorite pastimes are brewing beer and organizing events for a ladies-only, craft beer enthusiast group.
Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Susan moved to Charlottesville in December 2014. Having managed care for both of her parents and several senior friends, Susan was drawn to the dynamic and burgeoning world of Senior Care. Susan's entrepreneurial, corporate and academic pursuits have always been fueled by a passion for and commitment to the dignity, worth and self-determination of people navigating the challenges of change. Susan joined Home Instead as a caregiver in February 2016 and stepped into her current role as Client Care Coordinator in August. As a Client Care Coordinator, Susan is able to help seniors, their families and caregivers negotiate the many challenges AND joys of aging and living well at home. Susan's ultimate passions are animals and the natural world. She also enjoys the arts, particularly music and film, reading, philosophy, and the human spirit.
Kim has three grown children, has a lifelong passion for health and wellness and enjoys kayaking, long walks and traveling.
Kim enjoys the simplicity of meeting and connecting with one person at a time. Everyone's story is unique, personal and precious. Here at Home Instead Senior Care She strives to help clients and their families find the care and resources they need. One of her favorite quotes is by the Dalai Lama, "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible:"
Melissa received her Bachelors Degree in English, with minors in both Spanish and Women & Gender Studies, from Middle Tennessee State University. As Recruiting Specialist, Melissa is responsible for recruiting, screening, hiring and onboarding our CAREGiving work force that provides the highest quality service to our clients. She enjoys building confidence in our CAREGIvers that ensures a good fit from the beginning for a long-term relationship with Home Instead Senior Care. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys reading novels, drawing, painting and sketching using the mediums of ink, acrylics, and pencils.
Susie graduated from Longwood College with a BS in Early Elementary Education. She taught first, second, and third graders for 33 years before hanging up the "teacher's hat". As her parents aged, she understood first-hand the challenges and blessings of being a caregiver. Since she's always had a passion for visiting elderly friends in her community and listening to their stories and wisdom, it seemed natural to transition into caregiving for the seniors among us at Home Instead Senior Care. After being a caregiver and a trainer, Susie moved into the Retention Specialist position, offering support and encouragement to all of our CAREGivers. Susie has lived in Louisa County for over 33 years. She married a local farmer 30 years ago. Her son and daughter live close by and help on the farm. She stays plenty busy tending a large garden, maintaining a large yard, caring for horses, chickens, cats, and dogs, canning/freezing garden produce, and playing with flowers around the yard.
Paul started with the Home Instead in February of 2016 as a CAREGiver. He finds that working with people with special needs is so rewarding and such a joy. Now, as the CAREGiver Ambassador, he gets the best of both worlds. He gets to see all of the wonderful clients, meet, and get to know the CAREGivers, who are the back bone of the company. In Paul's spare time, he likes to listen to classical music, sit in front of a roaring fire surrounded by lots of dogs, and garden.
Kitty lives in Charlottesville, but is originally from Albemarle County. She has been with Home Instead of Charlottesville for 15 years now. As a CAREGiver Ambassador, she especially enjoys meeting all the different clients we serve. Kitty has two growns sons, and enjoys her three grandchildren. In her spare time she likes working on word search puzzles, researching family history, and especially spending mornings in the park.
Dorothy became a member of our training team in July, 2014. She previously worked as a part time CAREgiver for several years while also teaching young children with special needs in Louisa County. After retiring from her first career, she was excited to use her teaching skills to help train CAREgivers with Home Instead Senior Care. Dorothy was the primary caregiver for her brother who has early on-set Alzheimer's and feels very passionately about helping to maintain a high quality of service to those under our care. She lives in Fluvanna County with her partner, a goofy basset hound and a number of very loving cats.
Pamela Jenkins came to us after decades of administrative and office management experience. She is the smiling voice you hear greeting you from the front office, and behind-the-scenes, Pam is our administrative extraordinaire. She is originally from SW Virginia, but Charlottesville has been her home now for nearly 20 years. Pam has two grown children, two grandsons, and a fur baby chihuahua named Delilah. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, crocheting, camping, and site-seeing and going to the beach with her husband of 29 years.
After working for Home Instead for nearly ten years now, Carolyn has many experiences to share where she has gone above and beyond for her clients. One year when we had a 3-day snowstorm, Carolyn was packed and prepared to stay with her client if need be. Because she was prepared, she was able to stay with a client throughout the duration of the snowstorm, and, in a total blackout! Carolyn's only concern and focus was that she could be there with her client in the blackout so that she would not be alone.
Carolyn lives and works by Home Instead Senior Care's core values, and always says, "you've got to put your heart into this!" It's about leading with heart (and not the intellect), teaching by example, and being enlightened by the teaching experience that you have received from divine guidance. I take things to heart, I put myself in the position of my clients, and I make a spiritual and emotional connection. When I share this experience with my fellow CAREGivers, it helps them to open up, to be comfortable with their authentic selves and the gifts they have to offer, and thereby be prepared to offer help to others.
Marie came to work at Home Instead because she heard it was a good company to work for. Before that she had experience caring for her grandmother with dementia and her handicapped uncle. Marie feels that caregiving is a blessing. Just to know that she is doing something to help a client to stay in their home means a lot to her, and her clients are deeply appreciative of her. Her cheerful attitude is contagious. Marie enjoys reading and sewing in her free time.
After graduating from Penn State with an RN degree, Lindsay worked at variety of nursing positions at UVA, and she's been in Charlottesville ever since. Being a nurse, caregiving just seemed natural for her and so she joined Home Instead in 2017. She feels some of her gifts are helping others, anticipating their needs, and building relationships. She used to love horseback riding, and now she spends part of her free time traveling weekly to her family home in West Virginia to help care for her 95-year-old parents. Lindsay’s clients think she is wonderful and that they are lucky to have her.
Darcella has been with Home Instead since 2006. She is very reliable, dedicated, and trusted by clients, fellow caregivers, and the office. She has been one of the most consistent caregivers we have had. She has such a warm, caring demeanor. She also has a calming effect. Whenever you are in her presence, she puts you at ease. We know she does that with her clients as well!
Nicole works many hours in her caregiving role. She is very conscientious about calling the office with concerns about her clients. She believes in a holistic approach to giving care to others. Her clients say she is amazing. Nicole takes learning seriously! She signs up for classes on a regular basis and freely shares her wisdom and experiences with others in the class. She has been with us for a little over a year. She is a CNA and a published poet. She enjoys new experiences and is very task-oriented. Congratulations, Nicole!