Award-winning CAREGiver Kim Ramsey's primary sources for inspiration are God, her grandmother and her clients.
The CAREGiver of the Month for the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise that serves Houston, Bellaire, Missouri City and Sugar Land describes how her Christianity is interwoven with her job: "I draw on my faith to take care of people. One of my beliefs is that God is watching me, so I certainly want to do my best all the time. If I do my best for God, I know He will take care of the rest, the things that are out of my control."
She learned about compassionate senior care 25 years ago from her grandmother when she helped take care of a great aunt who had suffered an aneurysm and needed all aspects of care for her final three years. "A nurse showed us how to take care of her, and I will never forget her help or her name, Celeste. After we learned, we took over the care," Kim said.
Kim now is part of a four-member family caregiving team that assists her 77-year-old grandmother, who is in a wheelchair as the result of three strokes. "She is still independent and remains very positive for the most part," Kim said. "She is really active in her church - she used to be there three times a week but it's down to one because of her condition."
Among Kim's three regular clients is a 92-year-old widow whose stroke has rendered her left side useless.
"She could be a senior advocate because she is awesome and really has taken her condition in stride. She smiles, chats, jokes and has good stories," said Kim, who is part of a four-CAREGiver team that helps provide 24/7 coverage for the wheelchair-bound client. "I love her smile. She could teach people how to smile.
"She lives life to the fullest and wants to make sure she is looking the best, so the four of us CAREGivers help with makeup and nails, and she has her hair done. She is gorgeous."
Kim also admires her client's daughter because of her tenacious vigilance in watching over her mother's care. "I really like her," Kim said, "because she is so concerned and wants the best for her mother. She is really bubbly, and you can see that she is her mother's daughter."
Her client's smile isn't the only source of brightness when she and Kim are together on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and sometimes Sundays.
"When Kim walks through the door on a rainy day, she brings in the sunshine," said Destiny Wesley, the staff coordinator for owner Greg Gomez-Mira's franchise in south-central Houston.
"What can I say about Kim? She has a very bubbly personality. And Kim has a laugh that is contagious. It brightens her clients' day. Kim has been with our franchise for a little over a year, and we have received rave reviews on her. She is proactive and a go-getter," Destiny added.
"Kim is very willing to learn, and she listens well. She works for a woman whose daughter said that when it is something that Kim may not be familiar doing, she is willing to listen and learn. In this business, that will take you a long way."
One of Kim's first clients, whose condition had improved so that she didn't need a CAREGiver, asked for Kim three months later.
"She has an immune-suppressed condition, and she came down with chickenpox for the first time at age 64," Kim explained. "She also comes with a bonus for me - she has a dog, Chloe, a boxer mix, who is her baby. I love pets, I love Chloe and I end up being a caregiver for Chloe, too."
Kim, who has been a Certified Medical Assistant since 2010, would like to continue her medical education in June in a quest to become a registered nurse. "I love Home Instead," she said, "and I think the staff is awesome. I want to try to fix my school schedule so that it will fit around my Home Instead hours."
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 Care, please call
713-774-2215 or email Recruitment and Retention Coordinator
Stacy McClennon. Home Instead also accepts
online CAREGiver applications.
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.
Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.