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Our Team

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​​​​​​​​​Home Instead Senior Care Team​​

At Your Service 24/7 in Topeka, KS

The need for in-home senior care services doesn't always arise between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on a weekday. That's why our team stands ready to serve you any day of the week, at any hour of the day or night. You can always reach us by phone at (785) 272-6101 to get help setting up home care for a family member.

We have come together as a group of dedicated professionals to deliver a home care solution that meets your needs. We employ trained, screened and bonded CAREGiversSMto serve your family's senior loved one with compassion and devotion.
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Gail Shaheed, Franchise Owner

Gail Shaheed, Franchise Owner

For years I had been thinking about how I could work with seniors in my community.  I had worked for 9 years with youth in a mentoring organization and found that seniors made wonderful role models for the young people. My parents were in their mid-seventies and my grandmother was approaching 100 and it was a logical step in my path through life. I began my adventure with Home Instead Senior Care in 2007 with the investigation of the organization.  After much research into Home Instead Senior Care, my husband Peter and I found a company that was backed by a very progressive home office that was extremely supportive of each individual franchise.  As I have said in many conversations since then, I feel as if I have a staff of over 150 in Omaha that is continually feeding us updated information and research relating to the seniors in our community.  

Since taking over the Shawnee and Douglas county office in 2008 we have found a wealth of enjoyment in the clients and CAREGivers we have encountered.  Each day brings new joy and happiness in helping those that we serve.


Member, COA (Council on Aging)

Topeka Area Continuity of Care (TACC)

Member 2009 to present

Secretary 2009-2010
Vice President 2012 to 2015

Lawrence Area Partners in Aging (LAPA)

Member 2008-Present
2011-2013 – Vice President
2013 to 2015 - President

American Heart Association

Go Red For Women Purse Committee 2010-2012

Auction Committee 2016-2017​


Peter Shaheed, Franchise Owner

Peter Shaheed, Franchise Owner

I joined Home Instead Senior Care full time in 2013. Before joining the company I was a Senior Engineer with a major aerospace company for approximately 30 years.  Although I enjoyed my career as an engineer, I was eager to join Gail, my wife, in providing care for our clients.  Since joining the company full time in 2013 , I have spent most of my time assisting our clients and terrific office staff by developing or implementing new programs to better serve our clients, CAREGivers and office staff.  One of my major areas of focus has been in the area of Safety and Health.  I have been working on ways to ensure that our CAREGivers and office staff are always making safety the number one priority for our clients and for the CAREGivers.  Also, as the need arises, I provide technical assistance to our CAREGivers and office staff. 


Barbara VanCortlandt, Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator

Barbara VanCortlandt, Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator

​I am a Kansas native who loves living in Lawrence. My 85 years-young mother lives nearby, and I have five amazing grown children and two adorable grandchildren. Decades ago, I enjoyed working as a CNA in multiple settings while attending Newman University in Wichita. In 1986, I took my Sociology degree to a challenging and rewarding career as a Health Educator with the State of Kansas. In 2003, my father became disabled, so we remodeled our home to accommodate him and welcomed him into our household for his final six years. During this time I stayed close to home, and worked as Safety Manager at the local school bus company, hiring, training, and coaching employees. In 2007, I also worked as a caregiver for Home Instead Senior Care! Ultimately, I was drawn back to the state for 10 more years as a Cancer Program Health Educator and Manager. As I looked toward my [early] retirement years, I wanted to continue the most meaningful parts of my career. This included providing education and training, supporting employees to succeed in their careers, and focusing on quality of life issues both for clients and caregivers. So two weeks after I retired from the State in May 2018, I embarked upon my retirement career with Home Instead Senior Care! 


Sharon Petrone, Home Care Consultant

Sharon Petrone, Home Care Consultant

​After spending 30 years in Continuing Care Retirement Communities I joined Home Instead Senior Care as a Home Care Consultant. This decision allows me to continue my goal of helping elders remain independent.  So often in the past people have needed to move from their homes to facilities in order to access needed services when, with a little assistance, they could have stayed in their own home.  I have found, like our company's founders, that provision of non-medical in-home services can make all the difference to those we serve. I am pleased to play a supporting role for the caregivers who provide our services.​


Phyllis Walker, Home Care Consultant

Phyllis Walker, Home Care Consultant

​I started working for Home Instead Senior Care in January of 2013, and continue to work with some of the same clients since the day I started! In February of 2015 I became the Community Service Representative for Home Instead Senior Care. In this position, I visit businesses within the community, introduce myself as a representative from Home Instead Senior Care, and explain our services and how the company can assist seniors who are in need of help around their home or in retirement/nursing facilities.


Chris Simone, Home Care Consultant

Chris Simone, Home Care Consultant

​I joined Home Instead Senior Care in 2017 as a Home Care Consultant.  I am a Registered Nurse in the State of Kansas with a long history of working with clients in their homes and in retirement communities.  There is no greater satisfaction than to put a smile on the face of an individual who needs a little extra care, nor is there a greater satisfaction than to ease the worry of a family member.  There's an old saying, "A client doesn't care how much you know, until they know how much you care."  I am proud to work for Home Instead Senior Care where the staff and caregivers "care so much."   


Kinya Vaughn, Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator

Kinya Vaughn, Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator

I was born and raised in Topeka. I left at a young age to spread my wings and have lived in several states. Having worked in the corporate world, I have garnered some amazing experiences, education and skills that I now bring back to my home town. In 2017 my last visit to family turned into a decision to walk away from my career and life and come care for my mother.  I initially joined Home Instead Senior Care as a CAREGiver for I needed a flexible schedule to accommodate the additional responsibilities and demands I was encountering. I fell in love working with seniors...it's amazing to hear their stories! They are walking history books in so many ways. The job isn't just a job, it's an experience that is humbling and fulfilling in so many ways. Should I be lucky, I too will be a senior one day and may need assistance myself. This company truly has exhibited that they understand what comes with caring for an elder-the demands and unplanned events that happen. They put their words "To Us, It's Personal" into practice when they say they will work with your life. I am honored to move up in the company and look forward to my new role as a recruiter with this company. 


Meta Kennedy, Service Coordinator / Scheduler

Meta Kennedy, Service Coordinator / Scheduler
My life has centered around health care and care giving.
At the time my parents reached their elder years, there were no options comparable to Home Instead Senior Care. Instead, my sister and I shared the role of care givers so my parents could remain in their comfortable loved home.
Now I can offer assistance to others, ensuring a safe, reliable and personal option. I joined Home Instead Senior Care after relocating from Minnesota to live closer to my only grandchild. My life and my heart are full.
I appreciate the opportunity to assist you!

Monica Shaheed, On Call

Monica Shaheed, On Call

I started working part time at Home Instead Senior Care in 2015 as the Logistics Coordinator, helping internally with inventory, technical issues, and graphic design. Then, I began working full time at the front desk. I made sure our clients' records are up to date and helped out around the office and answered the phones during business hours. With the help of everyone at the office, I helped launched the Family Room feature, as well! Now, I do on call, answering the phones after hours. More often than not, I will be the voice you hear after hours. Please feel free to call the office at (785) 272-6101 at any time if you have any questions!


Karen Blount, CAREGiver Administrative Assistant

Karen Blount, CAREGiver Administrative Assistant

I started working for Home Instead Senior Care on March 27, 2013 as a part time caregiver.  I had another part time job working with the mentally and physically handicapped.  Before that I took care of my mother in the last few years of her life.  I found this was a time of really getting to know her as a person more than my mother.   After her death I felt a desire to care for the elderly who, like my mother, were often misunderstood and lonely, not having their needs met. 

Once I got my feet wet at Home Instead Senior Care, I soon came to love the clients I worked with.  Just by showing respect to them and their homes, taking time to talk with and listen to them tell what life was like for them and what their favorite foods were that love was returned to me.  It was fun to make a food they liked the way they used to make it and watch the surprise and smiles come.

It wasn't always easy to earn the trust of a client but I soon found that by giving them their privacy at the right time and consistently doing the required work for them with a smile I eventually won them over. 

September of 2014 the office offered a new experimental position as an On-Call CAREGiver, and I decided to give it a try. I thank the owners and my manager for putting their trust in me to do a job well done.  In 2015, I worked my way into a full time position as CAREGiver Administrator Assistant in the main office. Each of my positions have given me great joy as I have learned I can be an effective help to the clients, CAREGivers and each of the Office Staff.  The thing that gives me the greatest satisfaction is providing intregral service to assist in the smooth functioning of the office.


Maren Christensen, Logistics Coordinator

Maren Christensen, Logistics Coordinator

I am a recent college graduate working in the office before starting my career. With the recent passing of three grandparents, I've seen the benefits of having my grandparents stay in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes for as long as possible and of having someone come in to help with their care as needed. I'm glad to help other people gain these benefits.


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