Becky Efird takes a spiritual view of all that she does, including her job as a CAREGiver for Home Instead Senior Care of Anchorage.
"Our company is based on Christian values, and that is important to me. I think seniors are here to teach us a lesson in compassion, and that is how to take care of one another. It's just a blessing to be a part of seniors' lives. Every client has a story. I am amazed by them all," said Becky, who was honored as CAREGiver of the Month for August 2016.
"When you are involved with people, you feel like family. Sometimes it doesn't seem possible that a three-hour shift will cover everything you want to do. That is the hard part of the job."
Becky was tipped off to Home Instead Senior Care by a friend who had spotted a franchise sign in Eagle River, where Becky formerly lived. "My friend researched Home Instead Senior Care as a job possibility for her college-age daughter and recommended it to me. I am glad I took her advice," said Becky, who joined owner Stacee Frost Kleinsmith's franchise July 22, 2015.
Becky had not previously worked in professional senior care. She was looking for an office position because she had worked in those settings, including a job as an elementary school administrative assistant. She also has been a family caregiver for her mother, children and grandchildren.
"I lived with my mother for 12 years while I was also working full time," said Becky, whose mom passed away in 2008 at age 82. "Mom struggled with her health and Dad had never really been sick, but then he shockingly died first. It is a sign that our time on Earth is unpredictable and short. It is up to God when we leave.
Front Office Manager Rose Marie Holliday said Becky is an amazing CAREGiver who connects with her clients and their families. "They are very pleased with the care she provides. Becky truly has the heart of a CAREGiver and is always punctual to all her shifts. She is sweet and very soft-spoken. We are so blessed to have her representing Home Instead Senior Care, and she is well-deserving of her award."
Office staff member Debby Perkins witnessed Becky's special gifts. "I instantly recognized how valuable Becky was going to be to her clients and the franchise. I was impressed with the kindness she displayed in meeting a new client for the first time. It was like she had known that individual forever."
Staff Coordinator Vaosa Tuiolemotu praised Becky as "an extraordinary CAREGiver who is dependable and reliable." No matter where Becky is assigned, Vaosa said, she forms healthy and happy relationships with her clients to the point that clients specifically ask for her. "She is a delight with whom to work, she never complains and she always accepts challenges with a smile," Vaosa said.
When Becky started with Home Instead Senior Care, she did not know how long she would remain. "I was honest and told Stacee about my initial reservations. She was great. Stacee said she would help me find another job if this one wasn't for me. She said it was important for me to be where I needed to be. Well, I am still here, and I think the job is marvelous. I am so impressed with the office staff," Becky said.
"The office is respectful of my limitations on hours. The training was helpful and excellent. Ana Kellerman-Douglas is an excellent trainer and a nurse. She is so full of knowledge and has so many stories that bring the training to life. Training is clear and comfortable, and she puts a spark into classes."
Part of the reason Becky enjoys her job is that she's received terrific matches with clients. "God was working things out when I was matched with a 93-year-old church-going client, and I've been with her since April," Becky said. "When we first met, she said, 'I found a Christian!' She is originally from Fairbanks and was a missionary for 42 years. She wants me to take her to church, and it is a church where I want to attend: First Baptist Church in Anchorage, although I am not yet a member there. We go to the same Bible studies."
Another of Becky's clients is in her 90s, is blind, discerning, practical and full of faith. The client, understandably, has established parameters for care. After light housekeeping, everything needs to return to its place because of her blindness. When Becky prepares meals, she tells her client what is in the refrigerator.
"I definitely learn from her, and she is always grateful for having a CAREGiver, friends and family members, and for all they do for her. It is humbling and a blessing for all of us to assist her. She told me she trusts me because she knows I am a Christian. She has me read to her from the Bible and pray with her. That is a joy for both of us," Becky said.
Asked about a favorite Bible passage, Becky pointed out that one, Galatians 5:22-23, has a direct application to her job and describes how she feels when she serves others. "The fruit of the Holy Spirit sums up nine attributes of a fulfilling Christian life, according to Paul: 'But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.' "
Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers, who are screened, trained, bonded and insured, provide a variety of in-home services to help keep seniors independent. For inquiries about employment with Home Instead Senior Care, please call 907-277-4663 or email recruiting and retention coordinator Christa McStay at email@example.com. For further information about the company, visit http://www.homeinstead.com/637 or to learn more about the company's services link to a digital brochure at http://www.hisc637.digbro.com.
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.