CAREGiver of the Month - Joseph


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Joseph Doesn’t Mind Formal Approach with Client


Award-winning CAREGiver Joseph McMahon was looking sharp in a blazer and tie when he hustled from a previous commitment to the assisted living facility to begin a shift with his client. It was a day when he turned the tide to win over the man “in his late 80s or early 90s.”

Joseph’s unusual apparel stunningly earned favor with the former politician who previously had called Home Instead Senior Care® of Anchorage and complained about the solid Home Instead purple shirts that CAREGivers are required to wear. “The Home Instead shirt was bothering him, especially when I’d take him to the dining hall,” Joseph said. “I think it was embarrassing to him, perhaps because he thought the shirt was a bold signal to others that he needed help. He was much more comfortable with me wearing the blazer and tie, maybe because it gave me a formal look.”

Joseph later made a call to the Home Instead Senior Care office and asked if he could ditch the Home Instead purple polo shirt for this client. Wearing a blazer and tie was just fine with the 18-year-old high school honors graduate who entered the University of Alaska Anchorage this fall as a freshman. Joseph has always been able to accommodate people whenever he can.

Check out these comments that Front Office Manager Rose Marie Holliday provided for Joseph, compiled from a number of different sources, including job references:

  • “Joseph is a loving person, very sharp, personable, has a big heart. Joseph is good with people, very caring and motivated.”
  • “Joseph is a strong youth leader who was active with providing mentorships at his Family Partnership Charter School and helped lead youth groups at two churches, among his many other activities. He cares about people. He has amazing office skills, too.”
  • “When he was 16 years old, Joseph went by himself on a three-month humanitarian trip to Bolivia, the third-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. He worked at two camps and helped rebuild one that had incurred tornado damage.”
  • “Joseph is a very intelligent young man who graduated second in his high school class. He is a hard worker. His priorities are to do well and earn scholarships for his education. He will be a great CAREGiver. I would absolutely allow Joseph to care for my loved one.”

Rose Marie concluded: “Overall, Joseph – for being young and being with Home Instead Senior Care for just a short time – has proven himself, and he has been pretty amazing with his client. Joseph keeps the office informed with any changes he notices with his client, looking out for his clients’ best interest. Joseph carries himself very professionally, is very well-dressed, and he has a great smile and an amazing personality.”

Joseph, who joined Home Instead Senior Care on June 19, 2014, found the franchise at a job fair. “I had thought about becoming a physician’s assistant and I wanted to start to accumulate hours in the health-care field for certification,” said Joseph, who added that he’ll start his college career as an undeclared major.

Asked what he likes best about the job, Joseph said: “Being able to stay with the same client and bond with him. I enjoy the job very much. My client is very friendly and has a great sense of humor. I like the flexibility that Home Instead gives with the hours. I have my own janitorial business where I work later in the evenings.”

His client is in an early stage of dementia and is wheelchair-bound. “The client objected when I first went to help him, so it was a little slow going at first,” Joseph said. “I told him, ‘I am just here to help you.’ We get along great now; he loves to play dominoes, so our companionship aspect centers on that much of the time because we chat a lot during the games. He’s got some big stories; in addition to being a politician, he is a military veteran.”

Joseph’s next challenge is his first semester of college, when he will tackle between 15 and 17 hours of academic work. He’s not sure of his major area of study – “it seems to change from week to week; lately it’s been criminal justice and then maybe engineering” – but looking further down the road, he said he’d like to earn a master’s degree. For the immediate future, Joseph knows one thing for sure: “I am going to try to hang onto my Home Instead shifts.”  ​

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