Life has moved swiftly for CAREGiver of the Month Elizabeth White during the past eight years. She moved from the northern California community of Red Bluff to Anchorage, found a job, got married and now has three children. Elizabeth, trying to keep up with family challenges, was forced to ditch a job she had held for four years because of its rigid scheduling and joined Home Instead Senior Care® of Anchorage in December 2014.
"My husband found Home Instead Senior Care online. I was looking for senior care, and he also was looking for me at the same time. He said, 'Here's another one!' I am glad he did," Elizabeth said. "My husband works and also takes care of the kids, so we needed a good job fit."
The discovery obviously proved to be a good one because Elizabeth was honored as CAREGiver of the Month for September 2016. "So far, so good," Elizabeth confirmed. "With three kids, I have to be in the 'mommy mode' at key parts of the day and my availability for work shifts depended on a flexible employer such as Home Instead Senior Care. They captured the hours I needed. For all of this year, I've had a 4 p.m.-to-11 shift that is really good for our family."
Nobody is happier about Elizabeth's decision to pick Home Instead Senior Care than her 89-year-old client of nearly two years, who has Parkinson's disease and has battled pneumonia from time to time. Their start was a little rocky, but quickly blossomed into something beautiful. "To be honest, he kind of looked like a grouch at first. He can give people a hard time, but I get it – when someone strange comes into your home, it can be disconcerting," Elizabeth said.
Breaking the ice with the client didn't take long. "I enjoy going to work. I really love the moments when he anticipates my arrival. He says, 'I've been waiting for you. I look forward to seeing you come in.' It makes me feel good," Elizabeth said. "He likes to have me watch TV with him and keep him company. He talks slowly and softly, but I have heard his memories and stories. He laughs and jokes around sometimes. I have enjoyed him as my primary client."
Elizabeth has been a part of something special – and maybe even miraculous. "I am coming up on spending three Christmas holidays with him and his wife," Elizabeth said. "I have gotten to know the family well. In addition to the holidays, I have been part of the family celebration for other occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. They have been married 64 years. They have me involved in just about everything."
Elizabeth recalls when her client was in the hospital for two weeks, a time when she spent overnights with him. Her client went on hospice for six months after he came home. "He was taken off hospice at the beginning of this year. It really was a pretty amazing turnaround when you think about it. I have told the new CAREGivers about him going off hospice. He's a nice guy, and for his age and physical challenges, he is doing pretty well," Elizabeth said.
Front Office Manager Rose Marie Holliday praised Elizabeth's work, saying: "Since Elizabeth was hired on Dec. 3, 2014, her dedication to her clients is obvious and she possesses wonderful qualities. The office staff agreed with her references that Elizabeth is tenderhearted, a hard worker, genuine, trustworthy and reliable. She treats people with dignity, is very pleasant, is easy to work with and is very organized. Elizabeth has proved she is very worthy of this award. Her client's family adores her, and it shows in her actions. Elizabeth never misses a beat, has perfect attendance and always shows up no matter the circumstance."
Staff Coordinators Emerald Fuimaono and Vaosa Tuiolemotu agree with Rose Marie's observations: "Elizabeth has the true heart of a CAREGiver. She is at her shift on time every time and works with 24/7 clients, assisting with a couple with whom she has helped since she started working with Home Instead Senior Care in 2014. The 24/7 assignments can be a little more stressful at times, but Elizabeth is so amazing in the way she handles every situation that arises. Elizabeth has so much compassion and patience, and it shows in everything she does!"
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.
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