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CAREGiver Cornerstone - Marsha G.

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When a 2 a.m. Call Came, Marsha Didn’t HesitateCAREGiver Cornerstone - Marsha G.

It was 2 o’clock on a February morning, and CAREGiver Marsha Gamber’s phone rang. Recruiting and Training Coordinator Kayla Coleman said, “Your 24/7 client has passed away, and the CAREGiver on the overnight shift could use a hug and your shoulder, if it’s possible.”

Marsha didn’t hesitate.  “I told Kayla, ‘I am on my way.’ The CAREGiver needed someone to be with her and the 79-year-old client who’d died. I got there at 2:30 a.m. Because of the death, she had to call 911 and do all the procedural things they have to do. When I was there, the policeman who arrived was my pastor. It seemed fitting – I knew God’s hand was in it.”

Marsha feels a spiritual connection while working for Home Instead Senior Care® of Jackson, an award-winning franchise owned by Bryson and Linda McQuiston. “The franchise leadership honors God. I was touched when they opened and closed our Christmas brunch with prayer. As a company, their values speak loudly to me. Church is a big part of my life because I grew up in church,” said Marsha, who was honored as the franchise’s CAREGiver Cornerstone Award recipient for the third quarter in 2019.

Kayla said: “Marsha is such a genuine, caring person. No matter what’s going on, when she walks into a home, I know our clients are being taken care of. I’d want Marsha to take care of my family’s loved ones. We knew we could call her at 2 a.m., and she’d come as quickly as she could. We’re proud to have Marsha on our team.”

Manager of Client and CAREGiver Relations Mike Murphy said: “Marsha has been a marvelous blessing since joining us September 2018. In our office, we all say if we needed someone to take care of us, a CAREGiver like Marsha would be at the top of the list. Marsha really sets the standard for what we want our CAREGivers to be here at Home Instead Senior Care Jackson.”

Referring to Home Instead Senior Care, Marsha said, “They are as nice as could be. Bryson McQuiston went out at 10 p.m. to do the introduction on my first shift with a new client. I was impressed my boss came, and I think nearly every client has something special I remember. You get close to clients and their families. I give the best care and provide what they need and keep going. They give me a hug, and you feel the bonding you’ve achieved. One client grinned from ear to ear when I came in. To be a CAREGiver, you have to be a people-person with a compassionate heart. You’ve also got to roll with the punches.”

“Rolling with the punches” sometimes means processing the grief from losing a client. Marsha explained: “Many times this work feels like a spiritual experience, as if I am in the right place at the right time. Before my second client died, his wife said he ‘requested a transfer to heaven,’ and I believe he got his transfer. As far as losing them, you have to let go. I’ve been doing this kind of work for so long.”

Marsha arrived at Home Instead Senior Care with an amazing résumé. She has been a CNA and a CMT (medication technician), as well as  serving as a medication aide in a residential care facility for Down syndrome adults. Marsha worked in a long-term care facility in 1984 and at a St. Louis nursing home from 1985 to 1995.

“I’ve also been a social services designee, working under a social worker. I worked in medical records and in the insurance field for 4½ years as a claims processor,” said the St. Louis native who moved with her husband to Tennessee in 2010 to be closer to family. “I found Home Instead online. I was a phlebotomist at the time, was looking in that field and couldn’t find anything.”

Marsha has had many memorable days and nights as a CAREGiver. “On my first time with a client, he did not sleep the entire night, nor the next night. We walked both nights. I pushed through it. The client told his kids, ‘Marsha is tough.’ He must have thought I was disciplined and orderly, because his daughter jokingly introduced me to someone as ‘The Drill Sergeant,’ ” Marsha said with a laugh. Another time, just before my first client passed away, he told me, ‘I just had the best dream.’ I said, ‘Tell me about it.’ He said in his tears: ‘I was sitting at my pond and was holding my wife’s hand.’ ”

On one day, several members of a 24/7 CAREGiver team gathered to be with a client who was asleep. “It was a Friday, and music was playing on a radio, so we started singing softly. All of a sudden, we heard another voice. The client was singing along with our song. He passed away soon after. We all miss him because he was special to us. Really, they are all special to us. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t be doing this,” Marsha said.

Our franchise serves most of West Tennessee, including Jackson, Medina, Humboldt, Milan, Trenton, Dyer, Alamo, Bells, Lexington, Henderson, Dyersburg, Gates, Halls, Brownsville, Covington, Brighton, Mason, Ripley, Paris, Munford, Atoka and Union City. All Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call (731) 984-7062 or apply online. For further information visit us at Home Instead Senior Care.


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