During a little more than three
months, Tamika Johnson has excelled as a top-notch CAREGiver at Home Instead
Senior Care® of Jackson, an award-winning franchise owned by Bryson
and Linda McQuiston. Tamika started with Home Instead Senior Care on May 24,
and the franchise announced Aug. 25 that Tamika had been honored as its
quarterly CAREGiver Cornerstone Award recipient.
Tamika’s short tenure has been
punctuated with notable client successes nearly every day. Tamika’s caregiving
bent can be attributed to her upbringing and a personality that includes a
compassionate heart and a deep reservoir of patience. Following her mother’s
example, Tamika served first as a family caregiver for her godparents and then
grandparents. Later, Tamika worked at an assisted care facility in Oxford,
Mississippi, while attending the University of Mississippi. She also has served
as a private-duty caregiver.
“My mother, who is my role
always taken care of seniors. It is in her blood. She is a CNA who works in a
facility now. She also has done private-duty caregiving,” Tamika noted.
Tamika started with Home
Instead Senior Care a week after being interviewed at a job career fair by
CAREGiver Recruitment and Engagement Manager Stephanie Barbrey. Tamika knew
immediately she had found a job and employer that were a great fit.
“I love the work, the
clients and the company. I have good bosses, the best I’ve ever had.
Communications are wonderful. Training was beneficial, and I received hands-on
training. For instance, they showed us specific skills such as the use of the
Hoyer lift,” Tamika said. “The bottom line is that I enjoy helping people.
Elderly people have a special part in my heart. I want to make their lives
Even with her regular
clients, Tamika welcomes as many fill-in assignments as she can get if she can
fit them into her busy life. Thinking of her three children, Tamika lauded Home
Instead Senior Care for its flexibility. “I want the hours, so I have a number
of clients and I am trying to keep as many of them as I can. Usually, I can
work any day of the week. Home Instead Senior Care has been so good to me by
generally giving me only day shifts because of my family. Night shifts are not
out of the question, but the office really does work with me,” she said.
Stephanie pointed out: “She is always willing to help when we are in a bind.
She accepts many hours, but we also know she is a devoted mother of three
children and are mindful of that. She has the sweetest personality, and every
client for whom she serves wants to have her come back.”
When asked about
memorable days she’s had with clients, Tamika said: “Most days are special
ones, so it’s hard to put one above another.” But Tamika fondly mentioned her
first clients, a 95-year-old husband and his 91-year-old wife, who celebrated
their 70th wedding anniversary in late August. Tamika has had a
perfect view of a long-running romance.
“They love each other so
much. Lately, it has been hard because they’ve been separated because of the
wife’s health challenges. She was hospitalized and then went to a skilled care
facility. The husband is still my client, and I am his only CAREGiver. He is
upset because he misses her, naturally. She’s a strong woman, has gotten better
and doesn’t give up,” Tamika said.
“I have heard wonderful
stories. He was an airplane bombardier in World War II. She was a teacher. They
are really nice to me and treat me like family; their daughter and I get along
very well, too. It’s a good family,” Tamika noted.
Relationships and bonding
with clients and their families are coveted aspects of her job, and Tamika
feels fulfilled each day by knowing she’s done something to assist someone
else. When Home Instead asked how long Tamika might be with them, she said, “To
infinity.” But Tamika also chuckled as she related her response, knowing her
long-range plans may have to change.
“I am trying to get back
to school at some point to become a nurse. I want to keep my job for the
foreseeable future, and I do enjoy it. There’s no question about that. Maybe
sometime in 2018, I could look at school. I like the idea of becoming a
registered nurse, but it probably would take three to four years to become an
RN, and maybe 18 months to two years to become an LPN. For now, I am just fine
where I am, taking care of people for Home Instead.”
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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