CAREGiver Cornerstone - Tamika


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Tamika Finds Perfect Fit as CAREGiver

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 model, has 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 easier.”

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.

Praising Tamika, 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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