No sooner than Jamie Anderson had begun working on earning her nurse's assistant license, her mother suggested that Jamie apply at Home Instead Senior Care® of Jackson to become a CAREGiver. Jamie's mother needed help taking care of her 46-year-old son – Jamie's brother, a Persian Gulf War Army veteran who is severely disabled with multiple sclerosis.
"My brother and other military personnel developed MS or MS-like symptoms from what we believe was a chemical attack by the opposing forces during the conflict," Jamie explained. "We had to move him back here to Tennessee from Georgia because he could no longer take care of himself. Mom is my brother's primary caregiver as a family member, but she needs assistance to run errands, things like that. She turned to Home Instead Senior Care, and now I am part of that assistance as a CAREGiver. I have another Home Instead client, too. As my spare time permits, I also help my brother as an unpaid family caregiver."
Jamie further explained: "My brother can talk and eat, but he is mostly bedridden and cannot walk. He will try to help you with his care in situations where he is able. I joke with him when he has the energy. Just to hear my brother laugh or smile is a thrill for me, and we try to make the best of everything. He is hanging in there, and each day is a blessing to have him."
Not only did Jamie's brother fight in Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait and Iraq in 1990 and 1991, but their father did as well. Jamie's dad, also an Army veteran, served at different battlefields than the ones where his son fought. Jamie's father is suffering from dementia-like symptoms. Her father also was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2014, but he successfully battled it and was deemed cancer-free in February 2016. "I tried to talk my dad and stepmother into having a CAREGiver for him when the time comes," Jamie said.
Jamie's huge, compassionate heart has been on display since she joined owner Bryson McQuiston's franchise in January 2015. Jamie has been honored as a CAREGiver Cornerstone Award winner for the first quarter of 2016. Bryson and General Manager Robert McKenzie have pointed out that Jamie would do anything she could for someone in need. And it's not as if she has a lot of time on her hands – she is raising four active teenagers who participate in after-school activities such as sports and music. "They keep me busy, but they are talented and do positive things, and I am proud of them," Jamie said.
Jamie is a CAREGiver who lives in Ripley, about 45 miles from the Home Instead Senior Care office in Jackson, and travels to other cities west of Jackson to assist clients. Jamie's other regular client lives in Dyersburg, about 24 miles north of Ripley. She also has served a client in Halls, about 15 miles north of her home, and Jamie does fill-in work when she can fit it into her busy schedule. She has completed her academic work to become a nurse's assistant and needs only to take the state test to receive her license.
Faith is important to Jamie, who attends Antioch Missionary Baptist Church on Wooten Street in Covington, about 13 miles south of Ripley, when she gets the opportunity. Jamie sometimes takes an 87-year-old client to his church during her 12-hour Sunday shift. "I was assisting his wife, too, until she passed away in November 2015. I have been back with him full time since April," Jamie explained. "He had stopped going to church, but I told his children if he wanted to return, I would be glad to take him. A client's faith is significant to me."
Jamie has had memorable moments with all of her clients. "I love thinking about another client who recently 100. I loved her dearly and grew very attached to her. During one Monday trip to the doctor's office, it was the best ride ever. We talked, joked and laughed," Jamie said. "I remember telling her about one of my teenager's slumber parties that was supposed to be limited to eight girls but ended up at 14. It seemed overwhelming, and I think I laughed and said something like, 'Never again.' She said, 'I don't know how you do it. I've been through that, too.' She was precious."Jamie, who wants to eventually become a registered nurse, enjoys her job. "I love Home Instead Senior Care," she said. "The franchise always works me and is flexible."
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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