For three days a week, Shelba Dilday
had been her 85-year-old client’s shadow. Wherever the client wanted to go and
could safely accomplish his mission, off went the latest CAREGiver Cornerstone
recipient for Home Instead Senior Care® of Jackson.
On Jan. 12, when the client ate lunch and left to check the
fence and cattle on his ranch with his son, the client unexpectedly tumbled
away from his walker three steps outside the front door. Shelba was there to
catch him. Sadly, he died in her arms after suffering a massive heart attack.
“My client was super nice. By no means was he in good shape,
but his passing was surprising to us,” Shelba said. “Despite the shock, I
processed it emotionally and went right back to work. I stayed with his wife
the next day because of the need. I helped her because she wanted someone to
stay with her while her family left to make arrangements, and I was just like family.”
Three weeks later, a 73-year-old client also passed away. He
had been severely injured as the result of a fall while he was cleaning a
swimming pool. The client and his wife had grown attached to Shelba for a
number of reasons.
“I knew how to massage his legs and help get rid of the pain
he felt from his muscle spasms. My client was hollering out one night at 2 a.m.
because the pain was so intense, and he thought I would be the only one who
could stop it, but his wife didn’t want to bother me with a call. To give him
relief, I would bend his legs 25 to 30 times a day. They were just like family
and seemed like parents. I felt at home in their house,” Shelba said.
One day Shelba brought chicken and dressing to the couple
from a church potluck at her Lighthouse Apostolic Church. When the client saw
the meal, he said, “Great!” Shelba added: “Later, I asked what he wanted for
breakfast the next day, and he said, ‘Chicken and dressing!’ ”
Before Shelba first came to assist the client, his wife was
admittedly anxious. “She later told me she wondered about the person they were
getting,” Shelba recalled, “but when the client’s wife saw me get out of the
car, she said a feeling of peace came over her. She said a voice told her, ‘You
are getting one of the best.’ The wife ended up getting cancer, and I helped
Shelba, who started with Home Instead on Sept. 9, 2009, has
mostly had long-term clients. In addition to the two clients who passed away in
2016, Shelba lost two others in 2015. One died, and the other client went into
an assisted living facility. They both had been under Shelba’s care for three
or more years.
“I was among the first CAREGivers who were hired when Bryson
McQuiston and his wife Linda started the franchise,” Shelba said proudly. “I
have enjoyed working with them.”
Shelba lost her previous job when the company went out of
business. She had gained an expertise and insight into assisting seniors from
the experience of being a family caregiver for her parents. “I took care of
them for a number of years, and both of them lived in my home. My dad passed
away in 1995, and Mom died in 2004. Both had chronic health conditions,” said
Shelba, who has an aunt who worked for Home Instead Senior Care franchises in
Denver and Jackson, Tennessee.
Shelba loves seniors and also volunteers in the Dresden area
near her home. She said she has missed only one day of work with Home Instead
Senior Care – that was the day of her brother’s funeral.
Referring to her clients, Shelba said, “I treat them as I
would want to treat my parents. My parents had the best care – I know, because
I took care of them. I hope when I reach the age when I need help that someone
will take care of me just the way I took care of others.”
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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Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.