Preparation, Bryson McQuiston says, is the key to weathering the storm when seniors and their families unexpectedly find themselves struggling in life's transitions.
Bryson, the franchise owner at Home Instead Senior Care® of Jackson, Tennessee, since February 2008, is available as a clearinghouse for senior information in West Tennessee. "We want to be a resource that people in our area can access, a source for all things aging. Our business name – Senior Resource Center, LLC – says it all. We hope families will come to us so we can point them in the right direction. We want to be a conduit of information. People are trying to navigate through a maze, and life can take some mighty confusing twists and turns. We try to help."
Most people, Bryson points out, are not ready for the challenges that aging will bring. By the time they need help, they usually are in crisis mode. Preparation for the aging process – as it takes rapid turns and moves into a difficult season – should be considered early. Problems can catch seniors and their family members by surprise, and clear solutions sometimes cannot be discerned because of the emotions that accompany the challenges.
"Most people have not done their homework in many different areas, emotionally and practically. There are financial matters that need to be settled as well as legal ones such as power of attorney, living wills, DNRs and other things. These are big challenges in which little preparation has been done," Bryson said.
Bryson points to an action plan for successful aging www.caregiverstress.com/family-communication/40-70/action-plan-for-successful-aging/ that was developed by the Home Instead Senior Care network.
"Know what your living options are – the action plans and steps that are outlined – will address challenges that families are likely to face with a senior loved one. The aim here is to get families to prepare and communicate a plan that fits their situation and will be successful. This tool can help people overcome a challenge and think through what needs to be done," Bryson said.
In a question-and-answer session, Bryson touched on other subjects.
Question: Why are you so passionate about serving seniors?
Bryson: "Growing up in Brighton, a West Tennessee community, I regularly had contact with and knew my great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles from both my mom’s side of the family and my dad’s. I was comfortable with seniors and had great relationships with them. I would go with my family to my grandmother's house for Sunday lunch after church and then head to my great-grandparents' house for the rest of Sunday afternoon. In addition to that and recalling our time together at family gatherings and holidays, my granddad was a grocer in Brighton. I worked in the grocery store he started, and for my uncle who took it over, during my teenage years. So, somewhere in there was planted a seed of the owning my own business someday. Thankfully, in 2008 that dream became a reality in the form of Home Instead.”
Question: How did you get pointed toward running a senior-care business?
Bryson: "I was fortunate to combine my passion with my purpose after self-examination and help from someone whom I respect. While considering my career path, I was trying to answer this question: What do I do with my passion for seniors? There was a spark within me that was flickering about working with senior adults. I was drifting in my career. So, I took my banking background and combined it with seniors and went into nursing home administration for 4 years. From there, I transitioned to become the Senior Adult Minister & Administration at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis for over 10 years. Home Instead combines the best of all worlds for me: owning my own business and making a difference in the lives of seniors and their families on a daily basis. It is truly a ministry in that we are meeting the practical, spiritual and emotional needs of families by bringing rest, care, peace of mind, and hope to each situation."
Question: There is no doubt your Christian faith plays a big part in your life. What's your favorite Bible verse, and why?
Bryson: "Different verses speak to me during different seasons in the midst of life's various challenges. At this time, I hold fast to Isaiah 26:3 – 'You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!' This is an appropriate verse in the chaos and uncertainty of the world. Our mission at Home Instead Senior Care is to try to provide a peace in the midst of the storms. Isaiah 26:3 just seems to resonate with me a lot. When we get to a client's home for the first time, things might be in crisis and chaotic; they are in uncertain waters. It is that peace and calm that we can bring through our CAREGivers and office support. It is an important element in senior care that allows folks to remain in their home."
Question: Why Home Instead Senior Care?
Bryson: "When I decided on this route in life, I did my research on the options. Home Instead Senior Care came out far above the others when I looked at everything, all the criteria. Home Instead Senior Care is in it for all the right reasons. Its core values lined up with mine. It was a great fit. I love the business. I love the community. I love Home Instead Senior Care."
Question: Where is the need?
Bryson: "Our coverage area is scattered across West Tennessee in 14 to 17 counties, not including the Memphis market. Jackson, where we are centered, is referred to as the Hub City because of the dominant commerce, trade and medical aspects, along with others. But other than Jackson, we're in fairly rural territory. We have a client who is an hour and a half away, and we try to help as many people as we can."
Question: After having opened your franchise in February 2008, what can you tell us what the future might hold?
Bryson: "I am not too much into fast-forwarding or forecasting because I am concentrating so much on today's challenges. We've had a lot of rewards. I think our franchise will stand the test of time. It will be here for a long time to come. As far as the business demographic goes, the Baby Boomers are not all there yet – past retirement age – so there is still plenty of room to grow the business."
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 about Home Instead Senior Care, visit our website.
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