of the Month Jody Black is using a negative experience as a motivating force to
forge a career of helping seniors.
years ago, when Jody checked on her grandfather by dropping in unannounced at
his Texas gulf home, she was shocked. The person who was taking care of Jody’s
grandfather was dropping the ball. “The simplest explanation is that she was
not doing what she was supposed to be doing. I went into his house and
discovered all kinds of wrong things. I had a view of going a different
direction to help him,” Jody said.
things I saw with my grandfather were an incentive to start on a social-work
degree with a goal of working for adult protective services or a similar
agency. Society’s vulnerable should not be treated poorly. Seniors have done so
much for others during their lifetimes. They are one of our most defenseless
societal groups and often have no say in what happens to them. Even if they
wanted help, most of them don’t know where to turn. The elderly need someone
with integrity to take charge and do the right thing for them.”
Jody had earned her bachelor’s degree and
was working on her master’s degree in psychology at LeTourneau University in
Longview, Texas, when she and her family moved back to her old stomping grounds
in Bay City in August 2017 to be closer to her 75-year-old dad and her sister.
Jody continued her education online, but she needed a job. She found Home
Instead Senior Care® of Victoria and said: “I
have a passion to work with seniors, and the CAREGiver job looked
perfect because of its flexibility.”
award-winning Home Instead franchise owned by Stephanie Niles in
November 2017, and she was honored as CAREGiver of the Month for April 2018.
“With my grandfather on my mind – his aide was not associated with a Home
Instead franchise – I was overjoyed to find that Home Instead people are great,
including CAREGivers, staff and ownership. I gained a new view of senior-care
assistance and how good it can be,” Jody said.
said the Home Instead Senior Care staff is very good, including Recruitment and
Retention Coordinator Melissa Stange and Staffing Coordinator Emily Sanchez. “I
have had a lot of questions for our trainer, Melissa, and she has answered each
one and is very helpful. Beyond initial training and orientation, ongoing
training also is available. The office has even sent staff members to Bay City
for luncheons, training sessions and informational updates. It’s a long way
from Victoria to Bay City, and the office goes to a big effort. Emily is the
scheduler, and she really does a good job with communication and flexibility,”
Melissa said: “Jody works
for us in the Bay City and Palacios areas, and she is always willing to pick up
shifts. Jody’s clients love her.” Family members of a 24/7
client requested Jody because she had bonded so well with their senior loved
one. The client’s precarious health situation has saddened Jody but also has
steeled her resolve to help in any way she can.
client and I are very close. She was in the hospital a few weeks ago and was
brought home, where she wants to live out her final days. I feel proud to be
there. The family requested me, so that makes me feel good. I want to provide
comfort, joy and peace for her,” Jody said. “I love to hear her talk about her
family. Her husband was in the Army, and they lived in Germany and many other
places. She has so many interesting stories.”
among those stories was the client’s unique way of crabbing in her youth. Jody
retold the story: “My client lived close to the bay and loved crabbing just
like I do. Her secret to success was to put chicken wings in pantyhose, which
I’d never heard. I told my sister we should try that. My client loved to be
down on the beach, holding picnics under a tent.”
her other two regular clients, one lives in Bay City and asks to visit the
Matagorda County Birding Nature Center. “She’s 92 and a little more mobile,”
Jody said, “and she’s excited about the prospect of going to the nature
center.” Another client, a 78-year-old woman, appreciates the “little things”
Jody does for her. “I’ll bring a hamburger from her favorite place,” Jody
noted, “and it feels as if she won the lottery.”
has the perfect touch with clients, even in challenging situations. A hospice
nurse told Jody, “You ought to become a grief counselor.” Jody pointed out, “As
a CAREGiver, you do work with families who have lost senior loved ones. Also, I
use my counseling and listening skills that are needed for the psychology
profession. Listening is a big part of companionship.”
As far as college goes. Jody
practicum list and some classes remaining, and she’s on track to graduate in
May 2019. “I’ll be plugging away, and I really appreciate my husband’s help
through it all,” she said. “Home Instead’s work dovetails as a good fit for a
job and my passion.”
All Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about CAREGiver employment, please apply online or call 361-433-0330. For additional home care information visit Home Instead Senior Care.
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