CAREGiver of the Month - Jesica

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Jesica Unpacks Compassion Wherever She Goes

Jesica Waddy does whatever it takes to show her love and compassion for others. That is why she is an award-winning CAREGiver fo​​r Home Instead Senior Care® of Victoria.

The bubbly people-person is ready at a moment's notice whenever the office calls her to go to a hospital and provide reassurance when seniors find themselves alone. Sometimes they are confused and distraught.

"There is a huge need for a friendly face and companionship when you're in the hospital. It is important to have someone sit with your senior loved one. Many of the seniors' sons and daughters have to work or have a family to take care of and cannot be there to visit for very long. Having someone always there solely for a senior loved one who is in the hospital takes a burden off their minds," Jesica explained.

"I am with the senior and remain with the same floor nurses' shift, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., so I will know the nurses and work closely with them. The hospitals can't have CNAs or other personnel sit with everybody and still take care of the patients they have, and that's where I fill a need. I like to do it, and I can help just about anyone."

Jesica does whatever it takes, whether it's for a regular client or filling in for another CAREGiver. Whenever Jesica takes a fill-in shift with a 72-year-old client, for instance, they head off to shop. "This client is a real character, and we are always on the go. It is hard for her not to get up and leave," Jesica said. "Above all, she loves shoes and makeup – she must have three or four makeup bags. She shows me what she wants to buy and sometimes asks my opinion. She is so friendly. We talk and laugh and shop. For another client, it is grocery shopping every Thursday, and I love to do it."

For the wife of a dementia client, Jesica's faith provided reassurance and comfort.

"I was raised Pentecostal," Jesica said, "and she said she could tell we have the same faith although I did not make any presentation – I live what I believe. She said our shared beliefs were a blessing. Even after she moved her husband to a facility, she has kept in contact with me."

A portrait of Jesica and her family paints a picture of compassionate, loving parents and three bright-eyed, fun-loving kids who live in Bay City.

For starters, Jesica is a mom to three boys, 8, 5 and 1. She has a terrific husband, Walter, who works at a funeral home and takes on other projects when friends and acquaintances call. Jesica sometimes joins Walter, a jack of all trades, when his services are sought. Jesica recalls the Sunday when her husband answered a call to put up barbed wire fences, and she went along. "The cattle were grazing a field down so fast that we had to put up fence and move them. It was a cattle-feeding operation 10 or 15 minutes from where we live," Jesica said.

Her specialty, of course, is assisting people. Whenever her boys ask what she does for Home Instead Senior Care, Jesica replies: "Mommy is helping people who cannot always help themselves." Jesica worked as a private-duty caregiver for seven or eight years. She joined Home Instead in November 2014 after hearing about the franchise from her husband's aunt, whose daughter had worked as a CAREGiver. Home Instead is a good fit for Jesica and her family.

"I am happy with Home Instead and am excited to be with them," Jesica said. "They have flexible scheduling. Home Instead also acknowledges good work performances, unlike many workplaces. It's not that I need someone always patting me on the back, but it's nice when your bosses reward you for doing a good job. It helps emotionally to know they care about you."​

"Walter is OK with me working odd hours; he is a great dad who loves being with the kids when I cannot be there. Sometimes I can work a hectic schedule, but it's OK."

Their jobs allow Jesica and Walter to teach their children important serious lessons of life that aren't often brought up. "We let my kids know: Death is part of life, and we parents are not going to live forever. It's important for us to love and treasure each other no matter how young or old we are," Jesica said. "One example I have is of a very nice client, a 92-year-old man, who passed away unexpected earlier this year. You have to dust yourself off after the shock and sorrow and continue because everyday life goes on. And you have to make sure you tell people that you love them."​

All Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call 361-433-0330 or apply online. For further home care information visit Home Instead Senior Care​.​


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