CAREGiver of the Month - Tammy

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Client Couple Were Like Grandparents to Tammy

Tammy Wild has experienced the highs and lows of caregiving, and the highs far outweigh the lows. “I just love my job, and not many people can say that. Most people just tolerate their jobs, but not me – I enjoy it,” she said.

The highs? Building relationships while taking care of those who need the help, whether they are trying to remain in their homes or perhaps have found themselves alone in a hospital room. The lows? Most of the time, they occur when a client is forced to move to a facility or passes away.

For about nine months, Tammy assisted a 92-year-old World War II fighter pilot and his 88-year-old wife in their home. “I got very, very close to them,” said Tammy, the CAREGiver of the Month in August for Home Instead Senior Care® of Victoria.”I never really had grandparents around while I was growing up. I looked at them as being grandparent substitutes for me. They became more than just clients who needed assistance to stay in their homes.”

The client couple felt the same way about Tammy; in fact the husband was so selective about who he would allow in his home that if someone other than Tammy came to the door, he would demand, “Where’s Tammy today?” The wife had dementia, and the husband was a fall risk. She had owned her own travel agency, traveled extensively and filled their home with nifty memorabilia from all over the world. 

But in late spring, the husband died. “I really miss him because he was quite a character. As a result, the family eventually moved his wife to a really nice memory facility in Houston. I miss them both so much,” Tammy said. 

“The death bewildered the poor wife. Before she was moved to Houston, she would constantly search for him. The family decided to remind her that he had died, but she would continue to ask. Every time we told her what had happened, she reacted as if it was the first time she had heard the news. We wrote explanations in a journal for her, so she could read the answers when she asked. She cried quite often, and I wanted to cry, too.”

Tammy’s heartfelt commitment to her clients is one of the characteristics that illuminates her and other CAREGivers. “You have to have the heart to be in senior care, or you shouldn’t do it,” Tammy emphasized. 

Tammy also works for Home Instead Senior Care at a hospital on an on-call arrangement just as April CAREGiver of the Month Jesica Waddy does. “Jesica and I are companions for patients who need them, and she also had helped with the couple, so I know Jesica well. We often work at the same time at the hospital and see each other. Some of the patients can be difficult, and you have to use a lot of patience with them,” Tammy said.  

Challenges aren’t a big deal for Tammy, who explained: “I had always done caregiving before my husband and I started our family.” Tammy noted that she and her husband took care of her father-in-law for a time, and he had Parkinson’s. She also worked for a mental health agency, primarily with adults, where she received training for CPR, medication dispensation and documentation, among other things.  “When we first got married, we worked for Joy Home for Boys in Greenwood, Louisiana. My husband and I lived with 10 little boys who were wards of the State of Louisiana and did that for two years,” she said.  

With Home Instead Senior Care, Tammy is already one of the longest-serving CAREGivers at the fairly new franchise, having started Feb. 11, 2014. 

“I love our owner, Stephanie Niles, and everyone else in the office because they are wonderful. They are positive all the time. It takes all of us – CAREGivers and office – to do what we do for seniors and their families,” Tammy said. “I am blessed because I have the world’s best bosses. 

“Stephanie is adamant about care for her CAREGivers and their families – she puts us first and wants to make sure we take care of ourselves and our own family members. If we don’t, we will have nothing to give on the job. She always says: ‘Do stuff for yourself first.’ She understands all of our situations,” Tammy added. “I cannot see myself going anywhere else. I am going to be a senior taking care of seniors when I get older.”

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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