Memories of her late grandfather flash through CAREGiver of the Month Christi Tucker's mind when she's assisting seniors on behalf of Home Instead Senior Care® of Victoria. Her grandfather unexpected died at age 89 on Feb. 1, 2015, one day before he was scheduled to be released from the hospital. "When I think about work," Christi said, "I think of my grandfather."
Christi called him "Dad," because her grandfather raised her. "He was my dad," Christi emphasized. "He was a peach of a guy. His death was a shock, but he is in a better place. He wasn't mobile, and he couldn't see or hear. When God says it's time to come home, that's it. After 89 years, it was over."
During her grandfather's final year, Christi lived with him. "He needed help getting up – out of a chair, off the toilet or out of bed – but once he got going, he'd find his way with a walker. I was always there, taking care of him 24/7. I enjoyed taking care of him. I still have a connection to seniors by way of my late grandfather. Everything I do for a Home Instead client, I did for him."
Christi's daughters, Casey and Ashley, also had a hand in taking care of their great-grandfather. Casey and Ashley, like their mother, also work for the award-winning Home Instead Senior Care franchise owned by Stephanie Niles. "My oldest daughter, Ashley, told me about Home Instead Senior Care. She's been with Home Instead at least two years. Casey is the younger daughter, and she was named CAREGiver of the Month for January 2018. I am proud of them because they have big hearts," said Christi, who joined Home Instead in January 2017.
For her first eight or nine months, Christi worked three 12-hour shifts each week with a client in Gonzales, about 60 miles northwest of Victoria. Five months ago, Christi and two other CAREGivers formed a 24/7 team for a client in Palacios. After a while, Ashley and Casey joined their mom. "All three of us have helped the client. Casey was later assigned to another client in Luis," Christi noted.
The client likes puzzles, but she loves Christi's meal preparation. "I cook all meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner. She's like family to me," Christi said. "I recently made homemade chili. I figure things out as we go on, as far as what she likes. Her No. 1 request has been my pot roast. When I first started, she was eating like a bird. Little by little, I got her to eat more. She is not a big, big eater, but she enjoys food."
Recruitment and Retention Coordinator Melissa Stange loves Christi's appetite for sharing her compassion. Melissa said: "Christi Tucker is willing to help wherever and however she can. She cares about her clients and communicates well with our office on any concerns."
Christi had worked for a short time in a nursing home, but she has found her senior-care niche with Home Instead's one-on-one care. "The office is awesome. Everybody in the office is awesome and unbelievable. There have been times when they went out of their way for me.
Melissa has met me on the road to give me a gait belt for a client. We all work together, and that's great. During Hurricane Harvey, they provided care packages for CAREGivers, and they checked on us during the hurricane to make sure we were OK. It's a good company."
Home Instead Senior Care's guiding principles are emblazoned on its employees' hearts: "CAREGivers demonstrate their commitment to their clients by honoring God in all they do; treating their clients and their families with dignity and respect; embracing personal growth to continually improve the quality of their care through franchise training; and building value in their service to others."
Overall, for the international company that was founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, by Paul and Lori Hogan, Christi is among more than 70,000 professional CAREGivers. They rate their employers highly. Forbes' third annual "America's Best Employers" list honored Home Instead Senior Care as one of its best employers for 2017.
Home Instead ranks 78th on the list, which was generated using anonymous feedback from employees at the nation's top employers. Companies on the Best Employers' list range across 25 industry sectors – from government services to retail to healthcare. While the 2017 list featured a variety of healthcare companies, Home Instead Senior Care is the only provider of home care services for seniors.
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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