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CAREGiver Awards & Recognition 

At Home Instead®, our success revolves around our CAREGiversâ„  – and we know it! We celebrate CAREGivers year-round in many ways: a note of appreciation, recognition in our employee newsletter, perhaps an impromptu office party.
Home Instead Caregiver helps senior man button shirt at home

CAREGiver of the Month: August 2021

We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Melissa Sullivan.

Melissa joined our Home Instead family nearly three years ago, and in that time, she had made quite the impact on the families she has served – and on us. She had been a stay-at-home mom for 18 years and decided she wanted to work part-time, and she found her “job home” as a CAREGiver.

A woman with a heart of gold, Melissa always hopes that people know that she is a kind and caring person. She takes her role very seriously and treats every client as if they are her relative. When we asked her what she loves most about serving her clients she shared, “Knowing that I’m making their golden years better health wise. And putting their family members at ease knowing that their parents are being cared for properly and safely, especially during the pandemic.”

She enjoys being part of Home Instead because at the end of the day she knows she is having a positive influence on our clients’ lives.

We asked Melissa if she could travel anywhere in the world where would she go. She didn’t hesitate to say Japan! We hope she can cross that off her bucket list sooner than later.

Melissa CGoM August 2021

CAREGiver of the Month: August 2021 - Melissa Sullivan

CAREGiver of the Month: July 2021

We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Stacy Foy.

Stacy was built to be a CAREGiver. She left Vons 18 years ago on maternity leave to start her journey as a homemaker and homeschool teacher. It only makes sense that she now continues to take care of others at home. Her desire to become a CAREGiver stemmed from wanting to use her skills as a housewife and mom, but also to do something that could bless others.

Perhaps the thing she loves most about her role is getting to know her clients. Not just their likes/dislikes and routines, but their life stories, history, and when she can their family recipes. When asked why she enjoys being part of the Home Instead team, she replied, “It’s not corporate. There is a feeling of family at Home Instead, where support and care come freely.”

One thing that stands out about Stacy is her heart for God. More than anything her goal is to glorify God in all that she does, and that includes taking care of our aging population. We are blessed to have her on our team – part of our family.

We always like to find out what tops our CAREGiver’s bucket list. For Stacy, she hopes to travel to Tokyo one day. We hope she can make it there soon!

Stacy CGoM July 2021

CAREGiver of the Month: July 2021 - Stacy Foy

CAREGiver of the Month: June 2021

We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Valerie Garrett.

We have been blessed to have Valerie on our CAREGiving team for the past five years. When you ask Val why she chose to become CAREGiver, she simply says, “Because I love it.” She loves helping people and being a bright light in their life. Never does she want to see someone alone, so if she can be that friend who can make them laugh or smile, then her job carries much more meaning.

Year after year she continues to stay with the Home Instead Vista family because in her own words, “They are good people to work with.” And we are thrilled that she stays and continually takes on new clients and new challenges. Because in Val we have a very loyal, passionate CAREGiver with a big heart for people. But someday Valerie may retire and perhaps take that dream trip of a lifetime to Greece.

Congrats, Val – you deserve it!

Valerie CGoM June 2021

CAREGiver of the Month: June 2021 - Valerie Garrett

CAREGiver of the Month: May 2021

We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Jasmine Sherley.

Jasmine is probably one of the sweetest people you will ever meet. She is passionate about caring for others, not only in her job, but in life. She has been caregiver for 13 years, and has been a part of the Home Instead Vista family for the last four years. She discovered early on that she really took pride in caring for others and that the role of CAREGiver fit her perfectly.

When asked what she loves most about working with her clients, she replied, “I love being important to them. I love it when they know they are in goods and being cared for with all that I have.” She enjoys being a part of Home Instead because she knows there is a team who will back her up during both the easy and the hard times. Jasmine is a very dedicated CAREGiver with a tremendous amount of pride in what she does and her overall work ethic.

When Jasmine is not caregiving or taking care of her awesome kids, she dreams of traveling to Bali. That is at the very top of her bucket list. But it’s easy to imagine that when that trip to Bali comes, she will find a way to help someone along her travels!

Jasmine CGoM May 2021

CAREGiver of the Month: May 2021 - Jasmine Sherley

CAREGiver of the Month: April 2021

We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Lorena Stinett.

When Lorena joined our Home Instead team just 6 months ago, we knew we had found someone very special. She has been in the caregiving industry for over 21 years, and she is not only very skilled she is equally as dedicated. Plus, every client sings her praises!

Ever since she was young, she knew she wanted to care for others. Seeing people happy, cared for, and truly loved is what she treasures most in her work. In her words, “It’s what they deserve.”

Having worked with other agencies, as a private caregiver, etc. what Lorena enjoys most about Home Instead is how the team makes her feel comfortable with her hours and clients. She is incredibly flexible and willing to always help, but her personal time and care matter too.

Looking back after 20 plus years, Lorena would love to share her experiences with new caregivers – things that she knows and understands now that she did not when she first started out. Already she is a helping hand teaching CAREGivers the best body mechanics and showering techniques for certain clients. Her plan to give back has begun, and we are thrilled that she is sowing into our family of CAREGivers.

She may be just under 5’, quiet, and somewhat serious, but in that small package is a mighty woman who absolutely loves what she does. If help is needed, she is there.

Lorena CGoM April 2021

CAREGiver of the Month: April 2021 - Lorena Stinett

CAREGiver of the Month: March 2021

We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Merlin Chancellor.

Merlin’s journey as a CAREGiver started in 2015 with Home Instead in Lancaster, CA and then transferred to San Marcos/Vista area in 2016. He was drawn to caregiving when his father became sick with COPD and chronic pain from a hip that needed to be replaced. At that time, Merlin lived in Colorado and his dad lived in Nebraska; the distance made it very hard for Merlin to assist his dad in the ways he wanted. When his dad passed, Merlin decided he would become a caregiver to help people like him – people who desperately wanted to give their loved one support and care, but distance and circumstances made it impossible.

When you ask Merlin what he loves most about working with his clients, he is quick to answer with, “the people you meet add rich diversity to your life.” And what he enjoys most about working with Home Instead is get togethers feel like family reunions, “It's like a family reunion getting together with your cousins and siblings.” Although 2020 has limited those fun family gatherings, the spirit is still there.

Taking care of living things runs deep in Merlin. Before caring for people, he started with farm animals. He ran a hobby farm with chickens, goats, a donkey, some rabbits, doves, and other assorted animals. He lived on a half-acre and their farm produced a lot of the food they ate, including the eggs from the chickens, vegetables from the garden, and fruit. They even had a beehive! Thinking back, he shared, “I loved making my own soap from the goat's milk and cheese from the goat's milk as well. I do miss my chickens and fresh eggs.”

You never know where live may lead you, and we are so thankful that Merlin’s journey has brought him to Home Instead. I think the next place we might find him is one of his bucket list destinations: exploring Muir Woods national forest seeking out ancient trees. How fun!

Merlin CGoM March 2021

CAREGiver of the Month: March 2021 - Merlin Chancellor

CAREGiver of the Month: February 2021

We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Nidhal Dawood.

Nidhal’s answers to our questions were so cute and fun, that we thought we would just share her words.

Tell us, how long have you been a caregiver, and how long have you been with Home Instead?
I have been a caregiver at heart all my life growing up as the oldest sibling and grandchild. I was always looking after my siblings and cousins. I have been with Home Instead for seven months now! 

What motivated you to become a CAREGiver?
I have a real interest in helping others and gaining future health care experience. Truly, I consider myself an empath. I am able to feel others’ emotions around me without them necessarily telling me verbally what they need. At the end of the day when I come home, I know that I have contributed some positivity into earth's orbit and that makes me happy. I also lost my grandma due to cancer when I was in high school, in a way being a caregiver is a healthy way for me to cope with the pain of her being gone. The elderly can really teach us beautiful things about life.   

 What do you love most about working with your clients?
The stories they tell about traveling, love, life experiences, the advice they give! I love making them laugh too. 

What do you enjoy about being part of the Home Instead team?
I enjoy the wonderful group of friendly people in the office that are understanding when it comes to schedule flexibility since I am also a full-time student in college. The staff at Home Instead really know how to take care of their caregivers, (sounds a bit ironic on paper haha) they go above and beyond to make us feel appreciated during birthdays, holidays and in general! I am so grateful for that. 

What is one item on your bucket list for the future? An adventure? A goal?
My goal is to graduate from CSULB in Spring of 2022 and move into my own home. I've also been researching online marketing and I am thinking of starting my own online business as a side hustle in the near future to help pay the rest of my tuition.

What is one thing you would like people to know about you?
I am a woman with many passions, not only do I love healthcare and studying medicine, but I love acting and entertainment. Anything dance, theater, concerts, film, interests me.  

It is so cool to read what drives our CAREGivers. Thank you for sharing YOU with Home Instead, Nidhal!

Nidhal CGoM February 2021

CAREGiver of the Month: February 2021 - Nidhal D.

CAREGiver of the Month: January 2021

We are so excited to announce that this month's outstanding CAREGiver is Kaitlyn Jubera.

At only 15, Kaitlyn started caregiving for her great grandmother. Her passion for serving others grew and she eventually joined the Home Instead family in January 2020 with the Long Beach office. Shortly after she moved to North San Diego County and transferred to our Vista Office.

Kaitlyn shares, “When I found Home Instead and decided that I wanted to be a caregiver, I had been looking for a job that had something to do with my goal of becoming a social worker. My motivation was always to help people in need.” And she does that daily with our clients.

What she loves most about being a CAREGiver is hearing the stories and memories of clients. Giving them an opportunity to share what they enjoy brings such light to their faces and their spirits.

One of the things Kaitlyn appreciates about her Home Instead family is the office team. They are a very “tight knit” group who work hard to ensure that CAREGivers are comfortable, and shifts are going smoothly.

Ultimately, Kaitlyn would like to become a foster parent. She wants to be able to give people an easier and happier future who may not be given the opportunity otherwise. When asked what is one thing she wants people to know about her the answer was, “I’d like people to know that I am very passionate about what I do!” Her heart for people is exactly why she is our CAREGiver of the month.

Kaitlyn CGoM January 2021

CAREGiver of the Month: January 2021 - Kaitlyn Jubera

CAREGiver of the Year for 2020

It is a great honor for the Home Instead Vista office to select a CAREGiver of the Year, and especially for 2020 we had so many CAREGivers step up to the plate in ways like never before. They worked during a pandemic and went above and beyond to care for and protect their clients. It is with great enthusiasm that we announce Tom Heise as our 2020 CAREGiver of the Year!

If you were to meet Tom, you would understand why he rose to the top of our list. He always shows up with a smile on his face and is a fan of getting others to laugh. Afterall, laughter is the BEST medicine. Although aging is no laughing matter, it certainly can make the process a little easier when joy is interjected into day-to-day life.

When we asked Tom why he became a CAREGiver, he shares the story of his dad who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. In 1998 his dad fell and broke his hip, and for a period during his recovery Tom traveled back and forth an hour plus from Escondido to Seal Beach to help his parents’ post-surgery. It was a stressful time as he was raising a young family, running a business, and trying to decide the next steps for his father. About a month later they placed his dad in a facility while they figured out the best long-term course of action. In just short five days, his father passed. Sadly, he did not receive proper care and it resulted in his early passing.

As Tom drove home after the funeral, he felt his dad did not deserve to die alone in a facility. He told himself that if ever the opportunity presents itself, he would love to help people in a similar situation. Fast forward 16 years and Tom retires from his business and starts to think about what to do next. That is when he recalls the experience with this dad and his desire to help others. Just a few days later he saw an ad for Home Instead, applied, and the rest is history!

Often time what makes for a great CAREGiver is their personal experience and a heart to help others facing similar circumstances with grace and dignity. Tom exemplifies that on a every level. He understands the importance of living and honoring life, and that sometimes it is just about making someone comfortable in their own space. He also gets the value in little things like a home-cooked meal for a couple on a free-meal service or taking a walk on the beach with a client, playing golf with someone who has Alzheimer’s but remembers how to swing and putt. Or standing beside a wife grieving the loss of her husband as hospice takes him away. In his seven years he has seen it all, and if you ask him where he wants to be seven years from now, he will tell you, “Doing the same thing I am doing now, I truly enjoy it!!”

Tom will be the first to tell you that, “Getting old sucks!!!!!” It certainly does, but in his role with Home Instead he knows that he can bring sunshine to the doom and gloom of aging, “How badly people in need crave friendship, I know with me, my clients light up when I come and hate it when I have to leave. It’s a very special feeling to know that you’re making a difference in someone’s life!!”

We are so blessed to have Tom as part our Home Instead family, and we know that the many clients he has served the past seven years feel the exact same way.

Congratulations, Tom!!!

Tom CGoY 2020

CAREGiver of the Year for 2020 - Tom Heise