In a year when professional caregivers have never been more essential or heroic, Bill Glover of Charleston, South Carolina, stands out. He has been awarded one of the profession’s highest honors, named the 2021 North American CAREGiverSM of the Year by Home Instead, the world’s leading provider of in-home care for older adults. Designed to honor those demonstrating compassion and exceptional care to the seniors and families they serve, the award is the highest accolade for the organization's more than 65,000 professional CAREGiversSM in North America.
“This past year has shown us all the importance of being compassionate and extending a helping hand to make life better for those around us,” said Lori Hogan, co-founder of Home Instead. “Mr. Glover is a shining example of what we all should strive to be, and we are incredibly proud to honor him as our 2021 CAREGiver of the Year.”
Mr. Glover has always been driven by a passion to help people. Throughout his life this has taken many forms, from considering priesthood as a young man to establishing a fulfilling career as a counselor for young adults and families.
Later in life, he was drawn to professional caregiving as a way to prepare for his post-retirement dream, creating a ministry with his wife to serve aging adults in the Charleston area. In a heartbreaking turn of events, Mr. Glover lost his wife to cancer before they were able to fulfill this mission. Despite this unexpected loss, he remained dedicated to his role providing the highest quality care and companionship to his clients as a CAREGiver with Home Instead.
“God gives us all this love,” said Mr. Glover. “And after losing her, I needed some place to put it. Thankfully, I was able to put it into my clients.”
It’s this steadfast love and devotion that has created such powerful bonds between him and his clients. Not only does Mr. Glover ensure they are well cared for, he also makes it a priority that they are given the chance to partake in their favorite activities – regardless of the challenges they face – from riding bikes around their neighborhood to attending the opera in New York City.
For instance, Mr. Glover’s very first client was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease and turned to running as a way to cope. When his condition worsened and he was no longer able to continue running on his own, Mr. Glover would go on long walks with him – nine miles a day, three days a week.
“It was wonderful, because he was so happy and we would just talk – about his illness, and his fears, and whatever he was going through. He became a very dear friend,” Mr. Glover explained.
Mr. Glover has gone above and beyond for his clients, fueled by his unwavering admiration and commitment to their health and happiness. In some cases, his regular presence even moved them to tears out of the sheer delight he brought them.
“Over the course of his nearly seven-year career with Home Instead, Bill has served more than a dozen clients, many of whom lived with dementia. His gentle, caring approach has earned him a reputation as a ‘dementia whisperer,’ and we regularly receive requests for him by name,” shared Melody Carithers, owner of the Home Instead office serving Charleston. “We are honored to get to work with him every day, and believe he is so worthy of this award.”
For all these reasons and more, Mr. Glover has been selected for this recognition, representing the vast network of Home Instead CAREGivers throughout North America who go the extra mile for their clients each and every day.
“I get so much joy out of being with these folks at a time that — in a lot of cases — is horrific for them. I get to walk with them on this road and make their lives better,” Mr. Glover said. “I’ve decided to keep doing this until the good Lord tells me I can’t do it anymore. It’s a blessing. It really is.”
Home Instead CAREGivers help seniors remain independent in the comfort of their own homes or in care communities as they age, providing services and companionship, from meal preparation and medication reminders, to personal care and Alzheimer’s care. Mr. Glover was selected for the network’s top honor among eight regional finalists, all nominated for their incredible dedication to providing the highest quality care to their clients.