The daughter of a 98-year-old Home Instead® client thought of ways to describe CAREGiver of the Quarter Joanne Wellington, who has been a shining star for the award-winning Home Instead franchise in New Braunfels for the past two years and four months.
“ ‘Trust’ is one word that comes to our minds when we think of Joanne and what she means to us,” the daughter said. “ ‘Comfortable’ is another one. I am completely comfortable with Joanne in terms of her care for Dad. I am not sure that one word is sufficient for telling you about other ways Joanne has been so good for Dad. For one thing, she does a complete safety check of his home every time she’s with him. It gives us a great peace of mind.”
The daughter added: “There is no doubt Joanne has great senior-care skills – she has been in this line of work for 38 years. Even more, she has good wisdom, common sense and wonderful judgment. You see, Dad is extremely able and independent and actually can function at a good level despite his age. For instance, he can shower on his own and still drives short distances on occasion. But he does need a little help. Joanne takes care of him without ‘hovering.’ ”
The client is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who was a combat engineer in World War II and the Korean War. His military career stretched into the Vietnam War era, when he was mapping terrain and potential battle sites from a base in the United States. So, the client became accustomed to a snappy appearance, and Joanne helps him do that, perhaps better than anyone else. The daughter said: “My dad loves to have his clothes ironed, and Joanne does it perfectly for him. My dad loves to look good.”
One more huge plus, the daughter said, is Joanne’s willingness to take care of her dad’s pet cat, “Gracie.” The daughter said: “I think the cat was misnamed because ‘Gracie’ certainly does not fit her. Joanne started helping Dad during the summer of 2020, we’re so glad she did.”
Training and Engagement Supervisor Nancy Weigandt said: “Joanne truly has the heart of a Home Instead CAREGiver. She has many other varied experiences in addition to caregiving, and they all have added up to valuable blended background. For instance, she used to run a guitar manufacturing business in Las Vegas.”
Joanne’s willingness to rise up and meet several difficult challenges is something that made her stand out during the past quarter, Nancy said. Joanne has an obvious “can-do” attitude.
“We had another little outbreak of COVID-19 cases. Some of our people had mild symptoms only, but we still had to pull them from shifts until they tested negative. Those situations caused us to be short-staffed. Joanne really went above and beyond by picking up shifts, even if they were outside her availability. We truly appreciated the fact that she offered to take on short-notice shifts if we got in a bind. She really helped to get us through that difficult time.”
Nancy added: “Joanne has an old truck that she and her husband have kept running. It was not working for six-plus weeks, but Joanne found solutions to get to her shifts. She drops off her husband at his job in San Antonio early in the morning and drives back to New Braunfels to make her Home Instead shifts. She works 40-plus hours a week. She is amazing.”
Among the considerations for achieving the honored CAREGiver of the Quarter status, an employee has shown that he or she has gone above and beyond the call of duty. Empathy and compassion are taken into account for the award, as well as skill and wisdom for dealing with challenging situations. Joanne embodies Home Instead’s guiding principles of “Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart.”’ Sometimes her performance seems to “fly under the radar,” but Joanne is someone who is exceptional at her work with any client.
Joanne loves being a part of the CAREGiver team for the franchise owned by Jeremy and Sylvia Farber. The Farbers’ office is a member of a highly successful network founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska. The Home Instead network is the world’s leading provider of in-home care services for older adults, with more than 1,200 independently owned and operated franchises that provide more than 90 million hours of care annually throughout the U.S. and 13 other countries.
For Joanne and her fellow New Braunfels CAREGivers, touching lives impacts their souls, whether they are providing physical help such as light housekeeping, meal preparation, medication reminders or personal care or if they are offering emotional support in a companionship role.
All Home Instead CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call (830) 624-8380 or apply online. For further information about Home Instead, visit our website.