Home Instead® CAREGiver of the Month Stuart Bell has reached “rarified air,” in terms of unique senior care, and that’s not because he lives near the Colorado Front Range’s Flatirons. How many CAREGivers have taken part in a client’s wedding preparations? Not only did Stuart help with his client’s two ceremonies, he also served as a witness and signed the marriage certificate. “They must have liked me quite a bit,” Stuart humbly said.
Stuart explained: “My client and his long-time girlfriend planned two ceremonies, one privately for all of the legal proceedings, with a judge coming to their apartment. The other ceremony included the wedding dress, cake and all of their family. You deal with a lot of loss in this line of work, and it was amazing to be a part of their lives in such a momentous occasion.”
Stuart had been assisting the client and his girlfriend for three or four months. “I was helping them work through the ups and downs, mentally and physically. They finally reached a fairly stable point in their care needs and decided it was time to tie the knot. After being together for almost 20 years, they made up their minds about it,” Stuart said.
Senior care has touched Stuart’s life in a way that most people never have experienced because he learned about it at a young age. “I lived in an elderly care facility with my mother when I was a small child. I grew up around nurses and caregivers, and a lot of my early friends were the seniors who lived there. My own grandparents were living in the Philippines, and I didn’t get to know them until I was 12 or 13 years old. Because of my living situation, I never felt lacking in that department – being around seniors, being comfortable with them and pitching in a helping hand,” Stuart recalled.
Stuart feels blessed by having joined owner Michael Lammers’ award-winning Home Instead franchise of Boulder, Broomfield and northwest Adams Counties. Although a worldwide pandemic was ramping up, the timing actually was perfect for Stuart to take his CAREGiver job with the Louisville office. “I interviewed toward the end of January 2020 and started working with clients in February, just as COVID-19 really started getting serious,” Stuart said.
“I am glad I ended up with Home Instead because I was checking into jobs at a lot of other businesses, but the pandemic most likely forced them to downsize or perhaps some of them even ceased to exist. I didn’t know it at the time, but one-on-one care ended up being one of the safest job opportunities. There was a reliability of hours, but I also was limiting my own exposure to the virus and crowds.”
During a stressful time in his life, Stuart found Home Instead online. He thinks he might have seen Home Instead on craigslist or a similar website. “I was separating from my wife at the time and was looking for a job that would build meaningful relationships. In my opinion, there is almost nothing better for moving on from a difficult personal situation than honest hard work and being appreciated for it. Being a CAREGiver delivers on all fronts,” Stuart pointed out.
For Stuart, serving as a Home Instead CAREGiver is just one spoke in his life’s wheel of experiences. His background is mostly in management and logistics. “I’ve worked in fairly diverse jobs, ranging from city events/data entry to warehousing, cheesemaking and most recently managing an arts and crafts store,” Stuart said.
Those jobs have served him well as he moved into senior care. Stuart said: “The two essential aspects I bring from those jobs are customer experience and time management. As hourly CAREGivers, those two qualities are what we need to strive to fulfill each and every shift. We want our clients to want us to come back.”
Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Rianne Matthews said: “During the time Stuart has been a CAREGiver, we have received countless praises from clients and families about his quality, compassionate care. They delight in his calm, capable presence and excellent listening skills. He is well-loved by his loyal seniors.”
Stuart said: “My absolute favorite part of the job is being appreciated genuinely for what we do. I’ve done a lot of different types of customer service but nothing comes close to the gratitude we receive for getting a client groceries or working on a puzzle with them or even just simply sitting there and listening to them in a companionship role.”
It isn’t hard to see Stuart lives the Home Instead principles of “Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart.”
All Home Instead CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call (720) 890-0184 or apply online. For further information about Home Instead, visit our website.