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September 30, 2020

Cheri's Life is Marked by a Passion to Serve Others

Home Instead Caregiver of the Month Cheri

Cheri's Life is Marked by a Passion to Serve Others

From family caregiving to professional senior care, Cheri Funk has spent her life giving back to others.

"I am someone who has just loved on people my whole adult life. I have always had a passion for people and serving them," said the CAREGiver of the Month for owner Michael Lammers' award-winning Home Instead Senior Care® franchise of Boulder and Broomfield Counties.

In 2015, one of Cheri's grandfathers was diagnosed with cancer and chose to have in-home hospice. Cheri explained: "I had the opportunity to assist my mom with his care during this process. The care I provided for Grandpa was companionship, feeding assistance, cleaning his home, washing him up and making sure his other needs were met."

Cheri also cares for her father. "I help him clean his home, provide the grocery shopping, manage his meds, fill out paperwork and do anything else he may need help with," said Cheri, who pointed out that she returned to school when she was 25 years old to learn more about the body and how to properly care for people.

"Before becoming a CAREGiver, I had my own home business," Cheri said. "After losing my mama, suddenly working from home was no longer a good fit for me. I felt a need to give to the community. I noticed a caregiving position open with a small 'like-home' facility."

Two weeks after taking the job, Cheri was promoted to assistant manager. Then six months later, Cheri became the administrator after her people skills, knowledge, dedication and work ethic were recognized and rewarded. "But I found that being an administrator was not a good fit for me. The reason for that was because the priorities I set – including putting clients, residents and staff first – were not aligned with the company," Cheri said. "I moved forward working with individuals with developmental disabilities, which was an incredibly rewarding field. But I found there were priorities again that did not align, and I went home daily with a heavy heart."

Enter the Home Instead Senior Care franchise in Louisville. Cheri had known about Home Instead from being in the caregiving field. While looking on an internet job site, Indeed.com, she found that the franchise was looking for CAREGivers. Cheri feels the job is a good fit.

"I have never felt so valued, appreciated and respected since I started working at the age of 16. I simply cannot say enough about the staff and clients. This is what 'team' truly looks like and feels like," Cheri said. "I love the individual care I am able to provide, and I am able to truly focus on that responsibility. I am able to go home feeling as if I am truly doing my part to make a difference in the community. Being selected as the employee of the month is truly an honor."

Cheri added: "It isn't always easy, but it is always rewarding. Being able to fulfill that need and have work-life balance is priceless. Finally, one of my most favorable experiences being a CAREGiver is working with my dementia clients. Having an individual who is confused but doesn't know why he or she is confused, then bringing him or her comfort, understanding and acceptance is priceless."

Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Rianne Matthews said: "Cheri is a genuine, warm and positive person who brings a wealth of experience in senior care. Cheri formerly served as the executive director of a memory care unit. Cheri came to Home Instead seeking a job with more direct one-on-one contact with seniors and a better work-life balance. She has proved to be compassionate and reliable, and she is an excellent leader."

Rianne pointed out: "One of our other CAREGivers recently sent a message to our office with praise for Cheri, who has shared with her tips and advice about their shared clients. Cheri knows how to take the lead. That is part of our Home Instead Senior Care® guiding principles of 'Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart.' Cheri does all three quite well."

Home Instead CAREGivers, who are screened, trained, bonded and insured, provide a variety of in-home services to help keep seniors independent. For inquiries about employment with Home Instead Senior Care, please call 720-432-4956. For further information, visit www.homeinstead.com/397/home-instead-senior-care