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March 31, 2020

Shiphrah Builds Trust, Takes the Lead, Shares Her Heart

Shiphrah Headshot
Shiphrah Odim’s spectacular work with her Home Instead Senior Care® clients in central Houston more than just checked all the boxes to earn her franchise’s CAREGiver of the Year honor for 2019. Shiphrah quietly and humbly has gone above the call of duty when fulfilling the Home Instead principles: “Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart.”

Shiphrah builds trust: Shiphrah said: “Trust doesn’t happen overnight. You get to the point where the clients might trust no one else but you and close family members.” Some clients have their own ways of evaluating others’ integrity, and once they see it, they know they can trust people such as Shiphrah. She has passed all the tests. Shiphrah has heard: “I know you can do that for me, Shiphrah.” Shiphrah helps some clients remember, a form of taking the lead, and they trust her promptings. Shiphrah goes to great lengths to keep records for her clients and maintains a calendar of their important dates such as medical appointments or birthdays.

Specific examples of Shiphrah building trust: Some clients want to carry out tasks, and they have asked Shiphrah to come alongside them to make sure they’re doing it right. Shiphrah accepts these responsibilities only with the permission of family members or guardians, which is another way in which Shiphrah has built trust. Clients have asked financial-industry workers to listen to Shiphrah so she can make clear what they want. Twice Shiphrah has caught fraud attempts by checking a client’s financials at her request. When Shiphrah found the problems, she alerted the clients’ family members and was complimented. Sometimes Shiphrah has helped clients stay on budget and remember how to spend. When Shiphrah goes to the grocery store on behalf of a client, Shiphrah keeps records. The client may ask how Shiphrah spent grocery money, and Shiphrah has the itemized slip and evaluates it with the client.

First example of Shiphrah taking the lead: One dementia client cannot do much for herself and needs and accepts Shiphrah’s assistance. Shiphrah takes the lead with all forms of care. Shiphrah is always thinking a step or two ahead for the client. Shiphrah reminds her because the client forgets to shower and brush her teeth. Shiphrah doesn’t get tired of teaching her over and over again with gentle, compassionate reminders, which is also a sharing of her heart. Shiphrah likes to take the lead for the client in all activities, including exercises during which Shiphrah participates as well as leads.

Second example of Shiphrah taking the lead: Shiphrah recognizes there are so many little routine things dementia clients don’t remember. Those are tasks that others take for granted because they can automatically do them without thinking. Dressing and meals are important times for Shiphrah’s direction. When Shiphrah invites a client to eat, he sometimes says, “No, I don’t want it.” But Shiphrah always has been able to gently encourage him to do so. This is done because Shiphrah already has built trust. He is nearly always compliant because he innately believes she has his best interest in mind. Most important, Shiphrah gives him the desire to keep going, which is a form of sharing her heart.

Shiphrah shares her heart: A male client experiences episodes of confusion in the middle of the day, and Shiphrah compassionately calms him. Shiphrah will never forget a 75-year-old client who passed away after a courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease and other medical challenges. As much as Shiphrah assisted the client, Shiphrah was overwhelmed with the ways her client helped her. There was a sharing of two hearts. “I never had anyone take such an interest in me,” Shiphrah said. The client encouraged Shiphrah as she went through nursing classes. Shiphrah was with the client the day before she died. Shiphrah recalled: “She was losing her speech, and I was the last person to talk to her. I held her. It was so emotional. The last words she said were, ‘I love you,’ then she kissed me on the cheek. I felt so special. I received a gift.”

There’s a backstory that gives insight to Shiphrah’s poise, patience, wisdom, common sense and compassion. Nine-year-old Shiphrah calmly served as the midwife – without any help – during a late-night delivery of a healthy baby at her family’s nursing home and medical clinic in Nigeria. The young mother-to-be had come to the clinic looking for Shiphrah’s mother, a nurse who was miles away at a hospital that night.

“I knew she was not going to make it anywhere else, home or hospital, before delivering. I knew how to help with a delivery because I always helped Mom and observed her closely in all medical matters. I was present when Mom served as a midwife at childbirths,” said Shiphrah, whose name means “beautiful” in Hebrew. In the Old Testament, Shiphrah was one of the midwives who disobeyed the Pharaoh's order to kill any Hebrew boys they delivered.

When Shiphrah said she could help, the pregnant woman asked, “How old are you?” Shiphrah replied by saying, “Just believe me.” Shiphrah explained: “She was scared, but there was nothing she could do. I prepared everything and delivered the baby safely, just as my mom would. It was so amazing and a great experience.”

Shiphrah added: “After that, I did a lot of deliveries. I never kept count. I delivered my sister’s baby. I thought: ‘This will be the thing. I will be in the medical field and help others. I will be a midwife nurse, maybe become an OB/GYN. I love to take care of people, whether it’s the beginning of life or the end of life.”

At this point in her life, Shiphrah loves taking care of seniors on behalf of the Home Instead Senior Care franchise owned by Mechelle and David Minter. Shiphrah is working as a CAREGiver while she is taking college classes to become a registered nurse. Shiphrah has been a CNA for five years. “I still have a year before I get my RN at Houston Community College. I want to transfer to the University of Texas campus here in Houston to work on my bachelor’s degree in nursing. That degree will take two more years,” she said.

Shiphrah joined Home Instead Senior Care in February 2017 and was honored as the award-winning franchise’s CAREGiver of the Quarter for April through June in 2019. “I like Home Instead. I am always learning as a CAREGiver as I take care of wonderful, amazing clients,” she said.

All Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call (713) 403-2273 or apply online. For further information about Home Instead Senior Care, visit our website. Our Home Instead Senior Care office at 2656 South Loop West Freeway Suite 565 in Houston (77054) serves central Houston, including Bellaire, The Heights, Medical Center, River Oaks and West University.