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Home Care Benefit 

Personalized in-home care can help people age in place safely with dignity and independence. We provide our person-centered “home care” no matter where “home” is. From the family home to senior communities to rehab facilities and beyond, we are able to bring the care aging loved ones need to wherever they call home.
Home Instead Caregiver helps senior woman unload groceries from vehicle

Proudly Serving Aging Adults & Their Families

Our Promise

As a locally owned business, our team offers friendly, responsive service right in your neighborhood. Families love our team because we:
  • Do what we say we’re going to do – each and every time
  • Solve care problems using compassionate, person-centered solutions
  • Engage in thoughtful relationships with the families we serve
  • Give back to our community

About Us

Meet Our Team

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Gail Shaheed - Franchise Owner

For years I had been thinking about how I could work with seniors in my community. I had worked for 9 years with youth in a mentoring organization and found that seniors made wonderful role models for the young people. My parents were in their mid-seventies and my grandmother was approaching 100 and it was a logical step in my path through life. I began my adventure with Home Instead Senior Care in 2007 with the investigation of the organization. After much research into Home Instead Senior Care, my husband Peter and I found a company that was backed by a very progressive home office that was extremely supportive of each individual franchise. As I have said in many conversations since then, I feel as if I have a staff of over 150 in Omaha that is continually feeding us updated information and research relating to the seniors in our community.

Since taking over the Shawnee and Douglas county office in 2008 we have found a wealth of enjoyment in the clients and CAREGivers we have encountered. Each day brings new joy and happiness in helping those that we serve.

Member, COA (Council on Aging)
Topeka Area Continuity of Care (TACC) - 
Member 2009 to present, Secretary 2009-2010, Vice President 2012 to 2015
Lawrence Area Partners in Aging (LAPA) - 
Member 2008-Present, 2011-2013 Vice President, 2013 to 2015 President
American Heart Association - 
Go Red For Women Purse Committee 2010-2012, Auction Committee 2016-2017

Peter Shaheed, Franchise Owner

Peter Shaheed - Franchise Owner

I joined Home Instead Senior Care full time in 2013. Before joining the company I was a Senior Engineer with a major aerospace company for approximately 30 years. Although I enjoyed my career as an engineer, I was eager to join Gail, my wife, in providing care for our clients. Since joining the company full time in 2013, I have spent most of my time assisting our clients and terrific office staff by developing or implementing new programs to better serve our clients, caregivers and office staff. One of my major areas of focus has been in the area of Safety and Health. I have been working on ways to ensure that our caregivers and office staff are always making safety the number one priority for our clients and for the caregivers. Also, as the need arises, I provide technical assistance to our caregivers and office staff.

Sharon Petrone, Home Care Consultant

Sharon Petrone - Marketing & Networking Specialist

Role- To oversee and develop the Marketing and Networking in Shawnee and Douglas Counties and the Client Care Aspects of our services in Facilities.  Assist new clients with establishing services, and to provide continued support after services have started.

After spending 30 years in Continuing Care Retirement Communities, I joined Home Instead as a Home Care Consultant. This decision allows me to continue my goal of helping elders remain independent.  So often in the past people have needed to move from their homes to facilities in order to access needed services when, with a little assistance, they could have stayed in their own home.  I have found, like our company's founders, that provision of non-medical in-home services can make all the difference to those we serve. I am pleased to play a supporting role for the caregivers who provide our services.​

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Barbara VanCortlandt - Operations & Human Resource Specialist

Lawrence, Douglas County and Other Areas 
Role- To oversee and develop the Caregiver hiring, training, and retention while assisting them to nurture their career aspirations.  Assists with onboarding new clients to ensure that the right Caregivers are matched for their specific needs.  Also implements Health and Safety procedures, benefits, and other Human Resources activities.

​I am a Kansas native who loves living in Lawrence. My mother lives nearby, and I have five amazing grown children and three adorable grandchildren. Decades ago, I enjoyed working as a CNA in multiple settings while attending Newman University in Wichita. In 1986, I took my Sociology degree to a challenging and rewarding career as a Health Educator with the State of Kansas. In 2003, my father became disabled, so we remodeled our home to accommodate him and welcomed him into our household for his final six years. During this time, I stayed close to home and worked as Safety Manager at the local school bus company - hiring, training, and coaching employees. In 2007, I also worked as a caregiver for Home Instead! Ultimately, I was drawn back to the state for 10 more years and ended my Public Health career as a Cancer Program Manager. After my [early] retirement, I wanted to continue the most meaningful parts of my career. This included providing education and training, supporting employees to succeed in their careers, and focusing on quality-of-life issues both for clients and caregivers. Two weeks after I retired from the State in May 2018, I embarked upon my rewarding retirement career with Home Instead!

Kinya Vaughn, Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator

Kinya Vaughn - Operations & Human Resource Specialist

Topeka and Shawnee County
Role- To oversee and develop the Caregiver retention process while assisting them to nurture their career aspirations.  Assists with onboarding new clients by scheduling and preparing the initial shifts to ensure the right Caregivers are matched for their specific needs.  Also assists with payroll, benefits, and other Human Resources activities.

Topeka is my hometown, and I am a Washburn University (WU) graduate. I am also a KSU Wildcat as it was my first college experience prior to transferring to WU. The first 20 plus years of my working experiences have led me to live in various states and encompass a variety of experiences which has provided a diverse background ranging from corrections, disability/medical/insurance claims to administrative duties. I have garnered some amazing experiences/education/skills that I now bring into my new career path. In late 2017 I made a hard decision to walk away from my career and life and come care for my mother.  Time is priceless and one doesn’t get it back once it’s gone. The Universe works in great ways and it lead me to join Home Instead initially as a Caregiver. Working with seniors has provided me a greater insight to life and they need attention just like the rest of us-but they need more of it. Being a Caregiver is a tough job and it’s a life altering experience which is humbling and fulfilling. Having worked from the ground up, and then being assigned to supervise and engage with our large caregiving staff, overseeing scheduling with the Lead Scheduler and various administrative duties. I have been and will always be an advocate for Caregivers for they are priceless to have and it’s crucial that they have a work/life balance in this field. People are trusting us in their lives/homes, and I take that seriously. Being professional is a must. Positive communication is everything and I believe in leading with fairness and coaching people to be successful. Life has taught me that when you praise what people do right, they feel better and want to do better. We are human; thus, we are imperfect. This company truly has exhibited their words "To Us, It's Personal" into practice when they say they will work with your life.

Meta Kennedy,  (LPN retired) - Staff Client Care Coordinator

Meta Kennedy (LPN Retired) - Client Care Specialist

Topeka and Shawnee County 
Role- To oversee and develop the Client Care Aspects of our services, assist new clients with establishing services, and to provide continued support after services have started.

My life has centered around health care and care giving.  At the time my parents reached their elder years, there were no options comparable to Home Instead.  Instead, my sister and I shared the role of caregivers so my parents could remain in the comfortable home they loved.  Now I can aid others, ensuring a safe, reliable, and personal option.  I joined Home Instead after relocating from Minnesota to live closer to my only grandchild.  My life and my heart are full.  I appreciate the opportunity to assist you!

Karen Hastert, Recruitment Coordinator

Karen Hastert - Client Care & Support Coordinator

Lawrence, Douglas County and Other Areas 
Role- To assist new clients with establishing services and to provide continued support after services have started such as client evaluations, logistical support, and supplies.

I joined Home Instead Senior Care in April 2018. Before joining company I worked in a Lab for a major company in Lenexa for 17 years. My mother had been diagnosed with Dementia that tripled from a fall she had when she hit her head. My Father was taking care of her and I knew I wanted to spend more time with helping her. I left the Company and took time off to be with my parents. During this time I crossed paths and applied with Home Instead Senior Care. I started out being a Caregiver, then an Ambassador helping Clients and other Caregivers and now help in the Topeka/ Lawrence Office with Recruitment. I love the job I do with my fellow co-workers and Caregivers. I find this job is just as rewarding to the staff as it is to our Clients and this is where I am meant to be.

Phyllis Walker, Home Care Consultant

Phyllis Walker - Client Care & Support Coordinator

Topeka and Shawnee County 
Role- To assist new clients and new caregivers to ensure our services are well establish in new client’s home by assisting with logistical support and supplies to caregivers and clients.

​I started working for Home Instead in January of 2013 and continue to work with some of the same clients since the day I started!  In February of 2015 I became the Community Service Representative for Home Instead. In this position, I visit businesses within the community, introduce myself as a representative from Home Instead, and explain our services and how the company can assist seniors who are in need of help around their home or in retirement/nursing facilities.  Another aspect of my job is to assist our team and our clients with the logistical support such as the supplies and the personal protective equipment that are required because of the ongoing changes in our society.

Germaine Ramirez-Barea (CNA) - Lead Service Coordinator / Scheduler

Germaine Ramirez-Barea (CNA) - Lead Scheduler

Role- To assist new clients with establishing services and to provide continued support after services have started.

I have been working with Home Instead since 2015.  I started as a Caregiver was then promoted to Lead Caregiver (Ambassador) and then in 2018 to my current position as Lead Scheduler.  I have been a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) for thirteen years.  While working as Caregiver for Home Instead I was studying Criminal Justice with a Major in Homeland Security.  I earned my bachelor’s degree in June 2018.  Shortly after that time I was promoted to the position of Lead Scheduler.

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Sarah Williamson - Caregiver Engagement & Training Coordinator

Lawrence, Douglas County and Other Areas
Role- To train, coach and mentor new Caregivers and prepare them for a career at Home Instead.

I have been a Caregiver in various capacities, working with individuals with developmental disabilities, at-risk youth, and adults with severe and persistent mental illness, for more than 15 years. I attended Washburn University’s School of Social Work and am excited to work with people to empower them to stay in their homes.  Home Instead has afforded me this opportunity! The skills I have gained in past positions have helped me bring a holistic approach to working with seniors.  I love teaching others proven strategies for working with seniors as well as continuing to challenge myself.  As a Topeka native, my roots run deep.  I am looking forward to continuing to grow while serving, teaching, and coaching others.

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Jessica Richards - Recruitment & Technology Coordinator

Role- To assist with hiring and training of new Caregivers and to ensure our services are well establish in new client’s home by assisting caregivers with the onboarding process and technology needs.

I was born in Tennessee where most of my family and extended family still live. I moved to Kansas when I was very young and have enjoyed living in northeast Kansas since.  My working career has been as a small business owner and working as an office manager in several small companies.  I specialized in Aging in Place to help seniors enjoy life even through some of the most difficult times.  I came across Home Instead when they had a hiring opportunity and immediately joined the team as a part time Caregiver in addition to my other job. I eventually became dedicated to Home Instead full-time and have not looked back since. I find great satisfaction in giving seniors the companionship and assistance they need. I also enjoy hiring and onboarding new Caregivers who share that same passion.  Another aspect of my job is to assist our team and our clients with the technology that is being integrated into all of our lives as a result of the ongoing changes in our society.

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Terri Ferrell - Lead Caregiver (Ambassador)

Role- To ensure our services are well establish in new client’s home by assisting caregivers with the onboarding process.

After obtaining my General Studies Degree in Interior Design from Washburn University, I worked for several years designing business interiors. I moved into office management, then to teaching kindergarten through high school for 3 children. I have now added teaching English to Chinese students online. My interests outside of work include homeschooling, reading Christian fiction and non-fiction, listening to Christian music, and participating in Scripture du Jour, a daily devotion for more than 100 people. I started elder caregiving when my mother-in-law transferred from her home to my home for approximately 2 years and then when she moved into a facility in Topeka. I helped care for her for more than 7 years while I homeschooled my children. I have been with Home Instead since 2019 and I love helping my clients with the tasks that they need to stay in their homes. I look forward to assisting with setting up plans that are useful and helpful for our clients and helping train other caregivers to assist the clients.

Monica Shaheed, On Call

Monica Shaheed - Logistics Coordinator

Role- To provide technical support for certain applications which includes data entry / management and to order supplies for our caregivers and clients.

I started working part time at Home Instead Senior Care in 2015 as the Logistics Coordinator, helping internally with inventory, technical issues, and graphic design. Then, I began working full time at the front desk. I made sure our clients' records are up to date and helped around the office.  Soon I became the evening and weekend On-Call Coordinator and got to know many clients and Caregivers while I performed the duties of that position for well over a year.   Currently I provide technical support for certain applications and order supplies as needed for the Office Staff.  One of my favorite projects was to launch the Family Room feature with the assistance of everyone at the office!  

Our Team

Your Home Instead team in Topeka, KS possesses a heartfelt desire to work with seniors in the community. It is our ultimate goal to forge extraordinary relationships between our clients and their CAREGivers.

When you or an elderly loved one is ready for help, our caring staff is on call to quickly answer your questions and accommodate your senior services needs.

Home Instead Caregiver wearing mask reading newspaper with senior man at home


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