Alzheimer’s Tennessee Honors Care Pro Rosemarie
Home Instead® Care Professional Rosemarie Weiner earned one of the highest professional senior-care honors in the state when she recently was recognized as one of the nine recipients of the First Caring Heart Award presented by Alzheimer’s Tennessee.
“Rosemarie lights up a room with her smile and sweet spirit. She treats each client uniquely, and with dignity and respect. Rosemarie has a tremendous heart for her clients and always makes it a point to ask great questions and listen to their stories. She maintains an open dialogue with our staff and shares concerns and needs she identifies that will not only ensure the clients’ safety, but also improve their quality of life. Rosemarie is an encourager and always leads with a willingness to meet people where they are,” said Brooke Childers, the client and Care Professional experience manager at the award-winning Home Instead franchise of Jackson.
A former Home Instead employee, Amanda Barlow Leitch, now the director for Alzheimer’s Tennessee in West Tennessee, presented the awards before a luncheon crowd at Fellowship Bible Church in Jackson that included Home Instead franchise owner, Bryson McQuiston, and Rosemarie’s husband, Nathan Weiner. “We celebrated Rosemarie and the tremendous impact she’s had on our seniors,” Brooke said.
“It was fitting to honor the incredible work and dedication of our West Tennessee caregivers, specifically a group of nine honorees. We all know the past few years have been challenging as we navigated the unchartered waters and new ways of working that came with COVID-19,” said Ellen Pruitt, Alzheimer’s Tennessee Caring Hearts volunteer committee chairwoman and marketing director for Hometown Health Clinic.
“Our caregivers toiled tirelessly and heroically to keep our loved ones healthy and safe. While we could never hope to repay these caregivers for all they have done, we hope that honoring them as a group presented an opportunity to spotlight their incredible dedication and selfless service. Caregivers often work in the shadows without the recognition and support they deserve. Alzheimer’s Tennessee was eager to highlight caregivers and ancillary support staff who make a difference and positive impact every day.”
When asked how she so successfully traverses the twists and turns of dementia care, Rosemarie paused and offered: “I always think, ‘What if I get dementia? How would I want someone to care for me?’ The answer is easy. I would want to be treated with respect and receive nothing less than any other human would be afforded in terms of thoughtful, skilled and compassionate care.”
At Home Instead, Rosemarie has worked primarily with dementia clients. About a year ago, she began assisting a Parkinson’s client. His wife is showing signs of memory loss, and Rosemarie also helps her when needed.
For about a year, ending in the spring of 2022, Rosemarie had assisted a primary dementia client before he moved to an assisted living care community. “The client told me the same stories over and over again, and I listened. I never entertained the thought of telling him that he was repeating himself. When I went to assist him, his wife had suffered a stroke and died within a week. He was lost. It was very sad,” Rosemarie recalled.
“I cooked for him, did the light housekeeping and in general tried to hold things together for him in an organized manner. I’d get everything done, then I’d sit with him and chat. The important thing is that every client, whether they have dementia or not, feels as if they have a friend in me. I made sure I was open to listening to him and conducting talks as they were needed. Companionship is important.”
Rosemarie added: “I’ve talked to his son since his dad went to the care community. Actually, I’ve known all of the family members of my clients, and they’ve all been nice and patient with their senior loved ones.”
Rosemarie has had two stints with Home Instead of Jackson, which she loves dearly. In June 2008, Rosemarie moved to Jackson and began job hunting in 2009. She saw a Home Instead advertisement and also discovered that Home Instead owners Bryson and Linda lived just across the street.
“They had started the Home Instead franchise in 2008, and I knew they were good people. When I applied at Home Instead, I had not worked previously in professional senior care. But I said to myself, ‘Why not?’ I was attracted to the job. I knew I could handle a good number of the job responsibilities, and they could train me about the other areas,” Rosemarie explained.
Rosemarie previously had served as a family caregiver. “Once in a while,” she said, “I have helped take care of my mother, who lives in Oregon. My sister lives there, too, and she is my mother’s primary caregiver.”
“I stayed about a year with Home Instead. It was a good experience, but since the franchise was just being launched, work hours could be hard to get. They were still building the business. I hated to leave, but I need more hours. In June 2020, during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I came back to work in semi-retirement.”
When asked what she sees for her Care Pro future, Rosemarie said, “I really like my current clients and also want to continue as a Care Pro because I want to remain as active as possible. My belief is ‘a body that is in motion remains in motion.’ ”
She added: “Home Instead office communication is good. Since I had started during the COVID-19 pandemic, we Care Pros tried to stay away from the office to limit the possible spread of the infection. As a result, I didn’t get to know the office staff that well on my return three years ago. Now I am getting to know them, and I want to say they are very nice. That’s another reason not to change jobs. I don’t want to leave a good situation.”
All Home Instead Care Professionals are screened, trained, bonded and insured. For inquiries about employment, please call (731) 984-7062 or apply online. For further information about Home Instead, visit our website.