Taya’s Childhood Experience With a Senior Couple Helped Pave the Way to Caregiving Career
Home Instead® Care Professional Cornerstone Award winner Taya Merriweather’s caregiving roots run deep.
When Taya was a young girl, she and a cousin stayed with an older couple, close family friends Bertha and Spet, one summer. “They basically raised my cousin. I always had a passion to help others. So, while I was there, I helped them each day with preparing meals, doing laundry, cleaning the home and riding with them while they ran errands,” Taya recalled. She never forgot the good feeling in her heart when that summer ended.
Referring to Home Instead of Jackson, Tennessee, Taya added, “Coming into this field of work, I didn’t really know what to expect because I didn’t have much experience with hands-on care such as bathing, grooming, personal care and other responsibilities. I just knew I loved to help others. For the past two years, Taya has served seniors on behalf of the award-winning Home Instead franchise owned by Bryson and Linda McQuiston.
“I heard about Home Instead from a former employee of the company. I decided to apply after I quit my previous job at a hospital. I had been employed at the hospital for about two years and was just looking for something different,” Taya explained.
“Moral of the story is, I really love to connect with my clients. They all come from different walks of life. Some ‘younger’ people don’t understand that seniors aren’t just ‘old people.’ They were – and are – ‘somebody.’ By that, I mean they are all people of significance to me. I’ve had clients who were pilots, artists, doctors and interior designers, and others held various other interesting occupations. I’ve had clients who have traveled to Switzerland, France, Italy, Australia and other countries. It just inspires me to be and want more for my life.”
As an unsung hero with a servant’s heart, Taya has made a big impression on her clients, their families and the Home Instead staff. Client and Care Professional Experience Manager Brooke Childers noted Taya displays Home Instead’s guiding principles of “Build Trust, Take the Lead and Share Your Heart.” That is why she was honored as one of the franchise’s Care Pro Cornerstone Award winners for the second quarter of 2022.
For Taya and her fellow Care Pros, touching lives impacts their souls, whether they are providing physical help such as light housekeeping, meal preparation, medication reminders or personal care or if they are offering emotional support in a companionship role. Focusing on Home Instead’s training, processes and procedures of successful caregiving helped Taya achieve her Care Pro Cornerstone Award.
Taya said she can think of a number of reasons for liking her job, and she listed a few that immediately came to mind:
- “I like the fact that I make a difference in my clients’ lives.”
- “I like to listen to stories about where the clients are from and how they grew up.”
- “I’ve asked them about their career or careers.”
- “I’ve wondered about their hobbies.”
- “I’ve asked, ‘Where have you traveled?’ ”
Taya’s favorite story concerns a client who flew airplanes for more 50 years.
“He did it as a hobby,” Taya revealed. “That was very interesting because I’m scared of planes. Despite that fact, I’ve always been fascinated with planes and flying. The client told me he and his family would take his plane and fly all over the United States. Not only did he fly planes, but he also flew the gliders, which I think is super cool. Mind you, this is stuff I see on TV, so to hear his stories about flying planes and gliders was really cool.”
Taya loves being a part of the Care Pro team for the West Tennessee franchise, a member of a network comprised of Home Instead, Inc. and its parent company, Honor. With the world’s largest home-care network and the most advanced care platform, Honor and Home Instead are revolutionizing care for older adults, their families and Care Pros. Combined, the network has more than 100,000 Care Pros across 13 countries, meeting the growing needs of millions of older adults and their families worldwide.
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.