November is designated as National Caregiver Appreciation Month, a time to honor and acknowledge the people who go above and beyond to care for others. This month has been observed since the early 2000s. This year, Caregivers have stepped up even more by caring for COVID-19 clients, working through the shutdown, and being a shining light to seniors isolated from their families. Caregivers are truly heroes and do not often get the recognition they deserve.
To celebrate National Caregiver Appreciation Month, VCC reached out to some of our wonderful Veterans to see what they had to say about their Caregivers. We are proud to recognize a few of them:
Brenda Pearson from Caring Angel Connection in Rayville, Louisiana, has worked with Charles for three years. When we ask Charles about Brenda, he is not shy to tell you that she really cares for him and makes sure he is well-fed, and always goes above and beyond to help him keep up on the housework. He remembered a time she helped him find a dentist that he could afford since he did not have dental insurance; it took them a year to finally find a dentist who was willing to help. She really worked hard to help him feel better. Charles said, “She keeps me on my toes and is not afraid to tell me when I am wrong. She really has a heart and cares about me and my 10-year-old dachshund.” Charles’ connection with Brenda is one of respect and appreciation for one another.
Asia Webb from All Ways Caring, Danville, Illinois, has worked with Robert for four years. Robert had many ways to describe how he felt about Asia, and it started with she is like one of my kids. He particularly remembered a time he fell and could not get back up. He noted Asia was so patient and helped him get up, making sure he was not hurt. During the conversation, you could instantly tell he felt she deserved this recognition. Robert said, “Asia is picky. She does not stop until what she is doing is perfect. I love her to death. She is a great person”. Robert reminded me that caregiving is not mechanical. It is all about relationships and connecting. It is caregivers, like Asia, that make such a difference in the lives of the people they come in contact with.
Gloria Mitchell-Goodwin from Brightstar, Highland, Indiana, has worked with Stephen since June 2019. When we asked Brightstar about Gloria they commented, “Gloria joined our team almost four years ago. She has had such an impact on many of our client’s lives, not only becoming a part of their care-team but sometimes also becoming a part of their ‘family.’ We are proud of the service Gloria provides for our clients. She truly works from her heart!” We asked Stephen to tell us about Gloria. He said, “she is a hard worker, has Christian values, and is very respectful.” His family said she tolerates their dad when he is having a bad day. She takes direction well and handles things with such maturity. When asked what makes her special, Stephen instantly said, “she is thoughtful and caring.” She has stopped by on her day off to make sure he has lunch and even came in an hour early so she could let in the Physical Therapist to work with Stephen. Gloria does things that most people don’t even know she does, and that is what makes her such a great caregiver. She cares for Stephen because of who she is, and it is not important to her to receive the credit.
Destiny Harris is a caregiver for Visiting Angels, Warner Robbins, Georgia. She has worked with Sarah for over two years. Sarah loves to have her nails done, and Destiny always makes sure she does them once a week. Destiny also takes time to color with Sarah, which is something Sarah likes to do. Sarah’s family said Destiny’s patients with Sarah is amazing. Even with the dementia progressing, she is always very patient with her and can get her to bathe when the family cannot. The family says they are blessed to have her in their life. Caregivers do a lot of little things that may not seem like much, but they are priceless to the client.
Linda Joseph has cared for Jessie for over four years. She works for A First Name Basis in Lafayette, Louisiana. It is an appropriate company name as Linda wants to know her clients and their needs. Linda is definitely on a first name basis with Jessie. There was a time Jessie’s daughter was unable to help him, as she usually does, and Linda went to the store and got everything he needed and made him dinner, so his daughter didn’t have to worry about him. When Jessie is forgetful, Linda is always kind and patient with answering his question. She tries to allow him to have independence so he can maintain his strength. We were told she cooks excellent meals and does a great job of maintaining the cleanliness of the home. When asked what makes her a good caregiver, they said she genuinely cares about Jessie and makes sure he is very well taken care of. The family of Jessie Smith is so grateful for Linda and truly feel that Jessie would not be able to be at home without her assistance. Caregiving is about independence, which is a gift to those who need care.
Taquetta Jones is a caregiver for All Ways Caring in Albany, Georgia. Taquetta embodies many of the qualities that a good caregiver possesses. She has really taken the time to get to know Ronald and pays attention to his specific needs. She doesn’t just do the minimum but goes above and beyond to help Ronald. Making him happy is a goal every time she is with him. She is particularly detailed when shopping for him to make sure he has what he likes. She always makes things he likes to eat and prepares meals for him, so he has them when she isn’t there. What does the family say about Taquetta? She is very nice, and she comes in extra when needed. They are grateful. The things that caregivers do often extends to supporting the family as well.
Brenda Powell, recognized as a finalist for Caregiver of the Year at Home Helper’s national conference in 2017, is a caregiver for Home Helpers of Corsicana, Texas. She has worked with Meloneize for three years. What makes her special? Meloneize states she helps with my garden. She picks my okra for me. She is wonderful to go to the store with, and I can trust her to go to the store for me. She likes Brenda taking her to the doctor. She wants her to come into the office with her so that she can help her remember to ask questions. Brenda takes caregiving to the next level. Meloneize, and any other client Brenda has had, says she is good at everything. It gives Brenda pleasure to do stuff for others. Caregiving is a profession of giving, and Brenda is a good example.
Thank you to all the Caregivers who give so much every day. Your clients appreciate you, and so do we!
How can you show appreciation for your caregivers? Home Care Pulse provides 28 Ways to Give Kudos to your Caregivers. Here are ten of the great ideas:
- Gift cards
- Handwritten thank you cards.
- Call a caregiver and tell them how much you appreciated their work
- Employee of the month (or similar programs)
- Text Messages
- Annual recognition luncheons
- Birthday cards
- A one-on-one lunch with your caregivers
- Social media page recognition
- Years of service bonus
For the rest of the list and more information visit: 28 Ways to Give Kudos to your Caregivers
It doesn’t have to be November to show your appreciation. Caregivers are essential to this industry, and what better way to show them than to celebrate them all year long.