Exceptional Caregiver Awards
Hinsdale's Nationally Recognized Caregivers
The National Home Helpers Exceptional Caregiver Awards program brings much-deserved recognition to the Home Helpers Caregivers who provide care which goes above and beyond.
Two of our own Home Helpers of Hinsdale caregivers were recognized in 2020 for the devotion and care they give to their clients while providing peace of mind to their families. Please read below to learn more about John G., Regional Winner, and Rebecca J., Regional Finalist.
John G., Regional Winner
Milk in the correct cup. Bacon cooked just right. A measured amount of butter on the bread. Special cookies after lunch. Iced tea with lunch. Caregiver John G. knew that his client desired certain things done just so, even when the client could no longer communicate with words.
“John was so gentle and patient with my dad and knew exactly what my dad wanted and needed even when he could no longer ask,” commented one of the daughters. “John was my father’s first caregiver and he and my father created a special language together to communicate. My father, along with my siblings and me, felt safe and comforted knowing John was my dad’s primary caregiver for 2 ½ years. He is one special person.”
After John spent time lovingly caring for his wife while she was ill, he knew that providing care to others was what he wanted to do. John has been with Home Helpers since 2017 and we are proud to nominate him for the 2020 Exceptional Caregivers Award.
John tells other caregivers why it is so important to have patience with the clients and not take what they might say personally. He practices what he preaches. “The clients, especially as they age, may get confused or frustrated if they can’t do what they used to be able to do. It is the job of the caregiver to not take it personally and convey a positive warm attitude and help them to remain happy and calm.”
“There are several examples of how amazing John was and why my family feels he is the absolute best and deserves recognition,” commented the daughter.
- “On the days that John wasn’t living with my father, he was still caring for him. He left his phone number for the other caregivers (and us) and would always take our calls if anyone had questions on what to do to make my father happy.”
- “One suggestion John had was to get my father a bell which we did. We had a bell on his walker and one on the table. It was a great comfort to my father to know that John would be there very quickly if he rang the bell.”
According to the client’s family, John was part of their family. John treated their dad with the respect, love and care as if he was taking care of his own father. His family said, “Caring for others is John’s calling.” The client’s daughter said, “John knew what my dad needed even when we didn’t. John could also coax my father to do something when we couldn’t because of the trust my dad felt for him.”
Rebecca J., Regional Finalist
The wonderful love story of Helen and Joe lasted seven decades and produced a loving family, grandchildren and great children. In the last five years of their life, they were inseparable – thanks in part to Caregiver Rebecca J. who made sure they stayed connected serving as a constant, positive guiding light in their lives.
Rebecca says her main goal with her clients is “to love them and make them smile.” We are so proud that she embodies this and has earned this nomination for the Exceptional Caregiver Award.
Rebecca cared for Helen and Joe since 2014. The client’s daughters were amazed she could get their strong-willed mom to do things. Rebecca shared, “I talked to her in a very calm and loving way, just like I would talk to my own mother. I would tell her to trust me.”
Ann, one of the client’s daughters, said that her mom had dementia but hid it well and wanted to be seen as very independent. “Rebecca was able to work with this and let my mom be ‘in charge’ but oversee her carefully and safely. This was key especially when my mother still wanted to do the cooking at the beginning.”
Rebecca took loving care of the couple and would take Helen to her monthly eye appointments, a task which was sometimes difficult for others. The daughter Ann commented, “even the eye doctor noticed and told me on another visit how caring Rebecca was with my mom at the appointments.” Rebecca said she would sometimes take the couple out to eat. Their daughter Ann appreciated this as her parents had favorite restaurants and wanted to still be able to do what they used to do.
Ann said, “We were blessed. Rebecca was kind and caring. Home Helpers did great in matching her with my parents. My son Michael was also aware of how good Rebecca was when he visited his grandparents. He said, ‘Hands down, she is the best. She is always on top of it.’”
Rebecca said, “One of the best compliments is when my client Joe, who has two daughters, would tell me, ‘you’re my 3rd daughter.’”
Rebecca shared that even on her last day with Joe, he once again told her, “Thank you! Thank you for taking care of me and for taking care of my wife.” Rebecca says “I love what I do.” It gives “me a lot of satisfaction to know I am doing a good job.” She added, “the love you give will come back to you.”
Although she was sad when Helen passed away last December and sad again when Joe passed away this past summer, she knows she made a positive impact on them. She said they were like parents to her.
Rebecca was like a member of the family according to the client’s daughter Ann. In fact, Ann commented that she recently met up with Rebecca to share pictures of their new grandchild. She wasn’t just a caregiver, but a friend too.
Rebecca is now showing a new client her love and warmth and she is happy to care for another senior. We spoke with the new client’s nephew Carmen who said, “I don’t trust everyone with my family, but I do trust Rebecca. She’s the bomb! Thank you to whoever found her for us.”
An example of the above-and-beyond trust and care was when the couple was moving from their house to an assisted living facility. Rebecca said, “I knew how to handle Helen’s concerns with the move.” Rebecca was vital in helping the transition go smoothly. The daughter Ann had made a promise to their dad that she would keep her parents together. Rebecca allowed her to keep this promise. Rebecca encouraged her mom to partake in activities at the facility even if she wasn’t always willing. She was also a good reporter and would let the daughters know of any concerns with the new living arrangements or with the staff there.
Ann shared that one evening shortly after her parents had moved to the assisted living facility, Rebecca said she would spend the night with my mom as she knew my mom was so nervous. “She didn’t want to leave my mom alone. We were so appreciative.”
Rebecca is so very proud to be a caregiver and work for Home Helpers Home Care. She advised that when she is out, either with her client or not, she proudly wears her nametag. If someone asks her about it, she is happy to share how much she enjoys working for Home Helpers Home Care.
She shares, “They treat you well. I feel like family at Home Helpers Home Care of Hinsdale.”