Caregiver of the Year 2009 – Betty Hill (Birmingham, AL office)
In September of 2008, my mom Mary* was diagnosed with a stage IV malignant brain tumor. The news was grim but we decided to move forward with surgery, chemo and radiation. In the first several months, Mary* was able to still care for herself and stay in our house alone. However, as time went on, her cognitive functioning began to decline and by late December, it was clear that she could no longer be left home alone.
As a single parent with two teenage daughters and a full-time job, I could not be home to care for mom around the clock. So after interviewing different agencies, I selected BrightStar to provide us with caregivers for mom each day. I had very definite ideas about the type of person I wanted to care for mom and as a result, , I had several different CNAs care for mom before finding the right “fit.”
Ashley Johnson (West Hollywood, CA office)
Our caregiver, Ashley Johnson, has greatly transformed out household. John Smith*, 81, has been content to nap away the day. He watched a lot of TV while remembering little. He hated to go anywhere or even manage a short stroll. One of his hands was damaged due to a stroke. It seemed useless and had a claw-like look. The goal was to be more mobile and hold a glass by Christmas.
Now under Ashley’s direction, he does range of motion exercises twice a week and has a routine of walking regularly. He was able to hold a glass by Christmas. Read more.
Jessica Olsen (Little Rock, AR office)
My name is Jane*. My husband Bill* is a patient/client of BrightStar [Healthcare]. I would like to nominate Jessica Olsen for the BrightStar Caregiver of the Year 2009, including the $5000 scholarship, for her role as CNA for William.
Bill* is nursing home qualified with a long list of diagnoses, including Dementia and Parkinson’s. This keeps us from actively participating in church, family or social activities.
Jessica goes the extra mile to assure Bill’s* needs are met. She is a joy to be around. Her gentle way with him is calming and restorative, sometimes singing or humming to soothe his nerves. Jessica keeps her schedule flexible, sometimes coming with very short notice. Even in her normal role, she is exceptionally perceptive of Bill’s* needs and imitations. Recently, while visiting in our home, a niece poured a cup of coffee for Bill*. Read more.
Jen Riley (Pittsburgh, PA office)
The bond that links our true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.
Jen Riley came into the lives of Sarah* and Sam Smith* when Sam* was 85 and, while still healthy overall, he was becoming increasingly frail and forgetful due to advancing Dementia and diabetes. Sarah* was 81, battling cancer and moving through the stages of chemotherapy with minimal disruption to her life. Nevertheless, Sam’s* advancing frailty and memory loss put heavy demands on Sarah, which began to wear her down.
When Jen entered their lives, she immediately established rapport and trust with Sarah & Sam* and quickly became a respected ally in the daily battle against advancing age. She wove herself into the fabric of their lives, helping with the household chores, driving to doctor appointments and cheerfully dealing with all the personal care issues that can quickly rob an older person of their dignity. She is compassionate and caring. Read more.
Shelly Wason (Madison, WI office)
Shelly Wason goes beyond her duties as a caregiver. She makes me homemade meals all the time. She does laundry and vacuums too. She’s nice and takes me to the dentist. I like that she makes meals for me and my son when he comes over. She makes sure I don’t fall in the shower. We talk about my life and how I’m doing. We go to Pizza Hut to celebrate my birthday. She even bring me balloons to me house. She takes care of my skin rash when I get one. Read more.
Marisol Crispin (Dallas, TX office)
The amazing BrightStar Caregiver in the life of my mother is Marisol Crispin. My mother, Beth*, is in the later stages of Dementia and lives in an assisted living center. Due to her numerous physical and mental impairments, I decided that she needed the one-on-one care provided by BrightStar.
Marisol has far exceeded my expectations. Every weekend since last fall, this lovely young woman makes a long commute to arrive at the center by 7:00 a.m. to be the first to smile at my mother when she wakes. Read more.