Heroes of Caregiving 2018

National
Caregiver: Deb Blank
Frederick County, MD
Owners: Carole and Steve Luber

Right at Home Frederick County owner Carole Luber described the incredible impact Deb had on one of their younger clients, a gentleman named Rich who had become disabled from MS. As his health deteriorated, Rich was quick to turn away caregivers who tried to care for him. Through a love of music, Deb was able to connect with Rich and form a bond that allowed her to give him the care he needed and the companionship he had been lacking. One morning during her shift, Deb thought that Rich seemed weaker and less talkative than usual. Instead of waiting until her scheduled evening shift to go back and help him get ready for bed, Deb chose to use her own time to return to his home to check on him. Upon arrival, Deb discovered that Rich had lost all motor strength in his arms and legs and was slumped over with his head and arms hanging down to the floor. Rich was barely conscious. Deb called 911. She was able to pull up his limp body and transfer him into his bed by herself. Rich was hospitalized and sent to rehab. Deb saved Rich’s life that day.
While keeping her clients safe in their homes, Deb has also brought purpose to her clients’ lives. With skill, heart and humor, Deb has given so much to her community and to Right at Home.


West
Caregiver: Vickie Moore
Reno, NV
Owners: Elaine and Mark Wimbush

Described by her supervisor as “unflinchingly positive,” caregiver Vickie Moore from Reno, Nevada, uses her upbeat attitude and creativity to inspire and connect with her clients. When working with a client with dementia, Vickie came to her shift armed and ready. With an arsenal of knitting supplies, pens, crayons and crafts, Vickie engaged her client with projects and activities that provided her client with a much-needed outlet. In her testimonial, the client’s granddaughter wrote of the positive impact these activities have had on her grandmother. By taking time to understand the social and creative needs of her client, Vickie was able to make a connection. In their nomination, Franchisees Mark and Elaine Wimbush wrote, “Vickie’s ability to connect with her clients is unmatched.”


Central
Caregiver: Jacquelyn Crenshaw-Young
North Dallas, TX
Owner: Harley Cohen

As a caregiver for over 27 years, Jacquelyn Crenshaw-Young from North Dallas, Texas, has an incredible résumé. With work experience that includes skilled nursing, rehabilitation centers, psychology wards, ICUs, hospice facilities, memory care and, of course, home care, Franchisee Harley Cohen knows that he can send Jacquelyn anywhere because of her unique and unmatched expertise. When you ask Jacquelyn how she’s doing, she’s known to humbly respond that she is “blessed and highly favored!” When asked to provide a testimonial on Jacquelyn’s behalf, a client’s daughter wrote, “Jackie Crenshaw lives on a higher, better planet than any other caregiver we have found before or since. I highly recommend her as Caregiver of the Year — maybe of the decade.”


Northeast
Caregiver: Edris Plummer
North Shore Long Island, NY
Owners: Sandra and Phil Quartuccio

Often when a person has no available family, Right at Home assumes responsibility for their well-being. When Franchisees Sandy and Phil Quartuccio were approached by an elder law attorney who was tasked with finding a caregiver for a 94-year-old woman who exhibited hoarding, narcissistic and abusive behaviors, they knew they had the perfect caregiver for the job. As the woman’s caregiver, Edris Plummer provided so much more than hands-on care. Taking care of the client’s nutrition, health concerns, home repairs, lawn care and more, Edris’s care helped her client at a time when she was at her most alone and her most vulnerable. According to Sandy, the client’s legal guardian said that Edris was the reason the client recovered when she was ill and Edris is the reason why the client continues to survive setbacks.


Southeast
Caregiver: Johnnie Mae Foster
Northwest Georgia
Owner: Jay DeVille

When Northwest Georgia Franchisee Jay DeVille thinks of the perfect caregiver, he always thinks of Johnnie Mae Foster.
In a testimonial, a client’s daughter shared memories of her mother, who was cared for by Johnnie Mae for two-and-a-half years. Johnnie Mae’s character seems most apparent when the client’s daughter wrote of her mother’s final days. Reflecting on her mother’s death, the daughter described receiving a call from Johnnie Mae to let her know that her mother’s health had quickly declined, then later sitting with Johnnie Mae at the hospital, then finally sitting by Johnnie Mae at her mother’s bedside as she died.
After Johnnie Mae comforted her client’s family at the funeral, Johnnie Mae waited for the funeral home to remove her client’s body before she told the daughter, “I can leave now. I told your mom I would never leave her, and I didn’t.”