October 2018 – Jibri Lewis – Clients’ Happiness Means Everything to Jibri
CAREGiver of the Month Jibri Lewis feels great when her Home Instead Senior Care® clients feel good.
“Sometimes they look at you, and you can see they feel at ease and grateful that someone is taking care of them and handling whatever comes up. It’s hard to explain the great feeling I have from that,” Jibri said. “I have had certain memorable moments with clients, and doing things such as taking them to the grocery store or accompanying them to the park seem like such simple tasks. But the little things I do for clients are really big things to them. I’ve heard, ‘I am so blessed to have you,’ even when I help them shower. Showering might not be what they want to do, but after they do it, they feel good afterward and tell you so. It is very touching. “
While her clients thank Jibri and appreciate her, she said: “I feel I am just doing my job, doing what I would for any of my family members. I hear, ‘You’re a good person’ whenever I leave them. That means a lot to me.”
In March 2018, Jibri researched the award-winning Home Instead Senior Care franchise, owned by Julie Castle, after a friend mentioned the franchise that serves the entire Pinellas County from its Clearwater office. Jibri had been a family caregiver and later worked in an assisted living community and served as a private-duty caregiver. She earned a home-health aide certification.
Jibri took care of her grandmother, who passed away in 2014. While explaining how she helped her grandmother, Jibri said, “When I was with her, I knew I had caregiving in my blood. Grandma had heart surgery to get a pacemaker when I was in middle school. Later, she was weak and had problems taking care of herself. Even after she went to the hospital, I was there for her every morning. Near the end, she was in the hospital two months, but she wanted to go home to pass away. It was a hospice situation.”
Jibri sees the parallel of being a family caregiver and serving as a Home Instead CAREGiver. “I really like taking care of my clients. I want to make them comfortable and give them a clean living atmosphere. I love the feeling of connecting with them,” she said.
From Monday through Friday, Jibri assists two regular clients who live about 10 minutes apart. She helps one client in the morning and the other in the afternoon. By assisting her morning client, Jibri is also helping the client’s husband. Jibri’s work has a major impact because her client is wheelchair-bound and needs help with personal care that includes showering. Although Parkinson’s and dementia have beset the client, she knows Jibri’s kind face and is familiar with her voice and routines.
“Showers are a big thing. I dress her and do her hair. I put perfume and lotion on her. I try to make her look really nice because she deserves it,” Jibri said. “Her husband takes her to the medical appointments, and she has a visiting nurse. She also receives physical therapy and occupational therapy.” The shift moves along quickly for Jibri. In addition to the personal care and transfers, Jibri prepares breakfast, does the laundry and other light housekeeping and fixes lunch before leaving for her afternoon shift. The client’s appreciative husband offers compliments.
Jibri’s afternoon client is nearly 81 and lives with two family members. While she needs oxygen for a breathing ailment, the client uses a walker as she tries to remain as independent as possible. The routine is measured: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are shower days. Jibri mixes in light housekeeping that includes changing sheets, laundry and vacuuming. But they also find time to go to the park to feed the birds and squirrels. “The client’s family members are retired but remain very active. When I care for my client, I am giving them a break,” Jibri said.
All told, Jibri’s caregiving weekdays can run from 8 a.m. to as late as 5:30 p.m., and she has a 1-year-old waiting for her when she gets home. “She is awesome,” Jibri said with a laugh.
Jibri also felt awesome when Director of CAREGiver Services JC Crady announced the October CAREGiver of the Month honor. “I was so happy the franchise noticed me and the work I have done. I’ve worked hard wherever I’ve been employed. It was nice to be noticed by Home Instead Senior Care,” she said.