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CAREGiver of the Year

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​​A tradition of great caregiving means that we take care of our own as well as we take care you and your family. ​

Home Instead, Inc. recognizes regional CAREGivers of the Year and one special CAREGiver who shows exceptional dedication is the recipient of the national award — The Mary Steibel CAREGiver℠​ of the Year Award.

This program inspires CAREGivers to strive for excellence. It creates a sense of pride and rewards their hard work, compassionate care and service to others.

To view our CAREGivers of the Month, click here​!

Kristina Anderson, Canada's CAREGiver of the Year!

rsz_saskatoon_headshot_v2_portrait.jpgNot only is Kristina the 2019 CAREGiver of the Year for Saskatoon, she also picked up the award as top CAREGiver for all of Canada. Anderson was recognized for her commitment and service to the older adults who are local clients of Home Instead Senior Care, the world's largest provider of home care and companionship services for seniors.

The Saskatoon office chose Kristina to represent their team this year because of her wow factor. The outstanding quality of her work, strength of her character and the impact she has made in the lives of our clients and their families is a credit to her personality, dedication and skills as a CAREGiver.

One week after Kristina was hired she began seeing our new client, Betty Lou (name changed), and has continued to see her for the past 2.5 years.

Betty Lou, 98, lives in an assisted living home and has dementia. While she is hard of hearing, Betty Lou spry and mobile and had even been walking to the mall on her own at times!  She also walks the halls of her building, participates daily in shuffleboard and enjoys the meals in the dining room. The goal of the family was to have Betty Lou continue to live where she lived with a high quality of life.  Kristina has been able to connect and build a powerful bond of trust with Beryl.

On that first visit, Kristina was advised that Betty Lou's self-perception was still that of a young athlete. Kristina reported afterward that she used a little competitive motivation with her client and then had to slow things right down. While out for some exercise, what started as a prompt to pick up the walking pace - 'let's see how fast we can walk?' - nearly resulted in a full out footrace!

Kristina is sure to keep a close eye on any changes she notices, such as Betty Lou having the unfortunate experience of contracting scabies, not once, but twice during the past year. Kristina was given the responsibility of following an extremely detailed plan devised to rid the home of all the bugs. She worked diligently, bagging and storing all of her household items. Kristina helped Betty Lou shower and ensured medicated creams were applied by home care staff. Kristina went through this very involved process two separate times, even taking recommended treatment herself, without so much as batting an eyelash! She made herself available during days she didn't normally work or extended her days with Betty Lou to include all that was needed to be done in order to accomplish this—no easy feat when you have a lively woman with dementia not wanting to go through the process. Because she trusted Kristina, Betty Lou relied on her instruction and didn't put up a fight even though her world was turning upside down.

During this experience, Kristina kept Betty Lou calm, settled and tried to keep her daily routine in place as much as possible. Each morning she continued to meet Betty Lou downstairs where they always began the day playing shuffleboard. They enjoyed their morning together which involved breakfast, sometimes appointments or outings, walking and playing games, talking and connecting as friends do.

Kristina knows when to give Betty Lou space and removes herself if she appears agitated, re-entering a short time later and picking up where she left off. Her communication with Betty Lou and our office keeps all bonds strong and flowing. The family is grateful for this since they don't live in the same city. They have come to rely on Kristina's relationship with their mother/grandmother and trust Kristina's instincts about Beryl's needs.

Kristina has built this, over time, in a loving, considerate and often humorous manner (we wonder how many hiding places for hearing aids she has actually uncovered!) ensuring that those hours with her will be the absolute best part of Beryl's day. Kristina delights in sharing their experiences together and joyfully opens her heart each day to be that compassionate presence Betty Lou has come to rely upon.

Last fall, the services of Home Instead were recommended by a Long Term Care home for Debra (name changed), a 67-year-old retired nurse who was struggling to adjust to her new home. At her young age, she was diagnosed with dementia and psychiatric related conditions. Intense behaviours accompanied her illness.

Debra's care home staff struggled to manage her behaviours - they could not provide her constant attention as they had to attend to other residents. The agreement was to organize a short term intensive schedule of Home Instead caregivers for Debra to help her settle in her new home.

We were asked to help Debra through each day and enable her to depend less on constant staff attention. For example, one goal was to help Debra become comfortable walking down the hall without holding someone's hand. As part of a team of Home Instead Caregivers Kristina was willing and ready to take on the challenge of this unique care plan.

We were to observe Debra from afar, only stepping in to settle her if her agitation was escalating. The Director of Care wanted clear documentation of what methods worked and what did not. Debra's state of agitation brought out behaviours such as anger, screaming, pounding on her chest, hitting and pinching. Debra needed to walk constantly; she only stopped to eat and sleep. Sometimes Debra's anxiety caused her to run into rooms and close a door behind her. She would panic when she could not remember how to get out and sometimes this caused her to try to crawl out the window.

Kristina reported that she enjoyed her first visit with Debra. They walked steadily, and Kristina kept only a few steps behind. This went on for 6 hours. Kristina followed, using encouraging words to let Debra know she was safe walking alone. Kristina also reassured her that she was listening, and there was no need to scream.

After serving Debra for only a few weeks, Debra would run to Kristina the minute she walked through the door. With encouraging words, Debra became able to walk on her own, and the screaming became less and less. It was a tall order - to ask caregivers to observe from afar, as it would have been so much more familiar to take her by the hand and form the relationship, which is the exact reason that our caregivers come to work with Home Instead!

Kristina went above and beyond, adjusting her availability to provide continuity for Debra. She never once commented on how challenging this was. Kristina saw in Debra the 67 years old retired nurse that struggled with a devastating illness. She also saw in Debra's husband a man who was abrasive due to the grief of losing their retirement years together and fear of the challenges ahead.

The care home's Director of Care called our office to tell us how impressed she was with Kristina's care and thanked us for the support Home Instead provided them. Kristina gained the respect of care home staff and demonstrated a variety of methods to manage Debra's behavior.

Whether caring for her senior clients, volunteering in the community or representing our office at public events Kristina brings her energy and enthusiasm and is actively involved to help our company succeed!

2018 CAREGiver of the Year - Charlene M.

CAREGiver of the Year- GlenOur CAREGivers are leaders.

Charlene came to us with experience as a continuing care aid and a veterinary lab assistant. This combination of expertise in geriatric care and discipline in following routines and protocols defines Charlene's outstanding work. This CAREGiver balances the tension between personal attachment to her clients and selfless service to them. Her maturity and commitment to the Company enable her to keep this balance.

Charlene makes the most of each moment, pairing confidence and humility as well as task and relationship. She told us of a time on shift when she used a hand blender to make squash soup. Her client entered the room as Charlene lifted the blender too high. With soup dripping off her glasses Charlene relished her client's laughter. Living Home Instead for the long run depends on a balance between work and joy! Read more...

2017 CAREGiver of the Year - Glen B.

CAREGiver of the Year- Glen‘A capital fellow’ is a saying you don’t hear much anymore.  One of our uncles used this term to describe a gentleman who was highly respected, so when Glen's employment reference called Glen a capital fellow, we took note.

After completing a degree in agriculture, Glen was involved in sales and marketing, teaching English as a second language in Taiwan and then rural development work in Bangladesh.  Glen returned home to work in the oil and gas industry for the balance of his career.  In his application to Home Instead, Glen wrote, ‘I reached a stage where I wanted to work at something that would be rewarding and of service to others.’  His letter described knowing people with disabilities and the problems they encountered and ways he creatively offered solutions.  His goal was to alleviate seniors' suffering to improve the quality of their life.  We hired him as a Home Instead CAREGiver! Read more...

2016 CAREGiver of the Year - Bev A​.

rsz_1image1.jpg Let us tell you about Bev and why we have selected her as our Caregiver of the year!  Bev became a CAREGiver in January 2012 and has provided over 4000 client service hours. She has cared for over 50 different clients; one client received over 900 hours of Bev’s tender loving care throughout her highly advanced Alzheimer’s disease.  Three clients have received over 400 hours of Bev’s care helping them to manage life through advancing dementia involving hoarding, Parkinson’s disease, and high anxiety.  Our team has learned to place Bev where dementia and anxiety required a diplomatic Caregiver or in palliative and high need situations requiring the most sensitive touch. Read More...

2015 CAREGiver of the Year - Grace W​.

Before she applied to work with Home Instead Grace had raised a family and been a family Caregiver to her own aging family members.  She had worked in the beauty industry at the Hair Style Inn, which is now owned by her son.  However, the work experience that particularly jumped off the page to clinch our Caregiver job offer was the role of Manager at McDonalds Restaurant.  It was not just any McDonalds but the McDonalds on 22nd Street in Saskatoon.  We decided, if this woman can manage a staff team to handle the comings and goings in that public place she can do it all!  And that is what we are celebrating today! Read More...


2014 CAREGiver of the Year - Wanda W.

The person who is willing to be a CAREGiver for someone else has cultivated their gift of caring and tended their heart to be able to give over and over again.  After many years interviewing potential CAREGivers, when we meet a great candidate, we recognize when they have something special about them.  When a woman or man, who expresses interest in working with our senior clients, does indeed have what it takes to be successful, we hire them as quickly as possible.  When Wanda came to us after caring for both of her parents who had recently both passed and after a fulfilling career at the U of S, we knew immediately she was ‘the type’. Read More...

2012 CAREGiver of the Year - Muriel N.​​

Every year it is a highlight to celebrate the gift of caregiving and especially those for whom this work is a calling.  This year we are pleased to introduce you to the energetic, vibrant Muriel Nuesch.

Muriel is the mother of 2 sons in Saskatoon and the grandmother of Ella & Eric.  She brings to this career her experience as a nurse and the hardworking spirit of someone who farmed in Saskatchewan for many years.  Muriel loves to work with her hands and has a love for the arts.  In the spring she dedicates some of her time to work in a greenhouse and expresses her creative, European flair through painting, ceramics and multiple art forms, including volunteering at the Mendel Art Gallery. Read More...


2011 CAREGiver of the Year - Irma L.

Our nominee for the Mary Steibel CAREGiver of the Year Award for 2011 is Irma Loewen.     When she first applied to work with us in 2008, she impressed us through the application process as someone who is attentive, thorough and sensitive.  When we learned her age, we were concerned. We wondered if, at age 71, she would be able to do all the things we require of our CAREGivers.   We did not need to worry.   As we learned with last year’s winner, age is a state of mind.  Irma has proven to be our most reliable, resourceful staff and has served over 3000 hours. Read More...


2010 CAREGiver of the Year - Helen M.

Helen.jpgHome Instead is pleased to announce this year's recipient of our CAREGiver of the Year Award: Helen McCarthy

Helen embodies the highest values of our company; her indomitable spirit paired with empathetic care for her clients makes our Irish crackerjack an excellent choice for Canada's CAREGiver of the year, 2010.

Helen joined us in August of 2008 following retirement from an office job.  With her spirited sense of humor, dedication and high standards of care she immediately excelled as a CAREGiver, exclaiming, “Why didn’t I retire sooner?”  Helen is a leader in our organization who has provided over 2400 hours of caregiving for some 20 clients. Read More...


2009 CAREGiver of the Year - Sharon M.

Sharon.jpgHome Instead Senior Care Saskatoon is proud to announce this year’s recipient of our CAREGiver℠ of the Year Award: Sharon Miller.

Sharon joined our team in September 2008 and has now served over 1200 hours CAREGiving for the elderly.  Keen to jump into new situations as needs arise, Sharon has served 25 diverse clients during the past year.  She capably shifts from providing home help service to cooking, running errands as well as providing personal care, dementia care and palliative care.  She has spent nearly half of her hours this year thoughtfully caring for a client with dementia who has no remaining immediate family.  Sharon goes above and beyond regular caregiving as she provides care she deems necessary to this person‘s wellbeing, always without being asked. Read More...

​2008 CAREGiver of the Year - Alice A.​

Alice.jpgHome Instead Senior Care Saskatoon is proud to announce this year’s recipient of our CAREGiver of the Year Award: Alice Arnold

Our Saskatoon, SK office opened March 17, 2008 and Alice, who shares our pioneering spirit, was hired within a few weeks.  We were very fortunate to have a few early service requests and we set Alice to work.  Coming to us after two years of retirement and a career as a Care Aide at a local senior's residence, we knew that Alice was skilled and competent to care for these precious new clients.  And she did.  The first client that Alice served called us early the following morning.  They could not wait to call and tell us, "We have a perfect match!" and "Don't ever take Alice away from us!!"  Alice has joyfully served that client now for over six months. Read More...

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