Jeannie Wood from our Palouse Region loves working as a caregiver, and she especially loves being a caregiver in a home care setting. And she should know. Jeannie has been a caregiver in nearly every setting possible. Over the past 27 years, she has provided care in homes, in an assisted living facility, an adult group home, a nursing home, and in a hospital.
“My first job came about when a neighbor asked me to care for someone she knew. I was at that job for a year until the individual needed to go into a nursing home,” Jeannie recalls. “After that, I took a job in an assisted living facility. That job ended when I was offered a position at a group home for adults with physical and mental disabilities.” It appears that the group home was a good fit for Jeannie’s talents as she stayed for four years. She then decided to earn her CNA license which she did while working in a nursing home. “It was a difficult job,” said Jeannie. “There was no time to properly care for the patients. I never took lunch. I went to work sick. That job wore me out, so I left after one year.”
With her CNA in hand and a husband and children at home, Jeannie wanted to find a job that would provide good medical benefits for her family. She found such a job at Whitman Hospital in Colfax, where she lives. “I liked the hospital and stayed for six years, but I worked night shifts and just could not keep that up,” explained Jeannie. So, she returned to the group home where she stayed for another four years.
Eventually, Jeannie found her way back to home care – which is where she had started her caregiving journey 17 years earlier. This September she will mark her 10th anniversary with Family Resource Home Care which added together equals a full 27 years as a caregiver.
“Jeannie is dearly loved by her clients,” says Katrina Bottini, Palouse Regional Manager. “She is known for her wonderful cooking, compassionate care, and high standards that always ensure her clients receive the care that they want and need.” Brigette Johnson, Client Care Supervisor agrees adding, “Jeannie is a huge asset to our caregiving team. She is honest, hardworking, reliable, compassionate, and knows exactly what she is doing. Her clients truly appreciate her, and she truly cares for each of them.” Caregiver Manager, Sarah Maurer, concurs saying, “Jeannie is a caregiver through and through. She is dependable and does a great job at making sure her clients are healthy, happy, and living the best life they can. She truly embodies our core values of kindness, respect, commitment, and integrity.”
Jeannie has three clients; one who has been with her from the very beginning, ten years ago, and two others with whom she has worked for nine years each. This is a remarkable feat and Jeannie may have set the record for the most years worked with a single client! “My clients are like an extension of my own family,” says Jeannie. “Working one-on-one with a client you can really get to know them. They like the company of having me there and I like talking with them and hearing their stories. One of my clients was a logger. He tells some really great stories. Plus, home care is a lot less stressful and physically demanding than my other caregiving jobs. I just love it.”
Jeannie came to her position with FRHC by first working for Independent Care Services (ICS). When ICS was bought by Family Home Care, Jeannie and her clients transitioned with them. Now that Family Home Care has merged with Family Resource Home Care, Jeannie could not be happier. “I’m working with the same managers and they are wonderful,” Jeannie said. “The regional manager and supervisors really care about the caregivers and the clients. They listen. I’m not afraid to ask for vacation time. This is the happiest I’ve ever been in a job,” she concludes.