The National Caregiver of the Year was revealed April 6 at Home Improvement 2017 in Omaha, Neb. And the winner is … Sherilee Hopper of Jeffersonville, Ind.! Franchisees Linda and Terry Rogers nominated Sherilee, who has been a caregiver with Right at Home since May 2013.
Being Positive Is Part of Who She Is
Sherilee has a positive outlook on life, and helping others is intrinsic to her personality. When she begins working with a client, she becomes personally invested in their welfare. For example, Sherilee was taking care of a client who was going blind and had no desire to leave the house. She was having difficulty finding a way to connect with him, as he was withdrawing into himself. Sherilee finally started talking about her garden. The client became interested in this, so she assisted the client with planting his own garden. Even though he was losing his eyesight, the thought of being outside and working in the dirt again pleased him. When the plants started to grow, Sherilee and her client sat outside and talked about the garden. Before long, the client had tomatoes, green peppers and squash, and a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Sherilee says that every person needs a purpose and reason to live.
"The honor should go to my clients. I respect and honor my clients, and I am representing my clients and company here today."
Sherilee loves being a caregiver because she can spend one-on-one time with clients and learn from their knowledge and experience. She resides in a small town and gives back to her community — last Thanksgiving, she cooked eight turkeys in her own kitchen so others could have a home-cooked holiday meal. During snowstorms, she will walk, drive a tractor or hitch a ride on a snow plow to get to her clients.
Sherilee is dedicated to providing the best possible care for her clients. National Caregiver of the Year Sherilee Hopper of Jeffersonville, Ind. For example, a client who was diabetic was having difficulty controlling his blood sugar with medication and recommended diet. Sherilee did her own research on the best diet for him and bought specific cookbooks so she could address his dietary needs when she prepared meals for him. Sherilee believes that a person’s diet is central to their well-being.
Her Trust, Loyalty, and Compassion Are Inspirational
Sherilee enjoyed her trip to Omaha to accept the National Caregiver of the Year award. “The honor is enough for me,” said Sherilee during her acceptance speech. “The honor should go to my clients. I respect and honor my clients, and I am representing my clients and company here today.” Her husband, Chris, accompanied her on the trip. While in Omaha, Sherilee and Chris relaxed with a couples massage and did some sightseeing in Omaha’s Old Market area. They also attended Home Improvement’s social event Thursday evening, and Sherilee later toured the Corporate Office.
Terry and Linda were thrilled upon learning that Sherilee had been named the National Caregiver of the Year. “It’s been emotional from the beginning,” said Terry. “The office staff have all been emotional, too.” He continued, “We tend to focus on the problems we have with caregivers, like not showing up for work, but we don’t always take time to cherish the good caregivers. The Caregiver of the Year program is a great way to focus on the good caregivers, and the program encourages all caregivers to raise their level of performance.”
Sherilee’s loyalty, trustworthiness, compassion and honesty are just some of the reasons why she is Right at Home’s 2017 National Caregiver of the Year. One client stated, “I was thinking about ending it all, but she brought me out of that. She is probably the reason why I am still here today.” Another client’s niece said, “Sherilee has made it possible for me to keep my uncle at home where he wants to be while easing the burden on me. She is not only his caregiver but a trusted member of our family. She really is a rare and precious person.”