The Essentials: Meridian caregiver says she treats clients like her family

Bill Graham / The Meridian Star

Vashonda Davis works as a caregiver for Home Instead Senior Care in Meridian. 

When many people were safe and sound at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, Vashonda Davis was Home Instead.

Davis, 41, began working as a caregiver for Home Instead Senior Care in August 2019.

Davis said she was drawn to the company because of its mission for enhancing the lives of aging adults and their families.

From personal care services to hospice care support and everything in between, Home Instead caregivers provide a broad range of services for each client.

“A typical day for me depends on the needs of the client," Davis said. "I may be reminding them to take their medicine, helping them walk and gain strength from surgery, or I may just be sitting and talking to offer engagement and mental stimulation.”

With the onslaught of COVID-19, Davis said she had to re-examine every aspect of the way she did her job.

“At first, I was in a panic, but working with Home Instead, I began to feel safe," Davis said. "They took measures to make sure their clients and their employees were safe.”

According to Charrisa Shirley, owner of the Meridian Home Instead Senior Care, said employees have their temperatures checked daily and must follow all of the CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of disease.

“In addition to wearing masks in our clients’ homes, we take even more care when it comes to hand washing and sanitation,” Davis said.

Davis said her clients are a part of her family; she treats them with the same attention to detail that she would with one of her relatives. In a time when medical systems are overwhelmed, home care plays a critical role in the health care system, keeping seniors safe and healthy at home and out of the hospital.

When Davis leaves her job, she goes home to her daughter, Jaliyah, 18, a senior at Meridian High School and a softball standout for the Wildcats.

Davis’ son J’mar Smith, 23, just signed with the New England Patriots.

Jaliyah said her mom has always been a loving and caring person.

“Our mom tries to never miss one of our games; she is always there for us," Jaliyah said. "I am not surprised that she takes such good care of other people’s family members.”

“Family is important to me,” Davis said. “When I am entrusted with the care of someone else’s family member, I know what an important job that is.”

Shirley agreed.

“Caregivers like Vashonda do a wonderful job of building relationships with clients," Shirley said. "Vashonda is a mom, daughter, granddaughter, and the face of Home Instead. She maintains the perfect balance of caring for her family as well as her clients.”

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