This month’s Platinum Caregiver award goes to John Kinder from our Spokane/Inland Northwest region. “John is being highlighted as a Platinum Caregiver because he personifies one the best human traits a caregiver can have, that of servant leadership,” says Regional Manager, Jared Wiberg. “John is full of compassion, understanding, professionalism, and kindness. He never seeks recognition; he only seeks to help others. He truly is an unsung hero.”
John came to caregiving after having worked for thirty-two years with Wonder Bread and another ten years as a remodeler. Sitting at home was not for him so he started checking newspaper ads for a new job. He was hired by a home care company, Independent Services, which was later acquired by Family Home Care. That was thirteen years ago. “Becoming a caregiver was an accident,” said John. “At the time I didn’t know it was going to be so much fun! I enjoy my clients and my job and being able to help them stay in their own homes is extremely rewarding.”
“The way I see it is I’m a guest in my clients’ home,” continued John. “I’m there to serve them. When I walk into someone’s home for the first time, I say, “How best can I serve you today?” I want to give them as much control as possible and have them make decisions when possible. When you give them a choice, you give them a voice,” concluded John.
John works four days a week and typically sees three to four clients a day. “My first client of the day is a man I have been with since the beginning. He used to call himself a cripple and spent the day in his electric wheelchair.” John saw something in his client that made him think he was capable of more. “I worked with him and now he is able to walk around the store on his own!”
John loves a good challenge. “I believe it is my job to adapt to the clients’ mood and needs,” he said. “When I arrive at my client’s home I try to feel their mood. Sometimes a client might be in a bad mood. Sometimes a client with dementia may be hallucinating. That’s a challenge and I love it. Work has to be fun otherwise it becomes a job,” he quipped.
When Branch Manager, Jared Wiberg, asked clients and office staff for words that describe John, the following was shared:
“John is very reliable and always on time. He takes his duties seriously and we love him for it.”
“He does caregiving like no one I have seen before, he does it so well. He is amazing.”
“John is always willing to help and to take extra shifts to aide our clients.”
“John is one the of most caring human beings I have met.”
“He is not looking for recognition,” said Wiberg. In fact, John sees himself as boring. “I’ve only met two people more boring than me,” jokes John, “and they were in the morgue!” Regional staff beg to differ. They describe John as “compassionate, selfless, humble, gifted and amazing.”
John is equally full of compliments about Family Resource. “This organization treats its employees better than any company I’ve worked for,” he said. “Whoever hires the staff does a great job. When you call the office, the people who answer the phone make you feel like you are not alone. If you want to work for a good company and do things to help somebody then this is the place,” John concluded.
“A good example can only be seen and followed if it is highlighted for all to see. That is why we’re honoring John this month,” said Wiberg. “We really appreciate John and everything he does day in and day out to be an excellent and valued representative of Family Resource Home Care. He is an amazing example and we value his servant leadership very much.