Employee Spotlight is a new Homewatch CareGivers of Crystal Lakeblog seriesmeant to surface stories of the amazing individuals behind our local caregiving service. From office workers and owners to caregivers in the field, you’ll get to hear stories from our team so you can get to know the people who makes us who we are.
Tamera is an owner and the managing director of Homewatch CareGivers (HWCG) of Crystal Lake with her husband Alan. Tamera and Alan were looking to invest in a business that made a tangible impact in their community and helped them to put their Christian values of service and care into action. I asked Tamera what first attracted her to this type of work, and she said, “As I get older, I realize that doing good for people and helping them in times of crisis is all that really matters” and working at HWCG allows her to do that. Working with HWCG has allowed her to use their business to establish relationships within her community and put her efforts toward creating a service that helps families and individuals feel secure and cared for which makes her work at HWCG especially meaningful.
Elder care is an incredibly fulfilling and meaningful field because your work has direct impact on the lives of many elders and their loved ones, but it is also a fast-paced and often challenging field where burn-out and anxiety are frequent. Because of this, I asked Tamera where she gets motivation when things are challenging and she said,
I have a lot of opportunity to go into client homes and meet with their family members and the clients themselves, and just the peace of mind that comes from having our caregivers come in and care for mom and day. You know, just yesterday I was meeting with a family whose mother’s health has recently declined pretty significantly and we were there for a few hours every week. They were seeing that she needed additional care, but they don’t live nearby... So now we are going to be there for 12 hours a day, and the relief they had knowing that we were going to be there and able to keep eyes on mom, make sure she is safe, and that the caregivers she already had were going to stay with her for those extended hours was incredible. They were so thankful and grateful that their mom was going to be taken care of when they go home. The family has the caregivers phone numbers, and just having that direct line with the caregivers, even during their shift, so they can check in and see how mom is doing or even FaceTime/Zoom with her when she wouldn’t have been able to do that otherwise.
In talking about the dreams Tamera has for her business, she shared her desire to foster a family atmosphere among the caregivers and office staff at HWCG. This is a difficult goal to achieve because, for most employees at HWCG, their work takes place within client homes, and there is often little need for them to physically come to the office. Tamera is aware of how this reality can lead to caregivers feeling like a “lone wolf” without support or community, and is working creatively to ensure the caregivers, and staff of HWCG feel like they are part of a family.
The motivation for creating a “family” environment comes from Tamera’s belief that personal connections are what make her work worthwhile. From a client standpoint, this means that she emphasizes the importance of seeing her clients as individuals and going above and beyond for them. One way she has done this recently was on Christmas Eve her and her family prepared a turkey dinner and delivered it to clients who she knew would be spending the holidays alone. The clients who received these meals were deeply touched and so was Tamera, so much so, that she and her family plan to make it a yearly tradition.
When Tamera is not at work, she enjoys spending any time she can with her husband Alan, and two adult children Amy 22, and Grant 26 (yes, that’s me writing this article!) Amy is in her last year at Indiana Wesleyan University where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Grant is in his final year at Princeton Theological Seminary where he is pursuing a Master of Divinity. Tamera also enjoys volunteering at her local church, The Chapel, where she is a leader in the young adult group and also leads the prayer team. Additionally, she sits on the board of the McHenry Country Taskforce on Aging, where she is able to use her insight and connections to improve the lives of all elders in McHenry County.
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