Tracey Bird from Southend-on-Sea has won the Home Instead ‘Care Professional of the Year’ gong. This illustrious annual award celebrates the excellent work carried out by Home Instead professionals employed in the UK. And Tracey was selected from a shortlist of three well-deserving employees.
The announcement was made by ITV’s national treasure Lorraine Kelly who has long been a supporter of the home care franchise. Every year, Home Instead ask franchise offices across the UK to nominate members of staff who continually provide exceptional care for their clients.
Tracey was recognised for her ‘dedication’, ‘natural instinct’ and ‘going the extra mile’ in support of both her clients and their families. One of Tracey’s clients is a man with a terminal illness. When Tracey first met him, he remained unresponsive in bed, with his eyes almost permanently closed.
Following a challenging few weeks, during which period Tracey bathed and dressed him, he eventually began to engage in conversation and slowly rediscovered his appetite for food and life. Six months later, following plenty of gentle encouragement, the client felt confident enough to walk downstairs. He now tells his family and friends that Tracy has “fixed him”. On one occasion he even helped to dry her hair, when she arrived on a care visit in the pouring rain.
The two other finalists were Kate Herron from Northern Ireland and Max Feneley of Devon. Kate, a care professional with Home Instead’s Down & Lisburn office, helped her client – who is suffering from dementia – to eat healthily again.
Meanwhile Max, from Tavistock, was quick to recognise the symptoms when his client suffered a TIA (Transient Ischaemic Attack). With great calm and professionalism, Max successfully dealt with this serious health incident.
Martin Jones, the chief executive of Home Instead UK, said: “All of our care professionals are incredible. It takes an immeasurable amount of compassion to provide our clients with the support they need to remain living at home.
“Our ‘Care Professional of the Year’ event always shines a light on the many wonderful stories that demonstrate our commitment and passion to care. So, it’s another huge thank-you to all our care professionals across the country.
“I also want to thank the lovely Lorraine Kelly for showing gratitude to our care professionals, which makes our annual event even more special. We’ve loved having her represent Home Instead and she’s a much-welcomed addition to our family.”
About Home Instead: Starting out in the United States during the mid-1990s, the business established its UK base in 2005. They have more than 240 franchise offices across the UK, delivering over six million hours of quality care each year to more than 21,000 clients. The various franchise offices employ a total of over 10,000 caregivers, specialising in offering care and companionship in the home for older people. They also provide specialist dementia care, plus live-in care, end-of-life and respite care. Their UK head office, which employs more than 80 people, is in Warrington, Cheshire.
With their global head office in Omaha, Nebraska, the company was founded by Paul and Lori Hogan. The franchise operates in four continents and has more than 1,100 offices worldwide. In addition to the United States, Great Britain and Ireland, Home Instead can also be found in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Italy, New Zealand, Netherlands, Singapore and Switzerland.