Local CAREGiver of the Year Selected for Regional Honor | Health
– Columbia resident Gary Spence, a CAREGiverSM for the local Home Instead Senior Care® office, has been recognized for his work with older adults in the Columbia area. Spence, who has been a Home Instead CAREGiver since 2008, was named CAREGiverSM of the Year for the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Spence was selected for outstanding service and commitment to seniors, according to Rene Kilburn, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Richland and Lexington Counties. He is being recognized along with eight other regional CAREGivers, including Canada, who were selected from more than 65,000 Home Instead CAREGivers in North America.
“We’re proud to honor Gary for his compassionate service and commitment to older adults,” Kilburn said. “CAREGivers represent the best of our organization, making a difference in the lives of seniors every day.”
Nominators say caring is an extension of who Spence is. A Vietnam veteran, Spence worked as a lay missionary in Zaire, Africa, where he taught English and built hydro-powered mills to lighten the workload of the women in the villages. Stateside, he and his wife teach neighborhood virtue classes with the intent of building community and improving the lives of 6 to 12-year-olds.
Spence said his role as a professional CAREGiver gives him perspective.
“The worst thing you can do is ‘could have, should have, would have,’ he said. “By putting yourself into something bigger than yourself, you can gain,. You help the client the best you can, and you’re helping yourself, really.”
Home Instead Senior Care – the world’s leading provider of non-medical in-home care services for older adults – provides companionship, meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders, incidental transportation, errands and shopping to help keep seniors independent at home or in care communities. CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured, and have successfully completed criminal background checks.
“Today’s busy personal and professional lifestyles make it increasingly difficult for Americans who are struggling to raise and support families of their own and care for their senior loved ones,” said Kilburn. “Home Instead CAREGivers provide a way for seniors to stay at home and offer a respite to family members who are trying to care for these older adults.”