Omaha’s Caregiver of the Month: Jojo Agbeve

Caregiver of the month Jojo Agbeve has been in Omaha for just two years.

She’s been with A Place At Home for about seven months. Originally from Maryland, Jojo moved here with her parents, who wanted a quieter life. She’s currently a nursing student and works as a CNA and CMA for A Place At Home. Her goal of nursing stems from watching her mother, who is also a nurse.

“I’ve always loved medicine.”

We spoke a bit about her ambition to be a nurse and where she thinks she’ll work once she graduates. Her interest is in psychiatric nursing, though she says she doesn’t want to work in a facility or community setting. She appreciates working in homes with seniors, stating, “In facilities, you don’t have time to build a personal connection with your patients. When I’m working in the home, I’m like a guest in your home who’s there to help.”

Jojo prefers to be a caregiver where she can make that connection with her clients.

Jojo started with APAH just as Covid-19 was ramping up here in Omaha. She shared that at first, she was scared but soon took the position that none of it was in her hands. She said she’s just grateful to be a frontline worker, pointing out that there are many people out there who lost their jobs or weren’t able to work. The seniors she’s been serving have been at the forefront of her mind the entire time. “I just think, if this is scary for me, what are my clients feeling?”

She shared a story about a particular client who she helped last minute to get him to the grocery store during a snowstorm just before Christmas. Once in her car, they realized that they enjoy the same music. He told her that he didn’t get to see his family at Thanksgiving because of the pandemic and that sharing that time with her, jamming to the same music, really made him feel better about things.

At A Place At Home, we honor and value that empathy in our care team. It’s no wonder that Jojo is Caregiver of the Month. As far as working at A Place At Home, Jojo shares that she likes it a lot. She appreciates the flexible scheduling and takes ownership of her role and how significant it is.

“We are the face of A Place At Home – we represent the company.”

If you or someone you know is looking for a rewarding career in an industry built on helping others, apply to work with us today

Caregiver of the Month: Wanda Walker

Caregiver of the month, Wanda Walker, has been a caregiver with A Place At Home for almost four years.

If you were to meet Wanda in person, it would be obvious why the team chose her as caregiver of the month. You can hear her boisterous laughter through walls, and her smile will light up a room. She’s been a favorite among A Place At Home clients over the years, and it’s no wonder.

“She’s always smiling and laughing. She has a great attitude anytime you see her, and she really cares for her clients. She rarely calls out, and she’s always willing to help.” – Rebecca Matthews, Care Coordinator

Wanda has been caring for others since she was nine years old. At the time, her mother was diagnosed with Lymphoma, which ultimately took her from this world. Wanda promised her mother before she passed that she would always help those that need help. It wasn’t an empty promise. Caring for others is something that Wanda holds dear.

“It’s in my heart – like when I cared for my mom, it makes me feel good.”

Wanda’s clients feel the same way about her – she has a profound impact on the lives of the people she cares for. One of her current clients, Mr. Hartwell, expressed his appreciation for Wanda’s time with him. Mr. Hartwell is legally blind and shares that Wanda does outstanding work for him. She takes care of his meals, makes sure his apartment clean, and orders his groceries.

“I can trust her with everything… I don’t know what I’d do without her.”

Wanda has a special gift of getting her clients to open up and engage with life. Part of that might have to do with her cooking. Every single client Wanda has cared for has shared their appreciation for Wanda’s cooking. To that, she says, “When I see my clients, there’s a smile on their face, I can get them to open up, and they eat!”

While Wanda has been caring for people since she was a child, she’s been a professional caregiver for 25 years. With all that experience under her belt, the best piece of advice she gives to new caregivers is to treat their clients like they would treat one of their family members. That outlook has served her and her clients well over the years. That, and her love of caring for others, which she says she plans on doing forever. “I enjoyed caring for others when I was younger, I enjoy doing it now, and I’ll do it until my dying day.”

If Wanda’s passion for caring for others resonates with you, apply to work with us today. Experience what it feels like to positively impact the lives of seniors in the metro area!

A Math Major, a College Roommate, and a Twist of Fate

Caregiver of the Month Alex Swanson didn’t start her college career thinking she would be working in senior care.

Majoring in Math with a minor in Business and French at UNO, Alex stays busy, studying hard and preparing for a future in data science. When she started classes, her roommate, Maddie, worked in senior care as a caregiver for A Place At Home. Maddie had been caring regularly for a long-term client. When the time came for Maddie to transfer to a different school, she had reservations about leaving. That’s when she approached Alex about applying with A Place At Home to take over caring for her client. At the time, Alex had been looking for a part-time job to make some money over the summer. That was two years ago, and Alex is still caring for the same woman every week. She’s a regular caregiver for another client, as well.

“It’s impossible now to think that it was just going to be a summer job.”

While Alex didn’t initially see herself working in senior care, she said that she was intrigued when Maddie first approached her. She shared that she didn’t have grandparents close to her, and she welcomed the opportunity to learn from an older generation. Her experience so far? Incredibly rewarding. “You care about their well-being so much that it feels like they’re your family.” Though she does admit, it can be emotionally taxing, especially when the person you’re caring about is having a bad day. Even so, the bond that’s been built between her and her clients is something Alex loves. She can anticipate what their needs are before they even have to ask her for something.

“I had no idea – you make a difference for them, but they really make a difference for you.”

Regarding her employment with A Place At Home, Alex is thankful that everyone is so accommodating about her schedule as a full-time student. “I can’t imagine any other job that would get me through college that I would love this much.” Her advice for new caregivers coming into the field? “Expect to get attached to people.”

Be aware of their kindness and the fact that you are a stranger that is being welcomed into their home.

Alex says that it will be hard for her to leave A Place At Home when she graduates. She expects in the future that she will find herself working with seniors again, likely on a volunteer basis. Working in senior care was unexpected, but she says now, “It felt like fate.”

If you or someone you know is looking for a rewarding career, apply with us today. It may be one of the most rewarding things you do!

Caregiver of the Month: Brandi Thomas – A Life Spent in Service to Others

Brandi Thomas, June’s Caregiver of the Month, comes from a long line of nurses in her family. She shares, “The bar has been set really high for me for a long time.”

If you were to try to get a hold of Brandi Thomas- to say, interview her for winning Caregiver of the Month, it would be immediately apparent that she has little time to sit and chat. For her clients at A Place At Home, she works seven days a week. One might think that’s excessive.

For Brandi, her whole life has been about caring for others since she was eight years old.

Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Brandi spent her childhood following her mother, who provided nursing care for seniors. She spent time with the people her mother cared for, providing companionship to those that didn’t have family members in their lives. That companionship was the start of a lifetime of caring for others. She gained more experience, including working for the state of Nebraska for five years. The people she was caring for suggested she take her knowledge and use it to become licensed. That’s what she did, and she says, “I’ve never regretted it since.”

Brandi is working on furthering her education to get a degree in nursing, following her family members’ footsteps. Though she’s put her plans on hold because of the pandemic, she will be enrolling in the nursing program at Metropolitan Community College. She comes from a family of CNA’s, RN’s, and Nurse Practitioners. COVID-19 upsetting the timeline for her plans doesn’t phase her at all.

“I was raised not to be a quitter.”

Brandi enjoys working with individuals who have dementia, the most. They can be challenging, but she feels that working with them betters herself as a nurse and an individual. She takes great pride in the trust she’s built up with her clients. Taking time to find out what they’ve been through in life, their experiences, and who they are as individuals. “When they talk about certain things, and they just light up, it makes me so happy, because they know there’s somebody there to listen to them.”

“I want it to be a memorable experience for them, where they want me to come back, and they feel comfortable with me being there.”

Her advice to new caregivers? “Build that rapport, that relationship. Over time you’ll understand why they act the way they do.” For Brandi, she has a long, passionate future ahead of her. She finds joy in caring for others, and for her, the impact she makes in the lives of others is what counts. “This kind of work is more than just a paycheck. It is about true care and compassion and understanding.”

If you have a passion to care for others and a desire to make an impact, apply with us today!

Pearl Miller – One of a Kind

From War-Torn Liberia to Omaha Nebraska, Pearl Miller is one of a kind.

If you ask Cheryll, who Pearl Miller cares for through A Place At Home, you’ll have no doubt about why she was chosen as Caregiver of the Month for May. Pearl has been caring for Cheryll full time for nine months, and the impact she’s made on Cheryll’s life in that short time is evident.

“I appreciate everything about Pearl. She’s an angel, she looks after you, every little detail. She has a sense of humor. She pushes you when you need to be pushed.”

While Cheryll is the most recent person Pearl has cared for, she is far from the first. Pearl’s experience as a caregiver started when she was a young girl in Liberia. She and her siblings took care of their grandparents, and great aunts and uncles. Helping those that couldn’t do for themselves. “At the time, I didn’t know anything about ‘caregiver’. I was just helping a family member.”

Pearl’s caring nature comes to her honestly; her mother was the town doctor. Pearl shares that her mother went to medical school but didn’t finish. Instead, she used her skillset and knowledge to serve the people in their community. No one at that time could afford to go to a hospital. And when war came to Liberia, at the age of 13, Pearl followed behind her mother, caring for the sick and wounded. It was then Pearl decided what she wanted to do in life.

“From there, I started learning how to care for people when they are hurt, when they are wounded…and so I started thinking, this would be a good thing to do, to help people.”

Pearl came to the US when she was 17, to escape the war. She started her CNA career in Maryland, and started medical school, but didn’t finish. She got married, and gave birth to her son, who is now in his fourth year of college studying cyber security. In Maryland, she worked in a nursing home for years. When she came to Nebraska, she went back to school for phlebotomy, and travelled with the American Red Cross. The traveling was difficult for her son, who was young at the time, so Pearl started working in homes as a CNA.

Pearl has been working with A Place At Home since the first year they opened their doors. While she’s taken time away over the years, they are grateful that she keeps coming back. Pearl says that she’s encouraged working for A Place At Home, because the employers “are very friendly and kind, they talk with me like we are on the same level.”

“They make me feel like I am a part of it. And that plays a major role.”

Pearl says her favorite thing about being a caregiver is seeing the results of her work. She’s worked in all kinds of settings, including caring for people in a mental health facility. And when she sees progress in those individuals, she feels satisfaction. “When I’m working, and I see results, I’m like, okay, I’m doing something.”

Her advice for those just getting into the field? Patience, and empathy. “If you put yourself in their shoes, and you also have patience, you will work forever, and everything will go well for you. I always put myself in the patient’s shoes. And by doing that, we are loving ourselves and taking care of ourselves more.”

For Cheryll, Pearl is definitely producing results. Not just physically, but in a way that means even more: “I consider her a friend, too. She’s one of a kind.”

If Pearl’s advice on patience and empathy strike a chord with you, apply to be a caregiver with A Place At Home today!





Touching Lives is Something Different: Patricia Mbianga

Patricia Mbianga is April’s Caregiver of the Month. Patricia’s passion for caregiving stems from her faith. She shares, “I pray every morning before I leave my house – let me make a difference in anybody I meet on my way”.

For her clients at A Place At Home, her prayers have certainly been answered. Being a caregiver for three years with A Place At Home, Patricia has made a difference in numerous lives. She laughs as she talks about one client in particular, whom she no longer provides care for. They run into each other occasionally at the grocery store. She hears her name being yelled across the aisles when she’s spotted, the woman racing across the store in her wheelchair for a hug.

Patricia was in school when her parents passed away, both from cancer. She wasn’t able to be there to care for them. Now she’s compelled to care for other people. When she first came to the US, she started out as a volunteer caring for others. She shares that she treats each of her clients as if they were family. “I take care of them like they are my parents… when I’m with a client, I do it fully, with everything in me.” She says if you can care for others with love and respect, everything flows.

“She’s one of the most committed and dependable caregivers we have” – Kris Perkins, A Place At Home – Omaha’s Executive Director

While Patricia wishes she could stay scheduled with all of her clients permanently, her schedule does require change occasionally. She’s currently working toward her PhD in Microbiology and has a young son who is currently in middle school. Her three older daughters are grown and out of the house. Two of them are in college, and one works in public administration. Patricia says she’s grateful for the flexibility she’s able to have working with A Place At Home.

When she found out she had been chosen as Caregiver of the Month, she says she was shocked. And really happy that her work is appreciated. Patricia likes working for A Place At Home; she appreciates the work that we do.

“I really love A Place At Home, they’ve really given me the opportunity to do what I love doing”.

At A Place At Home, we are grateful to have Patricia who says with a passion that you can see and feel, “it’s not just the money, we can always make money. Touching lives is something different.”

Does Patricia’s story resonate with you? Apply for a job with A Place at Home today and join the ranks of essential personnel that are so desperately needed, where they are needed – in the lives and homes of seniors in the Omaha community! Consider becoming a caregiver and apply to join our team today.


Always Room For More: Amy Dirks

Caregiver of the Month

Caregiver of the month, Amy Dirks, has been a caregiver with A Place At Home for almost three years. She was nominated after going the extra mile to ensure shifts were covered. If she couldn’t do it herself, she made arrangements for someone else to cover them.

Amy has been a caregiver for two decades. After leaving a career as a high school teacher to follow her passion for taking care of others. It’s a passion she comes by honestly. Growing up, her mother was an LPN at a nursing home, taking care of the senior residents there, as well as Amy and her seven siblings. When Amy was 15, her mother’s care extended to encompass Amy’s grandparents, also. 

Like her mother before her, Amy has found herself caring for a family member. She spent two years driving over two hours away from her home each weekend to care for her brother, who has recently passed away after his battle with Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It was important to her brother that anyone caring for him was formally trained to do so. It was important for Amy to be able to care for her brother, so she did the training necessary to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. 

Amy’s sense of responsibility to those in her charge is nothing short of remarkable. When she found out that one of her clients needed care overnight on Easter, Amy was quick to step in, sharing that she couldn’t stand the thought of them laying in bed all night without anyone to attend to their care. Never mind that it was a holiday, and last minute. Amy’s response was, “I’m taking this on myself in case something happens. They come before a lot of my personal needs”.

“Amy is an incredible asset to the A Place At Home family. Not only is she always willing to pick up shifts last minute to help out, but she is always a pleasure to work with. Amy treats all her clients like family and perfectly exemplifies our CARE philosophy.” said Kris Perkins, A Place At Home – Omaha’s Executive Director. 

Amy has a similar regard for A Place At Home, her appreciation for the support she receives from her employer even more evident in the midst of a global pandemic. “I have felt comfortable. Anytime I need something they’re willing to meet me to get supplies. Whatever I need, I know I’m taken care of. I feel that I’m in the right place.” 

Make no mistake, events in today’s world have had an impact on Amy. She’s grateful to still be working, sharing, “COVID-19 impacted me 100%. I can’t go into facilities now so I don’t endanger my clients. I have confidence we are all taking the same precautions to not spread it. It takes everyone to get through this.”

We are grateful for Amy’s dedication to her clients, and for her approach to caregiving, which she says comes from a book she read as a child titled, There’s Always Room for One More, the story of a Scottish man who welcomes anyone in need into his heart and home, regardless of how full his house becomes. Amy feels the same way about her role caring for others: “There’s always room for one more person that needs help to bed at night. No matter what the call is, I do it.”

Interested in becoming a caregiver?

Does Amy’s story resonate with you? Apply for a job with A Place at Home today and join the ranks of essential personnel that are so desperately needed, where they are needed – in the lives and homes of seniors in the Omaha community! Consider becoming a caregiver and apply to join our team today.

Caregiver Continues To CARE During Coronavirus Outbreak: Tina Edorh

Caregiver of the Month

Caregiver of the Month, Tina Edorh, continues to fill shifts through the Coronavirus pandemic. While our community takes steps to work from home, Tina understands that our most vulnerable population still needs care.

“I leave my worries behind when I go into a client’s home. I bring a positive attitude and try to help make their day better,” Tina shared. Tina has a very calm presence about her. She said that after her first visit with a client they keep requesting her back.

Tina also provided care when she lived in West Africa nearly a decade ago. She hasn’t seen her family back in Africa since she left, she moved to two different states, learned to speak French and English, earned her CNA and grew her family with two more children since moving to the United States.

Tina started with A Place At Home’s care team back in November 2019. “Tina goes above and beyond for her clients. She’s very responsive to office staff and has had great feedback from all clients that she visits,” said Dani Sloan, HR Director of A Place At Home – Omaha.

A Place At Home’s Coronavirus Prevention Plan

Caregivers are required to thoroughly clean their hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water immediately after entering a client’s home. They are given specific training on reducing the risk of illness. This training is revisited and emphasized regularly.

A Place At Home’s prevention plan is available for all caregivers in order to keep clients and themselves healthy. We also encourage all staff to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidance for preventing the spread of illness. Handwashing, remaining at home when sick and following all precautions when working with clients who are sick are a priority.

A crisis reveals our character. A Place At Home’s “We are CARE” philosophy is a commitment to our core values. Those values are Compassionate, Accountable, Respectful, and Ethical. We continue to practice those values and our top priority is providing the highest quality care for our clients.