CaraVita Home Care's March 2020 Caregiver of the Month is George Umahoin! George is originally from Nigeria. He joined the military in 1966 and served his country until 1983.
His years of service have taught him discipline and, George shares, to look at all of humanity with respect. This outlook is one of the reasons George is a fantastic caregiver!
While in the military, George was able to visit many countries and meet a lot of different people from other cultures. “I learned to open my eyes to the beauty of God’s creation,” George shared. “When you travel all over the world, you see different sceneries and cultures, and it really broadens your mind.”
It was during this time that George met and became good friends with a major in the U.S. military. When he retired from the service in Nigeria, the major invited him to visit the U.S., and after his first visit, George decided to move here and continue working in the healthcare field.
“I was a med-tech and did private-duty care in the D.C. Metropolitan area,” George said. “I ended up taking care of a bunch of generals who used to be in the military, and my background helped me relate to them, understand, and communicate through their cognitive impairment.”
George cared for one general for over six years, and he remembers that the general's wife wanted George to take him out and keep him active. One time, they were out eating at a restaurant, and someone who recognized the general came up to them and started talking with them. The woman did not realize that the general had cognitive impairment and couldn’t understand why the general didn’t recognize her.
“He started to get very agitated,” George said,” and he was a very tall man. He stood up over the woman and started pacing around the restaurant. The woman was afraid, and the entire restaurant was startled, but I knew one way that I could get his attention. I stood in front of him and saluted, saying ‘ATTENTION!’ The general stopped, and immediately stopped pacing. I asked him, still saluting, ‘Sir, can we go home now, sir.’ He calmed down and said yes, and we left.”
After this client passed away, George moved to North Carolina, where he worked as a crime lab technician for the North Carolina Department of Safety for the next 20 years.
George has now been married to his wife, Charity, for 50 years. They have four children - two girls and two boys. His oldest son tragically passed away in a motorcycle accident. His oldest daughter is now a pediatrician in London. His younger son has two PhDs, one in virology and another in chemical pathology, and now travels all over the world working for the World Health Organization. His youngest daughter has her Masters in hematology and works at Emory hospital here in Atlanta.
Though George has retired from his job in crime labs, he said he never really wanted to stop working, so he went back to working in home care. George has been with CaraVita Home Care since July 2018, and he has been a gift to every client he has worked with. His military background has allowed him to connect with his client’s Life Stories in a way that builds authentic and meaningful relationships.
Connie Gerlach, one of CaraVita Home Care’s wonderful R.N.’s, notes,
“George goes above and beyond in the care he provides to his client(s). Nothing is too much trouble for George. He is a source of companionship and encouragement and enriches their lives. He embraces restorative function, is meticulous in care, and thinks outside the box. It is always obvious to me that he has the client’s best interests at heart.”
The son of his current client shared, “George is exceptional, really. He is very reliable and very conscientious. Attention to detail is definitely his strong point. He’s been a godsend. My brother and I haven’t had to worry nearly as much, because we know that George is watching out for mom and dad. And mom and dad love him to death!”
We are so grateful that George chose to become a part of the CaraVita Home Care family. While chatting with him about the award, George shared, “CaraVita is one of the best - no, the best - agencies. Even with my experience in North Carolina and D.C. They take care of their caregivers, they take care of complaints, and there is always a sense of belonging. I will recommend them to anyone I know.”
March is not only the month that George is our Caregiver of the Month, but also the month that he celebrates his 77th birthday! George, we are so grateful to you. Congratulations and Happy Birthday!