When Jewish Family Service of Tidewater’s nurse’s aide Tiphaney Powell speaks about her clients, she does so with a great deal of respect, love, and admiration. After all, when your clients are two 93-year-old women and a 96-year-old man, a lot of life lessons may be learned from them.
Powell was recently honored at JFS’ Employee Appreciation Dinner as “Home Health Aide of the Year,” and for good reason. “I feel it’s my job to love my clients—to make them comfortable and get them to smile,” she says.
As Powell shared stories of her clients, the mutual love and care is very evident. “One of my clients has told me I can never leave her. She loves to talk and has confided in me. Though my gentleman client is very independent, he knows I’m there to assist him so he can continue to stay at home.”
So dedicated to her clients, Powell spent four straight days with one of them during a blizzard this past winter. While the power was out for more than 15 hours, Powell even bundled up with her client to keep her warm so her body temperature wouldn’t drop.
Powell moved to Tidewater from Maryland in 1995 and finished her education at a local CNA program. She started working with JFS in 2003. “I can’t imagine doing anything else,” says Powell. “I love what I do and feel I’m called to do it. My clients see me as their confidant and more of a listener than a caretaker.”
An active mother of four and grandmother of two “lights of her life,” Powell knows the importance of family. “When I’m with my clients, I try to provide the best care I can, as if they are my own family. I love my clients; they are a blessing to me,” she says.