An in-home caregiver for eight years at Right at Home in Cedar Bluff, “She was nominated among about 150 Right at Home agencies,” said Joy Wilson, co-owner of the 9050 Executive Park Drive location, Suite A201, who nominated Shelton. “In the Southeast Region, I think there’s about 10 or 15 states” among five regions across the United States.
“It’s a big honor to win this award because there are so many entries,” she added.
As for why Shelton was honored, “She has a very caring heart,” Wilson said. “She’s the kind of person who walks into a room and just looks at how she can help whomever is in there.
“She really walks the walk. Every day she’s thinking about how she can help somebody else, whether that be her neighbor, her friend, her family member,” she added.
Among Right at Home clients and their families, “We’ve had multiple people speak up on her behalf and talk about how she’s impacted their life or impacted the life of their loved one,” Wilson said.
“I work with all kinds of clients with different needs,” said Shelton, adding she has been in this profession “30-something years, including taking care of my own family members.
“I just enjoy helping, whether it’s reading a book to someone or sharing an experience they’ve had in the past,” she added. “Something that just makes them happy. It makes me happy, too.”
Shelton earned “$1,000 and a crystal award,” in addition to enjoying a “night out” with staff at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in downtown Knoxville, Wilson said.
As for her recognition, “I’m very thrilled,” Shelton said. “Your reward is what you take home every day from the people you take care of. I’m very blessed.”
After nominating Shelton, Wilson “wrote up something, which place her in a finalist position,” she said. “They chose five from out of our region, and then they looked at those and determined she was the one for this region.
“I submitted additional testimonies from customers of Right at Home, from previous clients that she had cared for, from (her) neighbors and from caregivers in the industry,” Wilson added.
Right at Home “provides assistance to seniors and disabled folks in their homes, in hospitals, in assisted living homes and nursing homes,” Wilson said. “That includes “cooking, cleaning, helping with bathing and dressing, transportation and medication reminders.
“It’s considered non-medical: we’re not giving injections or doing wound care,” she added.
Helton is one of 60 caregivers Wilson has at Right at Home, she said, who “take care of, I’d say, about 45 customers.”